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Dancing away to glory

Dancing away to glory
A fter all the times you have desperately wanted to dance after watching Step Up, here’s perhaps the start to the Indian edition of our very own Step Up series. We aren’t sure whether this can or cannot become a franchise, but in a first of its kinds attempt — Any body Can Dance (ABCD) is quite entertaining.

Vishnu (Prabhu Deva) is the choreographer of a dance company owned by Jahangir (Kay Kay Menon). While Vishnu says that he doesn’t understand anything but dance, Jahangir is all about TRPs, packaging and the external glitz that accompanies big fancy dance companies. When their team wins a much coveted dance competition simply by tactical pressure from Jahangir, Vishnu finds it grossly unfair.

When he gets replaced by an international choreographer and gets pushed to a managerial job — he calls it quits. Left with no home, no work and nothing to look forward to, Vishnu is pretty much set to pack his bags and head back to Chennai. Then as fate would have it, Bollywood style of course, he chances upon a bunch of dancers who know how to bust a mean move or two but have no sense of a thing else. And Vishnu has a project on his hands.

Admitted that dancers and choreographers are not big on acting skills, admitted that at times the plot seems contrived and almost dragged to a spot on stage for the sake of drama, ABCD will still have you rooting for the team that comes together amidst gang rivalries, drug addictions, petty ambitions and the usual plagues that irk dance movies till unsurmountable odds are overcome and a killer last sequence is allowed to steal the show.

Yes, we aren’t superbly excited because we have seen all of this before, and quite a few times. From the streets to ballet studios, we know the routines and we know the strifes. But ABCD scores with a very simple formula. The feeling of something we identify with — as they do for their grand finale, to dance like India does. When the team scorches the stage in their last stunning performance, D’Souza has hit the mark.

We don’t know whether anybody can dance or not — but these guys surely can. Every sequence has brilliant choreography, great music and glides in with some classic ease that makes the audience want to get up and start moving.

Prabhu Deva, despite his lack of comfort with Hindi, moonwalks through his role and Kay Kay Menon in his rather metrosexual avatar makes you want to pretty much land a smack on his smug face. The ring masters are rather well chosen. We are still wondering though what Ganesh Acharya is doing there. D (Dharmesh Yelande), Rocky (Salman Yusuff Khan) and Ria (Lauren Gottlieb) stand out as dancers.

While the plot does not revolve around one lead dancer as is the case in Step Up, the focus is on the team and their chemistry with their dance teacher. We are forced to compare the movie repeatedly with the likes in Hollywood since the idea comes from there, but by itself ABCD is a fun watch, we really wish the story could catch up though!

We aren’t blown away with anything but the dance. And for that we give it three stars.
Jhinuk Sen

Jhinuk Sen

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