How you respond to ABCD 2 will probably depend on how much you follow dance-reality shows on television, how much you like hip hop moves, and, most important, if you’re still at an age where you squeal when people you like show up on screen. At the theatre, I found myself vaguely… not bored. But then, I don’t watch much reality television. And I certainly don’t care for dance moves that look like C-3PO is having a meltdown. Luckily, the film, in 3D, is quite a spectacle. It uses colour and light the way other films use story and dialogue. Good choice. If they’d stuck to story and dialogue, we’d have laughed it off the screen.
It’s not the clichés. A bunch of bright-eyed kids (among them, Shraddha Kapoor and Varun Dhawan, with abs up to his chin). A reluctant teacher (Prabhu Dheva). A competition (hip-hop dance, at Las Vegas). Plus, some scenes of the team coming together, an inspirational speech when the chips are down, personal problems to be overcome, and a love triangle. It’s what this sort of thing is. Complaining about these clichés is like finding fault with a car for having four wheels and a roof. But some cars transcend the basic design – that never happens here.
For a while, I wondered why the drama was so severely undercooked. The kids are accused of copying dance moves, but we never get a satisfactory explanation. They enter a qualifying event in Bangalore, and we don’t get the nail-biting moment where the judges keep us hanging about the winners. The performance happens. The audience responds positively. Cut to next scene. But it’s a good thing the director, Remo D’Souza, keeps cutting away to scenes of dancing. Otherwise, we may have had to endure more laughable subplots like the one involving Prabhu Dheva. He seems to be auditioning for a part in a spin-off titled Any Body Cannot Emote.
- C-3PO = see here
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