Street Dancer 3D — Nothing really stands out

Direction: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhu Deva, Nora Fatehi, Dharmesh Yelande, Punit Pathak, Salman Yusuff Khan, Raghav Juyal, Sushant Pujari
Rating: 2.5/5

Street Dancer (definitely not a very innovative name for a Indian dance group in London) is led by Varun Dhawan whose quest is to fulfill his elder brother’s (Punit Pathak – the constant victim in all the ABCD films) dream of winning a coveted dance battle title for their group. On the other hand is Rule Breakers, a group of Pakistani origin dancers led by Shraddha Kapoor who challenge the street dancers on frequent occasions as the film starts.

Street Dancer 3D, lacks those pulsating dances ABCD had us fall for. Although the number of dances and dancers rise in this franchise, it does not quite match up to the expectations of the audience. With a very predictive plot and a weak narrative the film progresses steadily, but towards the end it goes overboard and loses the touch of realism. Director Remo D’Souza tries introducing a sense of purpose in a film which was touted to be the greatest dance film India has ever seen, but the plan backfires. Bringing in the situation of illegal immigrants suffering from poverty and hunger in the film appears to be rather annoyingly forceful.

With professional dancers dominating the cast, it is a shame how the lead actors (Varun and Shraddha) manage to disappoint with their acting in the film. The redundant India-Pakistan jokes, fights, and eminent reconciliations only drags along the screen time. Being an amazing dancer, Remo D’souza tries his best to bring in contemporary, slow-mo, locking to popping, among many other highly appreciated dance forms/moves on the big screen to mesmerize his audience but fails to charm us this time.

The only time the film really manages to make you feel alive is when the living dance legend Prabhudeva breaks into an impromptu dance on one of his best songs from the ‘90s – Muqabla. The music of the film has been cleverly done by utilizing older songs like Lagdi Lahore Di, Bezubaan and Mile Sur Mera Tumhara which makes you hum along and develop a momentary excitement. Most of the otherwise excellent dance moves which might have swept us off our feet if not for the internet had been already witnessed by the World of Dance 2019 winners The Kings (an Indian dance group from Mumbai).

None of the other dance numbers stay with you other than the recycled Muqabla, and a bit of Nora Fatehi’s Garmi. One highly appreciated job by the director is adding Nora to the film in a role which goes beyond a random item number, and actually puts to use her dancing skill in the story in the form of a catalyst character. However, other brilliant dancers like Punit Pathak and Dharmesh Yelande were not utilized well.

The reason for the success of ABCD was the genuine thrill and jaw dropping dance numbers we got to witness in an Indian film for the first time. With a blend of emotions, a good story-line the film won hearts of every viewer. But D’Souza perhaps wanted to challenge his own fine work and decided to bring on board Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor in the following franchises which eventually did not work out.

If you love to dance or admire extraordinary dance performances, you may visit the theatre to watch Street Dancers 3D, otherwise you can let it pass. You really won’t miss much on life.

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