No film in Bollywood is ever complete without its share of song and dance. Despite dance being an integral part of any Bollywood film, the irony is that, there have been very few films which have been made on dance as the central theme. The recent times have however witnessed the 'evolution' of dance as the central theme in Bollywood with Remo D'Souza's ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE that released in 2013. This week sees the sequel of the film titled ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE 2. Will this sequel dance its way into the hearts of the audience or will it turn out to be a film with 'two left feet', let's analyze.
The film starts off with Suresh aka Suru (Varun Dhawan) and Vinnie (Shraddha Kapoor)'s dance troupe 'Mumbai Stunners' being disqualified in the dance competition 'Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin'. The judges reason their disqualification in the competition as blatantly copying the dance steps and moves of a Philippine dance group. In no time, all the members of 'Mumbai Stunners' get tagged as 'cheaters' everywhere they go and also in their day to day lives. The going gets so tough that most of the team members even call it quits from the troupe. The omnipresent taunt of being a 'cheater' starts echoing in Suresh's mind all the time. That's why in order to prove himself and gain the lost respect; he decides to participate in an ultra-prestigious global dance competition that is to be held in Las Vegas. It is out of pure co-incidence that he 'accidentally' meets an alcoholic Vishnu (Prabhu Dheva), whom he considers as their sole ray of hope to Las Vegas. After much persuasion, Vishnu decides to choreograph 'Mumbai Stunners', who now have to clear the national auditions that are being held in Bangalore, in order to participate in the global championship. As luck would have it, Vishnu's intense training helps 'Mumbai Stunners' find their way to Las Vegas. It is here that the second half of the story unfolds, which sees Vinnie badly injuring her leg during the competition, Vishnu's hidden agenda and many other things. After all the ups and downs, 'Mumbai Stunners' manage to reach the finals of the global dance championship, when calamity strikes the team's performance, thus stunning everyone present there, including the judges. What is this calamity that strikes the 'Mumbai Stunners', what secret is Vishnu hiding, do 'Mumbai Stunners' make India proud by winning the dance championship... is what the rest of the film is all about.
Much like the first film, ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE 2 too has its story plot woven into the theme of dance. To start with, director Remo D'souza gets full brownie points for making no mistakes in directing the film that is at par with international dance themed movies. He needs to be applauded for extracting some of the best dance movements out of his lead actors Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. Despite the fact that the film is devoid of any concrete story as the whole, it solely concentrates on the basic premise of dancing, around which the movie is based. In that context, the film's screenplay (Tushar Hiranandani) does justice to the film. With the film being mounted on such a large canvas, Remo D'souza justifies every rupee of the money that's spent on the film. Full marks to him for making ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE 2 as one of the best dance based films that Bollywood has ever witnessed, with stunning visuals that look splendid in 3D. The film also mirrors the immense growth and the transformation of Remo D'souza from being a choreographer to a fine director. While the film makes for a wholesome entertainer, it is the second half of the film that qualifies to be better than the first, especially the last 20 minutes of the film, which look spectacular on the big screen. While Remo stays true to the film, he could have taken cinematic liberties especially in the culmination of the movie, which he avoids.
As far as the performances are concerned, the film undoubtedly belongs to the lead pair of Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. Varun is so sincere and dedicated in his work that it reflects in his performance. What really works in the favour of the film is the fresh pairing of Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. This film acts as a perfect platform for Varun to exhibit his dancing skills. His chemistry with Shraddha is simply 'picture-perfect'. The same applies to Shraddha as well who delivers a beautiful performance in this film. She also impresses immensely with her brilliant dancing skills. Prabhu Dheva, on the other hand, delivers what is expected of him. He does surprise the viewers in a handful of situations, but, overall, he delivers a power-packed performance. Of the other actors, Dharmesh Yelande, Lauren Gottlieb, Raghav Juyal shine in the supporting cast. Pooja Batra, Kapil Sharma and Navjot Singh Sidhu do their bit in their respective cameos.
The music of the film (Sachin-Jigar), impress with a couple of hum-worthy songs like 'Bezuban phir se' and 'Sun Saathiya', but sadly the impact of the music fizzles out the very moment the movie ends. As the film is totally based on dance, Remo D'souza's choreography is simply outstanding.
While the film has extremely amazing production value and production designs, one really reserves the special points to the choreographer of lights, who does a stunning job in this film. The cinematography by Vijay Arora is top class, especially in the Grand Canyon sequences and Las Vegas dance sequences. The 3D technology only adds glitter to the film. While the film's editing (Manan Sagar) is good, there are scenes, which, if edited out, could have added to the novelty value of the film. Also, the real reason why the 'Mumbai Stunners' copy the dance steps from a foreign band is not explained. The film's dialogues (Mayur Puri) are good, if not exceptional. Amidst all the highly production values, the culmination of the movie fails to leave a smile on the face of the audience when it ends.
On the whole, ABCD - ANY BODY CAN DANCE 2 makes for a good viewing and this film will surely find its way to its target audience - the youth, as the film has the right mix of content and visuals in it.