Movie Review: ABCD – Any Body Can Dance (2013)
Jehangir Khan (Kay Kay Menon) runs the high-falutin Jehangir Dance Company, which is famous for winning every dance competition by hook or crook. When Jehangir brings in a ‘firang’ choreographer to train his students, his best friend and the dance guru Vishnu (Prabhu Deva) quits in disgust following a tiff with Jehangir.
Staying with old friend Gopi (Ganesh Acharya) in a Dongri slum, Vishnu decides to go back to his native place Chennai when he comes across two gangs of youths, headed by Rocky (Salman Yusuff Khan) and D (Dharmesh Yelande) in the locality, who seem at loggerheads with each other all the time, but are great when it comes to dancing. Deciding to create his own dance troupe, Vishnu takes the two groups under his wing and decides to take on Jehangir and win the ‘Dance Dil Se’ competition.
Bollywood doesn’t have the tradition of making out-and-out dance-based movies, like Hollywood does with amazing regularity. At a point of time, B. Subhash did attempt a film or two starring Mithun Chakraborty [DISCO DANCER, DANCE DANCE]. Also NACHE MAYURI, featuring Sudha Chandran. But ABCD – ANY BODY CAN DANCE is the first of its kind that’s set against the backdrop of a dance competition. Does it ring a bell? Does it borrow from the STEP UP series? Perhaps, Remo may be motivated by the Hollywood film franchise, but he Indianizes it well enough, garnishing it with emotions that we can identify with and of course, choosing some of the best dancers for pivotal parts, besides casting Prabhu Dheva and Ganesh Acharya. Plus, this one’s in 3D.
ABCD – ANY BODY CAN DANCE’s biggest strength lies in the variety of dances that Remo presents to the spectators. Where the film falters is in its skeletal plotline, although writer Tushar Hiranandani comes up with several knockout sequences. But there’s no denying that the screenwriting deviates into the conventional and foreseeable zone in the second hour. The curse of the second half [most films run out of steam in the post-interval portions] looms large here too, as Remo resorts to clichés to carry the story forward. Besides, the film is stretched by at least 15/20 minutes. Thankfully, the narrative gathers steam once again towards the closing portions and the dance competition in the finale is simply breathtaking.