Cast: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhudheva, Lauren Gottlieb
Direction: Remo D’Souza
‘ABCD 2’ is definitely bigger, but is it better than its prequel?
Yes, it is a dance film but unlike in a dance reality show or a dance DVD, in a film we need the semblance of a plot. We cannot move from one of piece of choreography to the other with an incongruous narrative. Except the dance sequences, every other element in this film seems like an afterthought.
‘ABCD’ might have been made on a tighter budget and with nondescript actors but there was a clear plot trajectory holding the motley group together. ‘ABCD 2’ has roped in two bankable stars – Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor but it just fails to capitalize on their USP.
The run-time of the film may not give us enough opportunity to finish counting the cuts on Varun’s well-sculpted abs but with the exception of that, there’s nothing about his presence that adds to the film. Any one of the young choreographers could have essayed Varun’s part and it wouldn’t have made an iota of difference. Why didn’t we make better use of his impeccable comic timing?
Shraddha again is completely superfluous to the story. We obviously have the lead stars to bolster the narrative with some Bollywood-style romance but again, the love angle kicks in too late. There’s just no zing to this love story – they predictably fall in love – no muss, no fuss.
Lauren Gottlieb is the only member of the cast who seemed like she had a blast of a time pelvic-thrusting and hip-hopping to her heart’s content. And Prabhudheva too is a pleasure to watch - with his accented Hindi, smattering of Tamil dialogues and his groovy moves. But why saddle his part with an emotional crutch?
Between judging dance reality shows and directing a film on a subject close to his heart, our director Remo D’Souza seems to have completely lost his way. There are too many ideas that are just not executed right. It doesn’t help that he is completely let down by the music department, except the final number, none of the songs from the film stay with you.
The reason I like a film like ‘Happy New Year’ by Farah Khan, who is also essentially a choreographer is because she manages to entertain you. We might only be interested in the dances but in the interim you are entertained by over-the-top, absurd, inane humour and melodrama. And even though you are well aware of the irrationality of her plot, you just play along with her for the duration of the film.
Remo provides no such reprieve. And it doesn’t help that this underdog team’s international dance competition aspirations are very similar to those of Indiawaale’s (from ‘Happy New Year). This feels like a very meek attempt at replicating the same success.
I understand hip-hop might be slightly more technical then just flowing with Bollywood dance but that’s just technicality. If a film isn’t capable of engaging you then what’s the point?
Watch it if dance is the only thing that makes you move.
You can also connect with me on Twitter.