Films | ABCD (Anybody Can Dance) – Movie Review

ABCD (Anybody Can Dance) – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on February 8, 2013 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Siddharth Roy Kapur, Ronnie Screwvala
DIRECTOR – Remo D’Souza
WRITER – Tushar Hiranandani (Screenplay), Amit Aryan & Mayur Puri (Dialogues)
CAST – Kay Kay Menon, Prabhu Dheva, Salman Yusuf Khan, Lauren Gottlieb, Prince Gupta, Dharmesh Yelande, Mayuresh Wadkar, Vrushali Chavan, Ganesh Acharya,
MUSIC – Sachin-Jigar

On first glance it seems like a desi version of the Step Up and Street Dance films. But as ABCD draws you in, you realise it is a world of its own; a world that borrows from the same source the Hollywood films take from – the consuming passion of dance.
ABCD or Anybody Can Dance is a simple story of underdogs, passion, ambition and honesty. Vishnu (Prabhu Deva) works as the dance teacher at his friend Jahangir’s premiere dance academy but the latter’s arrogance forces him to leave and chart his own way. His path goes through Gopi’s (Ganesh Acharya) slum and its wayward youth, full of potential but without means. Vishnu sets up a rag-tag bunch of students and teaches them what he knows best – to dance ‘dil se’.

A film about finding your passion and living it must have antagonists and so this one does too. On the surface it is the powerful Jahangir and his uber-chic troupe and between the layers socio-economic pressures, family opposition and personal rivalries. But through it all the troupe, under the able tutelage of the stoic Vishnu Sir, learns to carve a niche for themselves, all culminating in the ‘Dance Dil Se’ competition.

A film that encourages following the heart is made with a lot of it and that makes it an endearing watch. Remo D’Souza, whose Hindi debut F.A.L.T.U, although tacky and naive, captured the angst of the youth and their abundant energy with a confidence tackles ABCD with a similar sleight of hand. Remo manages to get believable performances from his lead cast comprising of contestants from Dance India Dance and also So You Think You Can Dance. The film is packed with explosive energy in its many and very well-choreographed dance sequences that aren’t as imaginative and musically brilliant as they are stunning in their control and power.

This inflammable energy and ecstatic dances may have come to a naught had the lead anchored in Vishnu lowered the bar. But Prabhu Deva as the guiding light guru holds his own despite an awkward Hindi dialogue delivery and comfortably settles in at the centre of the film. Yet, he never hogs the limelight nor is the commanding force. Remo let’s his young cast do that with powerful and heart-stopping dance sequences and itsy-bitsy but engaging character turns. Ganesh Acharya as Vishnu’s loyal friend turns out as a surprisingly talented actor with his carefree demeanour and near perfect comic timing. Kay Kay Menon, no stranger to hamming, hams up the hubris-filled Jahangir but there is a certain control and shades to his so-called ‘villain’ which is not left as a one-shade character by the time the film ends.

The film is a hearty celebration of all the vibrancy of dance. It is not deified as an art form but as a language of expression, one that connects everyone. The title says so succinctly too and so does the climax. The film and its setting are fraught with the baggage of low production values but there is a highly infectious rush of excitement that communicates through the screen. And then there is Prabhu Deva, the best dancer in the country taking centre stage. It is a treat for dance lovers, fans and even regular viewers who are sure to want to throw up their popcorn to keep time with the dance beats.

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