2 August 2016 | bobbysing
The routine formula largely works with enough in store for the ones having a dancer's soul, also reminding us of the 'almost lost' Indian tradition of 'Guru Shishya'.
Beginning with the downers, ABCD 2 is completely based on a routine formula with no great storyline or script as such. There is a competition lost in the beginning and there is an international contest to be won in the finale as usual resulting in a stale plot. Plus despite having a real life Mumbai dance group as its basic inspiration, the film can still be easily called a clever mix of STEP UP series of the west, the last half an hour of Farah's HAPPY NEW YEAR and the basic plot of replacing an injured co-dancer taken from Yash Chopra's DIL TOH PAGAL HAI hinting towards a love triangle. There are too many illogical cinematic liberties taken by the writers in the film like no reason given for why they copied initially, no problems in the foreign travel by the entire young troupe, the boys easily finding a perfect replacement in an unknown foreign city, a huge difference in Prabhudeva's elegant staircase and the interior of his adjacent room and the undisclosed ailment of one of its key dancer finding no mention towards the end, clearly affecting the end-product.
Plus the biggest disappointment remains its weak soundtrack that though sounds fine while watching the film in the theater, but doesn't give you anything to go for a second listening later after the show is over. Moreover, along with the uninspiring writing, okay dialogues and a sudden end, it's the over-length of the film going into more than 150 minutes that honestly reduces the overall impact on the viewers and they somehow feel 'served less than the promises made' due to the very reason.
Having said that, the film's all clichéd formula still largely works reaching its young target audience since it has one thing in abundance and that too in the purest quality form, i.e. Dance, Stage Performances and their Amazing Moves. So one witnesses a loud applause whenever the youngsters get to see their favourite ones performing on the screen and mind you this doesn't include either Varun or Shradha expectedly. In fact Remo uses his three main underdogs quite intelligently at intervals and the move really works wonders when you get to hear shouts or whistles each time Dharmesh, Punit, Raghav or Lauren (post interval) enter the scene with a quick, smart build-up grooving to some inventive steps.
As ABCD 2 (Any Body Can Dance 2) is solely based on its plot of spellbinding dance performances, the film has an outstanding choreography that is sure going to be loved by the ones who are actually into this particular dance form of Hip-Hop and doing similar stage performances as a team (with an appreciative mention of the actual inspiration behind the theme, Suresh Mukund and Vernon Monteiro in the end credits playing it rightly). So even if you are not a dancer yourself but do enjoy the act of dancing naturally, the spirited dedication and the huge effort is sure going to make you feel the excitement, tapping your foot along with the musical beats, particularly in all its well-conceived stage sequences and the patriotically charged climax.
The film has a remarkable production value, eye catching set- designs, fabulous lighting and superb cinematography (watch out for the love songs) generating a stunning visual end-result, especially in the spectacular opening sequence, a Chaplin inspired performance in the mid and then the charged up finale devoted to Lord Ganesha (along with a tour of the neon-lights lit Las Vegas as an added attraction). Besides this time for a change the 3D technology really becomes a major plus giving you something to cheer for and not just added for the sake of it as usual.
Coming to the performances, this is one of those rare films that is collectively supported by the entire team and not just dependent upon a single person alone due to his or her star-status. Both Varun and Shraddha perform earnestly, displaying a great amount of homework done for their demanding roles and they do impress a lot particularly Varun Dhawan. Here I would specifically like to applaud the two bigger stars for not throwing any tantrums and letting every single person in the film perform freely (taking the center stage) without any ego issues. An example that truly puts these two new generation actors much ahead than their seniors who were known to cut their opponent's role in a film using their star-influence in the industry.
But having praised Varun-Shradha for their generous professional approach, the real heroes of the film still undoubtedly remain the famous performers of the dance reality show, namely Dharmesh, Punit, Raghav, Sushant and the gorgeous Lauren Gottlieb also doing well in the acting department. Prabhudeva continuing from the first part as Vishnu Sir surprises you with a well handled emotional act besides his repetitive yet (always) impressive dance moves. Also the cameos of Tisca Chopra, Kapil Sharma, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Pooja Batra and Ganesh Acharya do contribute a bit in their given scenes.
To give the entire team their deserving respect, a film like ABCD 2 is certainly not an easy one to make conceiving a differently engaging dance act for every individual artist, for every major event in the script progression, for all its love-songs and the pumped up finale involving hundreds of artists performing together in the same frame on the lavishly designed bright sets.
However if only Remo could have stressed more on the storytelling part, reducing the overall duration of the film giving less emphasis to its full length love songs having a better edit, ABCD 2 would have reached a much wider audience offering a non-stop music and dance festival moving ahead than its original hit.