Remo D’souza, better known for his Choreography in Bollywood films, goes a few steps further in his second venture as director. His first FALTU, was better recognised for it’s music and theme than it’s dance moves so obviously Remo wanted to try his hand at what he knows best- Dance. And ABCD is just that.
All about dance, ABCD – Any Body Can Dance is an unapologetic dance film that spreads it’s moves and music similar to that of ‘Step-Up Revolution.’ It’s inspired no doubt but not the same and we can be ever grateful to Remo for having constructed a desi-take that is imminently watchable and just as fulfilling.
ABCD is in 3D -not the entire film but the dance and music parts and the effects are quite stunning. As cinema this is obviously not exactly a work of art but as an entertainer with no aspirations to the former accolade and many for enthusing the youth to take up dance as a therapy for dysfunction, Remo’s film has it’s heart in the right place.
The story begins with Vishnu (Prabhu Deva) and Jahangir (Kay Kay Menon) collaboratively running a dance Institute titled JDR with their competitive dance troupe becoming title holders to the Dance Dil Se reality show competition on TV. They’ve been winners in the past too but this year despite a few mishaps in their routine and a near flawless performance by the opposing team they are still declared winners because of some sinister machinations by their boss Jahangir.
Vishnu is perturbed and questions him but Jahangir ridicules Vishnu’s abilities as a dance instructor and insults him further by appointing a foreigner as the teams new dance coach. Vsihnu leaves in a huff and holes up with his friend (Ganesh Acharya) in a slum colony where he sees some amazing stunts being pulled off by the youth from the area.
After the annual dance show-off during the Ganapati festival Vishnu is enthused enough to put aside his plans to go back to Chennai and instead coach these young guys and gals in the art of competitive dancing. It’s not an easy path for him but he manages to get them all under one roof and performing to potential with some help from the local political-goon Varda Bhai.
The story and screenplay by Remo D’souza himself, is predictable all right. The exposition is a little too long drawn and the set-up a little too long-winded but the interestingly choreographed dances and the peppy music keeps you going.
Once the half time is done the narrative picks up pace and the development brandishes a flurry of emotions that allow you to connect with the dancers and their individual plights. The empathy thus built-up lasts to the very end when the underdog team, despite a painful tragedy and some more sinister machinations from Jahangir, manage to stay on track and win the day.
As far as the dance choreography goes there’s not much variety or newness in the moves. The parkour techniques exhibited during the cop-chase sequence in the slums appears more like stunts Jackie Chan would have pulled off in his heyday. The rest of it has all been seen on Television and the numerous Hollywood flicks that focus on dance. Nevertheless it’s the light and sound representation that makes this film so much of a different experience. The visual ambience is perfect. Lighting is used liberally to enhance the look and presentation of the dance moves and highlight the colourful grandeur of the sets.
The climactic dance show down is done with a lot of native intelligence and showman ship and pays off big time. The finale song, in veneration of lord Ganesha and danced with a zest and fervour that would do him proud is simply the highlight of the film.
The actors are all quite competent despite this being their very first effort. Remo shows us that he has got the hang of directing and makes the ride quite entertaining and visually gratifying. Actor-Choreographer Prabhudeva and musical duo Sachin-Jigar have also made a strong contribution in making this an experience worth remembering!