A lot of anticipation and excitement is rippling through Bollywood ahead of the release of Remo D'Souza's Street Dancer 3D. Ahead of the film's release, let's take a look at the past and the journey of dance films in different films.
The most important question considering dance films is whether Street Dancer 3D has what it takes to stand out as a dance film. Even though dance films have been made numerous times throughout history, Step Up emerged as the beginning of a new era for dance films around the world. The film was a success not only for its portrayal of dance moves throughout the film but also its storyline.
Through Channing Tatum's character the film narrated the story of a boy who has nothing going for him in life and despite having a strong interest in dancing only gets involved in vandalism, fighting, and other dangerous situations. The dance theme in the film went on to show that any person from any background can achieve what they want if they truly invest their time and effort into an activity. The depiction of suffering and loss mixed with hard work appealed to the audiences.
The same formula worked well with Pitch Perfect which focused on the protagonist Beca played by Anna Kendrick. The film saw her character better understand and improve herself through an art form. Both Step Up and Pitch Perfect focused on the personal development of the characters with singing and dancing serving as a means.
The sequels of both these films, on the other hand, focused on people who are invested in the dance form beforehand and face difficulties in upcoming tournaments or in the competing teams they face. This, in turn, brought down the popularity of both franchises while still keeping them successful.
In case of India, a new standard was set by Remo D'Souza's film titled Anybody Can Dance. The film saw Prabhudheva's character attempt to help improve a group of backward children by training and engaging them in a dance competition. Not only did the film focus on helping the underprivileged through dance but it also showed them help Prabhudheva battle corruption and unfair means involved in dance competitions.
One of the film's strongest points was introducing fresh faces as actor-dancers rather than relying on popular faces of the Bollywood industry. In this way, the film solely relied on its entertainment value and dance forms to attract audiences.
This strong point was lost in the second installment titled ABCD 2 starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor. Not only did the film focus on popular faces from the industry but it also began focussing on the individual emotional needs of characters from well-off backgrounds. The film was a commercial success but was criticized for an amateur narrative.
The upcoming film Street Dancer 3D is barely any different from this concept. The primary focus of the film revealed in the trailer is the national rivalry between India and Pakistan. More than focussing on the journey of characters, the trailer attempts to deliver humor through the rivalry while presenting the idea that India is invincible.
The latter half of the trailer focuses on the suffering of backward classes but this too is barely addressed. The trailer's primary intention continues to be to prey on the sense of hypernationalism in audiences and competition through dance. While the film has the right ingredients to be a commercial success, it remains to be seen if the storyline enhances the core of the film, dance, or vice versa.
Street Dancer 3D starring Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhu Deva, and Aparshakti Khurana is slated to release on January 24.
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