Disclaimer: Words like Speechless, Tongue-Tied, Astounding, Spellbinding, Stupendous, Gobsmacking, Amazing etc. may get repeated over and over again during the course of this review.
When Remo D'Souza debuted in Hindi film industry as a filmmaker everyone expected a dance film from choreographer but he surprised people with an Indian version of Accepted, F.A.L.T.U. However, the breathtaking finale dance act in the film was only but a trailer of the full-blown dance dhamaka that Remo had been conceiving.
In his second film he brought together 27 choreographers under one roof - Hype, he planned India's first ever complete dance film - More Hype, he announced the film to be in 3D - Anticipation and then he brought Prabhu Deva to do many a jigs - Frenzy! Remo's second offering ABCD - Any Body Can Dance is laden with reasons for one to watch the film. We still give you a review to reiterate those facts.
Vishnu walks out of the dance group he co-founded when his manipulative business partner Jehangir Khan (Kay Kay Menon) ropes in an international dance trainer and reduces him to a mere administrator. Straight to the shanty of his friend Gopi (Ganesh Acharya), the dejected dance teacher plans to quit on the city too and go back to his homeland Chennai. Just then he comes across two dance groups hailing from the local slum area that are power houses of raw talent. Finding a new meaning to life, Vishnu takes up the task to train them for the ultimate dance show Dance Dil Se.
For the kinds who are sticklers for great, innovative story, this isn't the film for you. First, it doesn't have a script that would make you stand up and clap but even the most popular Step Up series in Hollywood weren't quite lauded for their story line. Second, Remo digresses from the main plot more often than once and tries shoving in a lot of content through sub-plots. As a result, the transition between characters don't grow on your or leave an impact. Third, the story that you see in the trailers is pretty much what you get.
ABCD is an unapologetic dance film and it stands true to every sense of its claim. Remo D'Souza painstakingly infuses some never before dance sequences in the film and elevates the film viewing experience. His true innovations and expertise get showcased in the way he brilliantly captures the acts that leave you tongue-tied and gobsmacked! It's easy to say that no other filmmaker could do a better job than this in directing astounding portions of ABCD.
The filmmaker also shows an ear for good music with the album he extracts from composers Sachin-Jigar. The film has songs ranging from emotional to melodious, groovy to enjoyable that have been beautifully picturised. A special mention to the Ganesha remixed track that gets featured in the finale.
One of his biggest strengths comes in roping in Prabhu Deva to act. If you get past his funny sounding, South-Indian accent laden dialogues like 'Yay Bhi See Dhi (ABCD)," you will notice the astounding excellence of the dancer. You can watch the film over and over again for a ten-minuter stupendous solo dance act of the choreographer. Even on the acting front Prabhu Deva only impresses.
A major annoying factor in the film comes in the name of Ganesh Acharya. The choreographer sets loose all his pent up acting dreams and tries doing everything in one film itself. Right from a drunken act to comedy to emotional, Ganesh tries his hands at everything and only hams or over-acts in all of them much to the annoyance of the audience. Kay Kay Menon acts well and probably is the best of the lot but well, one can expect that much from him. The rest of the cast dances better than acts.
All in all, ABCD - Any Body Can Dance is India's answer to Step Up series! Watch it for the unadulterated passion for dance and the spellbinding dance act of Prabhu Deva!