There’s something positively exhilarating about good music and great dance. Watching people move in perfectly flawless and sometimes artistically symmetrical form is inspiring. It makes you feel like putting the boombox on, tap a few steps yourself. That’s roughly how ABCD 2 affects its audience. It’s an infectious experience of stunning dance moves and thrilling music. It’s a feel good film, better still it makes you happy and it energises your senses.
Dance movies are choc-a-bloc full of dance. No brainer. They’re also, almost always, slightly frivolous in terms of the story. ABCD 2 is no exception. The focus is on performance arts alone. So the story does get a bit tepid. A dishonoured group of young dancers from Mumbai decide to participate in an international dance competition. The idea is to win in a foreign competition and get their honour back. Suresh (Varun Dhawan) is the bright young boy leading the charge. His girlfriend Vinnie (Shraddha Kapoor) is as beautiful as she’s talented. And then you have Prabhudheva reprising his role of Vishnu Sir, from the first film, and helping the group achieve their lofty target as well as sort out his personal life in the process. End of the day, it boils down to a straight laced dance competition where it’s India versus rest of the world, like it happened in Shah Rukh Khans Happy New Year. They should’ve just cut to the chase and concentrated more on the competition and shrunk the build up.
What the bare minimum story does achieve is that it lets the focus rest solely on the dance in the competition. And boy is the dance good. If you’ve seen the Step Up movies you’ll know what to expect from ABCD 2. If you havent just picture Hrithik Roshan, Madhuri Dixit, Prabhudheva, Jeetendra, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Priyanka Chopra all dancing together. The dancing is that good. Sachin-Jigars music is perfectly adequate and spunky. Full marks to director Remo D’Souza and his team of choreographers, dancers and actors. Their efforts give India, its second great dance movie. It’s a definite step up from ABCD. There’s so much dancing here, it’ll leave you huffing and puffing by the end.
The main reason, ABCD 2 makes you sit up and almost jump in your chair is the performances. Actors are dancing like pros and dancers are acting professionally. The stand out jig comes from Varun Dhawan. His near perfect physique and his natural flair for dancing add value to ABCD 2. He’s on top of the versatility game. There’s none of that deathly intensity from Badlapur. Instead he’s transformed into a bundle of energy. Like an all new hero, on top of his game. Shraddha Kapoor matches Varun step for step when it comes to dancing. You can see the effort, you can feel the commitment. This is another top notch performance from a star on a steep ascend. Prabhudheva is a legend on the subject and naturally his performance lives up to all expectations. The supporting cast made up of professional dancers like Lauren Gottlieb, Dharmesh, Punit and Raghav do more than a decent job with their acting.
3D films in Hindi cinema are a rarity. Movies focusing entirely on dance are just as niche. Put the two together and you have a solid proposition for a commercial entertainer. Great looking lead pair, dancing their socks off and the visuals are pretty neat too. ABCD 2 is a dance film that makes its viewer feel like dancing. Michael Jackson would approve!