The reason ABCD caught us all off guard and became such a big sleeper hit was because of the novelty factor. There had been dance films in Bollywood before ABCD but none of those films showcased dancing in the same way that ABCD did because Remo D’Souza assembled the dance avengers of India and made sure the dancing in ABCD was of international quality. Now, he’s back with a sequel 2 years after the original and has stars like Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor to brighten the opening prospects of ABCD 2. But does the sequel up the ante when it comes to the original? Or does it disappoint?
Story: ABCD 2 is about a Mumbai based dancing group called Mumbai Stunners which eventually becomes Indian Stunners. The film is about how they win World Stars Hip Hop Championship in Las Vegas after a series of ups and downs. Under the tutelage of Suresh (Varun) they participate in an Indian reality show but are booted out after it is discovered that their whole act was copied from a Philipino group. Most of the members leave the group to avoid the harassment. To redeem themselves, Suresh with the help of his friends Vinnie (Shraddha) and a few others decide to participate in the World Stars Hip Hop Championship. They conduct auditions all over the country to bolster their lineup and even take the guidance of Vishnu Sir (Prabhu Deva). When they eventually end up reaching Las Vegas, they are made to face racist taunts but unsurprisingly they overcome it all by winning the biggest dance championship.
First things first, ABCD 2 is much grander in scale than the original and it is has been shot brilliantly by the cinematographer with perfectly conceived dance sequences. Remo gets the mix of dance and comedy right once again by keeping the flavour light, right throughout, but never hesitating in making the dramatic portions come to the fore. Some portions of the script, like Suresh’s backstory with his mother and Vishnu Sir’s story with his wife could have been better conceived but they can be forgiven as the viewer has a jolly entertaining time throughout the duration of ABCD 2. If you are not big on dance, the dance sequences can get a little jarring for you. Also the patriotism angle introduced towards the climax of the film, seems forced even though we get the stellar Vande Mataram dance sequence emanating from that. At the end of the day, what matters is that Remo catches your attention from the start of the film and holds on to it.
As mentioned before, the cinematography of ABCD 2 is eye catching with Vijay Arora managing to capture the shanty Nallasopara in Mumbai and the high rises of glitzy Las Vegas with equal élan. The 3D effects are also pretty good even if they are not the most revolutionary. The editing should have been done with a bit more care as the film stretches on for far too long.
The music of ABCD 2 is above average with the majority of songs making a mark not only because of the tunes and lyrics but also because of the picturization. The songs that caught our attention were Bezubaan Phir Se, Sun Saathiya, Vande Mataram and Chunar. Music composer duo Sachin Jigar have done a close to stellar job with the soundtrack and so has Mayur Puri with the lyrics.
Acting: Varun Dhawan steps in the franchise game with this sequel and shows his class as a dancer from the get go. He is a phenomenal performer and this film gives him the scope to showcase his dancing talent. His emoting is also on tune. Shraddha Kapoor shows us her dancing skills for the first time with ABCD 2 and her effort shows. She has worked very hard in making her dance look perfect and deserves plaudits. Prabhu Deva shows everyone that he’s lost none of his dancing zing in these two decades even though his dialogue delivery and expressions leave a lot to be desired. Lauren is a competent addition to the cast. Other dancers like Dharmesh, Puneet, Raghav are stellar as far as dancing is concerned and the group’s acting skills also seem to have improved.
Conclusion: ABCD 2 is a film for the dance afficianado and also for the general audience, if you can enjoy perfectly conceived and amazingly performed dance sequences. It is universal in its appeal and is a thoroughly entertaining sequel. Yes, it is bogged down by some shady dialogues, unnecessary backstories and average acting from the non-lead actors but it is a novel film which aims to promote dance in India. The 3D effects are a cool add-on to the whole package and kids will enjoy it more than their parents. This monsoon, drench yourself in some flavourful Indian popping and locking with ABCD 2.
- The dance sequences are a dream
- Varun Dhawan and Shraddha are perfect in their roles
- The scale of ABCD 2 is much bigger than the original
- ABCD 2 looks stylish and has some gorgeous frames
- The music is very good and many songs strike a chord with the viewer
- Thoroughly entertaining film with universal appeal
- Unnecessary addition of backstories to the lead characters
- The faux pax patriotism in the climax won’t sit well with many
- The dialogues are a little kitschy
- The acting by the secondary characters is below par