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ABCD 2 - 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'. (Review By Bobby Sing)
19 Jun, 2015 | Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / A

ABCD 2

ABCD released in 2013 actually worked since it had all real performers from the TV dance reality show enjoying together in their debut film without any so called ‘Star’ in the cast other than their Gurus or teachers. Hence I was really doubtful that the inclusion of a ‘star couple’ might hamper the original raw spirit of the theme, sidelining all the genuine stars of its much appreciated 2013 hit. But luckily I was proved wrong, since the director Remo D’Souza doesn’t let that happen in his sequel using every known face of the reality show superbly and for that both Varun and Shradha deserve equal applause allowing them the bigger space without any personal ego or image hassles (defying the ages old tradition of the industry).
However before going into the more important ‘unseen’ merits of the film that I seriously wish to share with my readers, let me first give you a short review of ABCD 2 as a much bigger and lavish sequel eagerly awaited by many.
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 (despite having some brilliantly arranged instrumental dance beat tracks) 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. Here as per the market news, a few of its songs have already been declared hit as the ‘fresh in-thing’ being liked by many. But frankly for me the melody was simply missing that ought to be ‘a must’ for a ‘music-dance based film’ like ABCD 2.
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.
ABCD 2The 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. In fact its really a sight watching the whole theatre cheering them all in their individual entries so lovingly with claps, whistles and roars like some big stars.
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. So you cannot pull down the show just like another routine film releasing any Friday made without any specific vision.
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.
So in the present version, it might not be liked by all but the ones who love dancing or have a suppressed dancer’s soul caught in their given bodies are sure going to have a blast watching it in the theatre forgetting & forgiving all its above mentioned shortcomings.
Talking about the film’s ‘unseen merits’ stated in the beginning, I would like to support ABCD 2 and the series for some different reasons you might not find in any other write-up addressing the present ‘west-obsessed’ net-age generation given below:
1. As shown in the film, please don’t consider Youtube or the Internet as your virtual teachers when it comes to learning the various art-forms. These sources can only be considered as some useful information providers helping in your overall growth but a personal one-to-one coaching is what’s exactly required going to a learned GURU, if you are really serious in any of your newly found artistic urges.
Because if truth be told, then such virtual practices just teach you how to COPY and not how to LEARN & CREATE, as rightly shown in the film’s initial moments.
2. Learning from ABCD 2’s well-presented climax, one should always aim at performing to the best of his/her ability in any competition of life, instead of just focusing on winning with a mean attitude degrading the others around. These TV reality shows are wrongly teaching us the ‘Sole Aim of Winning’ quite foolishly, whereas in real life (most of the times) its not the winners of these shows but serious performers who actually manage to make a name for themselves in the industry through their own hard work and sincerity. (For instance, read about Arijit Singh, the current in-thing in Hindi film music and taste the reality.)
3. Its easy to work individually, but its extremely difficult to work as a team since it asks you to get rid of all your false egos, anger and attitude, making way for understanding the other working together. And saying this from my personal experience of performing as a part of professional Bhangra group for years, believe me - it is really something out of this world when you are just about to step on the stage after making a circle holding hands together, loudly shouting ‘Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akaal’ or ‘Ganpati Bappa Moreya’ as prominently shown in the film. Putting it honestly, if you haven’t experienced this yet then just try to do it by performing a specific task participating in a team, as the experience will teach you a lot, breaking the old, strong walls of your individual shell.
4. Lastly but most importantly, though ABCD 2 revolves around a western dance form (Hip-Hop) performed in a foreign country, it still thankfully doesn’t forget to showcase one of the oldest and unique Indian tradition of GURU-SHISHYA that is fast becoming extinct in this questionable net-age style of learning spreading widely. As a matter of fact, its quite heartwarming witnessing the rare gesture in the film, when Varun turns back before going on to the stage, only to touch the feet of his Guru asking for HIS BLESSINGS or Aashirwad for their important performance.
The scene truly represents our rich Indian culture, our heritage teaching us the important basics of life, fast getting ignored by the present generation unfortunately. No doubt, a very important and worth applauding insertion by director Remo, keeping the spiritual tradition alive in his new-age film.
Summing up, I would like to recommend ABCD 2 to all youngsters for the very reasons mentioned above and not willing to participate in the Indian Hypocrisy, wherein we loudly praise a well-made English film that has got just ‘Action & Action alone’ to showcase in its 2 hours performed brilliantly, but not ready to praise our own Hindi film that just focuses on ‘Dance and Dance alone’ in its 2.5 hours shot beautifully....
Strangely, we call the first one made as per a specific genre and target audience but forget the same rule when it comes to rate a similar attempt by our own filmmakers.... feeling the inferiority complex. So forgetting all the criticism, if you really love dancing and have a dancer’s soul waiting to be given a chance then do go for ABCD 2 in the theatres and just enjoy the show.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (With the additional 0.5 for keeping alive the rich Indian tradition of Guru-Shishya, teaching the young ones rightly)

Tags : ABCD 2 Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Indian dance based movies, Spectacular show by Remo
19 Jun 2015 / Comment ( 2 )
Dev Rawat

Nice review... ABCD 2 is the sequel of ABCD and also Varun Dhawan is in the main lead role... The movie is getting good response from audiences who going to watch this movie in the theatres... Must check -
ABCD 4 days and 5 days Box Office Collections.

Bobby Sing

Thanks a lot Dev Rawat for agreeing to the review.

Keep Visiting and Writing in,
Cheers!

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