2 years after his first 3D dance flick, choreographer- director Remo Dsouza returns with his sequel, ABCD 2, this time going in for the big stars, Varun Dhawan & Shraddha Kapoor, with part of his original team as supporting cast. Can this be his and Varun’s first 100 crore flick?
Based on the true life story of a Mumbai based dance group, who also feature prominently in the film, the movie starts with the finale of a dance reality show, where the group, Mumbai Stunners is disqualified for lifting their entire sequence from a Fillipino group. Termed as cheaters, the group splits and the remaining members of Suresh (Varun Dhawan), Vinnie (Shraddha Kapoor), Vernon (Sushant Pujari), Raghu (Raghav) who want to redeem themselves by winning an international hip hop contest in Las Vegas, all in a manner of 3 months.
What follows is an audition round in Bangalore, before which they find a drunk teacher, Vishnu (Prabhudheva), audition new members, D (Dharmesh), Vinod (Punit) and get ready. Post Bangalore, they are off to Vegas. Did you have any doubts they wouldn’t?
In Vegas, Vishnu comes across as nursing a secret plan, whilst Vinnie injures herself only to be aptly replaced momentarily by and Indian origin dancer Olive (Lauren). With a few minor hiccups, where the group gets behind each other, fight with the reigning champions and sorting all issues, the group performs in the finals.
The first half of this film is a breeze. I guess thats where a lot of the story was dedicated to individual dances with the intro of the group, Prabdhudheva, D & Punit. Imagine, in the first 20 odd minutes you have 4 songs already. But it only adds to the film. It is the second half of this 155 minute feature, which stretches, unnecessarily and more so, in a completely uninspired fashion.
Just like in ABCD, the set pieces got grander and involved you more as an audience member, with the crescendo being the finale. Unfortunately, here this is exactly where Remo fails. The dance numbers’ uniqueness is restricted to the foreign bands performances, with the exception of the Chaplin sequence. But post that, the dance moves of the Indian team, remains as inspired as Shahrukh Khan’s Team India from Happy New Year. Also, the songs don’t connect at all, so you know that there will be a Ganesh inspired sequence, which was good in terms of dance but doesn’t rouse you like the earlier one did. And the fake patriotism inspired, Vande Mataram finale was a let down according to me. So by the end, you just want it to be over and done with.
What Remo does well is that he uses Varun’s histrionics as a solo item, to take care of the acting deficit in the team. But when it comes to the dance performances, he lets the professionals take over and they do a fantastic job. It is a treat to watch Raghav, Punit, D, Suresh set the stage on fire and the sultry Lauren, literally burning it up in the Chaplin item. Shraddha does an excellent job to keep up but shines only in the pre interval portions. Somehow it felt, the writing team didn’t know what to do with her in the second half, since she is the fictional person in this real life inspired group.
The music is a let down majorly, besides the 2 remakes from the original and 1 more song. Whilst the Nach Meri Jaan sequence in Vegas will get your feet tapping, Shraddha’s Sun Saathiya will leave you mesmerized. Behzubaan is sure to get you goose bumps yet again.
The movie takes a lot of cinematic liberties. The basic premise of the film, which deals with the group being cheats, is left unanswered because the protagonists keep denying it. But no clarification given. Likewise, Punit’s character’s 80 inspired sidetrack also makes no sense. If it was the build up to the final act, then it was completely not required. Prabhudheva’s side story is also poorly handled. Also, unlike the original, this one lacks a strong emotional undercurrent, which binds the team and makes the audience root for them.
What gets you in groove is the earnestness with which the entire team performs….and how.
If they can get a 6 year old to groove in the cinema for a 2230 show, then ANYBODY CAN DANCE. Inspite of it’s glitches and length, do see the film. Unfortunately, seems like Varun will have to again wait for his first 100crore film.
RATING: 2.5 / 5
By: Yusuf Poonawala