After the first look and the trailer of ABCD – AnyBody Can Dance hit the screen, the question was: will the film live up to the expectations it set for itself? The answer is a resounding yes! ABCD is the perfect example of a film that leaves you awestruck, right from the word ‘go’. Although the pace does dip in places, especially in the first half, the overall experience is very enjoyable.
ABCD is definitely not the Hollywood blockbuster Step Up. It’s an experience, indeed! The story itself is simple. The writers smartly blend Prabhudheva’s dancing with the raw talent of the dance reality show, Dance India Dance performers.
The film follows Vishnu (Prabhudheva), widely regarded as India’s best dancer. For him, dance is more than a passion – it’s his raison d’etre. But he finds himself thrown out of JDC, a dance academy that he and his manipulative business partner Jahangir (Kay Kay Menon) had together established.
Heartbroken, Vishnu decides to give up dance and leave Mumbai forever. However, he meets a group of dancers at the annual Ganpati festival and mesmerised by the raw talent of these amazing dancers, Vishnu takes this unlikely group under his wing. He helps them overcome their personal rivalries and turns them into India’s best dance squad. Then, he enrolls them into the big daddy of dance competitions, Dance Dil Se.
There are a few glitches in the screenplay but since the flow is tight, you overlook them. Directorially, Remo D’Souza attempts something different and comes through with flying colours. He is in his elements, once again, and delivers a treat for everyone. Kudos to him for serving up something unique for the Hindi film audience. The dialogue is excellent in places but could have been better. Since the film is about young dancers, it offered the dialogue writer tremendous scope to come up with great one-liners but there are many missed opportunities.
With a runtime of 142 minutes, ABCD does tend to drag in the first half but, post-interval, the narrative picks up. The 3D-effects impress in bits and pieces. The rain dance sequence is beautifully captured and also the bit where Rocky (Salman Yusuff Khan) performs. D’Souza also captures the rivalry between Rocky and D (Dharmesh Yelande) impeccably. The rivalry between them and how Vishnu handles it is depicted nicely. Punit Pathak’s introductory dance sequence impresses as well.
It’s the dance sequences that captivate, especially, Prabhudheva’s performance and the climax dance scene. Music composers, Sachin and Jigar live up to expectations. A dance film must have the right kind of music and the duo delivers a perfect blend. Background score and cinematography deserve full marks. Many scenes are without dialogue and it’s the music that keeps the narration intact. Editing could have been better.
Performance-wise, Prabhudheva is extraordinary when it comes to dancing. He delivers a flawless performance, barring his awkwardness with the Hindi language. Kay Kay Menon brings out the flamboyance in his character perfectly. He invests just the right amount of arrogance in his part. Ganesh Acharya lends adequate support and does offer some funny moments.
All three actor-dancers Dharmesh Yelande, Salman Yusuff Khan and Punit Pathak look confident throughout the film and, except for a few scenes, it is impossible to tell that this is their maiden venture. All credit goes to the captain of the ship, Remo D’Souza. Lauren Gottlieb looks good and plays her part well. The rest of the dancers, from Prince Gupta, to Vrushali Chavan and Mayuresh Wadkar, play their parts with élan.
Verdict: The film has taken a flying start considering it features new faces and its chances at the ticket counter look promising. A plus film, indeed!