Limber thrusts and a mediocre story is the best summation of ABCD2’s after-feeling. The film’s title that is the acronym for Anybody Can Dance uses the chronicled template of the Step Up franchise, remaining close to the guidelines jotted in their holy rule-book.
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As the staple goes, a bunch of apparent losers, ridiculed for cheating, take up the challenge of competing in the world hip-hop championship and walk us through their patriotism soaked journey of redemption. No kidding, at some point during the film’s climax, we almost cheered – Chak De India! As eerie as it sounds, ABCD 2 seems like a dance-tribute to Shah Rukh Khan’s hockey saga, and it lamentably does a hopelessly shoddy job at it.
Going chronologically, the film begins on a Shimit Amin note, nosedives headlong into the Step Up theme, pulls off a Dil Toh Pagal Hai mid-way and ends with a dance-piece that is the film’s best shot at absolution.
What is infuriating, is that it wastes 154 minutes of your life in serving a rather insipid concoction of gorgeously orchestrated dances, an unexplored romance and oodles of unnecessary melodrama. Taking the conventional and rather convenient route out, the film is the story of Suresh (Varun Dhawan) who is accused of plagiarizing a dance item,
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blemishing his Padmashri-winning dancer-mother’s name (who you must note, died with her ghungroos on – a line that harps on her devotion towards dance). Ridicule follows in the most hilarious forms possible. People deny paying for pizzas just because their delivery boy was the part of a dance group that ‘cheated’ on a dance show.
We will prefer to spare you the lamer details. Suddenly, a dance wizard – Vishnu Sir (with ulterior motives)- enters their lives and their world changes for better. Things fall in place with buttery smoothness. A group of dancers who earn their living doing menial jobs land the money to buy a ticket to Vegas and what follows is predictably mawkish. Filmmaker Remo D’Souza attempts to bring a sense of authenticity to the movie, but it is restricted to the choreography department.
The story’s inadequacies become evident with every passing frame, as the screen comes to life only with dance. For a film centered around that theme it isn’t such a bad thing but cinematically speaking, ABCD2 doesn’t further what its predecessor had already set in terms of story.
With all the shabby writing involved, the long stretched monologues, the unintentionally laughable dialogues (guffaw for all you like), the film could’ve been a distressing bore if not for its beautifully mounted moves! It is pretty unpardonable that a sequel fails to add nuances to the story’s vein or push the envelope for its franchise.It is worse if a Prabhudheva is wasted in a warped, almost contrived plot or a dancer of Lauren’s caliber has so little to do.
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The film’s insubstantial script is backed by actors who’ve toiled to match up to the gusto of professional dancers, but the writing eventually remains far too synthetic to be memorable. The average music and the rampant editing doesn’t serve the film’s case either.
But if you ignore a high-on-prozac Shraddha Kapoor who has managed to evoke a ‘Control Vinnie (her screen name)’ from an otherwise serene and meek Prabhudheva, the film has in store for you an earnest Varun Dhawan, production value notches above its last installment, 3D put to good use, perfectly pitched dances and a climax that despite being a sordid clap trap will make audiences fall for it.