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PAPPU CANT DANCE SAALA - Movie Review : A simple, sweet film with one admirable performance. (Review By Bobby Sing)
16 Dec, 2011 | Movie Reviews / 2011 Releases

To be honest, this film is not going to earn much and also may not impress a major proportion of audience who love watching the usual masala movies. Despite of the fact it still remains a simple, sweet, truthful movie which mainly becomes watchable due to its worth praising performances and some fabulous well written sequences post intermission.

Talking about a small town man, Vinay Pathak, trying to adjust in the fast city life of Mumbai, the story basically revolves around his sudden relationship with his new neighbor Neha Dhupia, who is a ‘bindaas girl’ working and trying to make a name in the glamour industry. In its first half the director Saurabh Shukla strictly follows the guidelines inspired from the simple yet effective works of Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee. Hence the first hour of the film just has some light moments of the conflict between the two characters coming from different background which fairly keeps you entertained in bits and parts, with a pleasant surprising act from Neha.
But it’s the second half of the movie, which has some well-written, meaningful sequences making a noticeable impact on the viewer through its straight forward and bold execution. The first one comes in the form of the scene where the director, his actors and his writers very effectively explain the problem of ‘those few difficult days of the month’ coming in the life of every young girl, pretty clearly and boldly. In fact probably it’s the first time in Indian Cinema that any such sequence has been shot with very noble intentions, capable of spreading awareness among the youngsters too. And how it worked, was proved right in front of my eyes in the theater, through a group of few girls and boys who were just sitting behind my seat. Now as Vinay Pathak was explaining the pain of those few days on the screen in very clear words, the boys started laughing. Tolerating it for only few seconds, a girl couldn’t resist, she stood up and loudly questioned, “What’s so funny in this? Please tell me.” with anger on her face. And that very moment I realized that this is nothing but “Spreading Awareness through the medium of films”.
The second worth mentioning sequence is the one in which Neha’s father meets her after a long time but still doesn’t approve her way of earning money by being a dancer-actress wearing very revealing dresses. Now this very scene enlightens us that nothing has changed actually in all these decades. Yes, the media has hyped the profession hugely and there is lot of glamour & status too now associated with the Industry. But for girls, the profession was, the profession is and may be, will remain a dicey choice to accept for all the middle class families living in the small towns. And the fact is that this career option still is looked upon with many suspicious eyes and is not considered to be a decent one, even in the year 2011.
The third enjoyable merit of the film, is a five minutes cameo by Nasseruddin Shah playing Vinay’s father, who simply proves to be a veteran with only a few lines given to him as dialogues. And what he conveys in those few words is the ultimate truth of life changing its course both in the big cities as well as in the smaller towns.
Coming to the weak points of the film, it has got a few which if tackled properly, could have resulted in a bit more entertaining movie for sure. To start with, both the characters are living in a building of Sales Tax Officers, yet what kind of Vigilance Raids are happening there repeatedly is really confusing. Further, the subtle love story in the film never gets justified with its funny title “Pappu Can’t Dance Saala”. Evidently the name was kept to encash the over-popularity of the song with the same words from “Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na”. Apart from these, the narration of the film remains quite slow with many repetitive kind of scenes saying the same thing, which actually kills all the excitement build up by its electrifying start. And then its open end in the climax is also not able to leave a solid impact on the viewers coming out of the theater.
However, what makes PCDS a sweet one time watch is a surprising polished performance by Neha Dhupia, who enters the film with a plain-jane look without any kind of make-up quite boldly and then goes on to be a glamorous model later on. She performs equally well, playing both a Bad and Good girl as per the changes in her character throughout the movie and impresses a lot. In fact, I would like to say that after so many years in the Industry what actually makes a difference between Neha and the Big Names is only a four letter word called LUCK. Otherwise she is nothing short in talent from any of the famous leading ladies today. Famous as a Sex-Symbol due to some of her bold films, she is sure going to be taken in a more serious way by the Industry post PCDS.  Vinay Pathak is once again first rate as the honest small town guy, but he has done these kinds of roles so many times in the past that one really finds tough to praise it repeatedly. Rajat Kapoor is fine in his brief role and the rest of the supporting cast supports well too.
In all, due to its avoidable drawbacks including an average soundtrack, PAPPU CANT DANCE SAALA doesn’t come out to be an outstanding film. Yet it’s a simple and sweet one time watch, with a praise-worthy performance from Neha. So you can give it a try if you wish.
Ratings : 2.5 / 5 (Including 0.5 only for Neha’s commendable act.)

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16 Dec 2011 / Comment ( 2 )
chandan
I watched this movie based on your twiter feed, and yes I enjoyed it..the best scene was the pr*stitute and police wala sequence for me...
Bobby Sing

Good to hear that Chandan and thanks for your comment.
Cheers!

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