Cast: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Nora Fatehi
Director: Remo D’Souza
One major difference between recent Hollywood dance template films and their Bollywood counterpart is how they tackle dance as a theme. While the Hollywood films build a theme around dance and add a touch of rebellion to it, the Hindi films, on the other hand, focus on formations and fit them into a very basic story.
It’s true that there’s hardly anybody better than Remo D’Souza to do justice to such concepts in Bollywood, but he never dares to go beyond the obvious the way Step Up did, or prior to that films such as Dirty Dancing and Footloose did. In simpler words, extravagant dance sequences remain the highlight of his films, which could have been much more than just another dance movie.
Ironically, Prabhudeva keeps saying in Remo films, “We dance to express, not impress.” The film doesn’t seem to follow its own ‘mantra.’ And it’s been three dance movies in his filmography, so it might be assumed that his priority is creating a spectacle rather than using dance as a tool to tighten the narrative, a hallmark of better dance movies.
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Street Dancer 3D has Sehej Singh (Varun Dhawan) and Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor), two London youth with the Indian and Pakistani lineages. Circumstances bring them to a face-off at a major dance competition with a lot of money at stake, but it’s much more than just a dance battle for them.
The usual buddy choreographers like Punit Pathak, Dharmesh Yelande, Salman Yusuff Khan and Raghav Juyal have also been cast in expected roles with occasional dialogues but they don’t exactly bring the same energy like ABCD’s ‘Bezubaan’ or ABCD2’s ‘Bezubaan Phir Se’. They look comfortable in the identifiable space and that dampens the spirit of an adrenaline-pumping dance battle.
On TV, Remo’s dance reality show excels over other similar shows because his themes treat dance as a medium in which imaginative choreography becomes important and not the people performing it. However, Street Dancer 3D puts its stars in the foreground and their capabilities as dancers in the background but it’s not something that can be easily hidden.
Then there’s a pretension of appearing a socially concerned film too. There’s probably no middle ground. You either make a socially relevant film or you don’t. Half-hearted attempts are likely to divert the audience’s attention.
The track involving Aparshakti Khurrana doesn’t serve any purpose other than adding some totally out of sync cutaways during crucial scenes. That also prolonged the wait before arriving at the final dance battle, which manages to hold interest. Not because of its importance in the story but because of the formations used in it.
Here's one special mention though. Nora Fatehi, what a great dancer she is!
On second thoughts, some of the sequences could have become much more engaging if there was a sense of urgency in the performances. The viewers can easily spot the loose ends in the script but they could have been overlooked if there were more pressing issues in front of Dhawan, Kapoor and their team, at least acting wise.
At 150-minutes, Street Dancer 3d is stretched and lacks the true soul of a dance film.
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