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November 29, 2015 Sunday     


ABCD released in 2013 actually worked since it had all real performers from the TV dance reality show enjoying together in their debut film without any so called ‘Star’ in the cast other than their Gurus or teachers. Hence I was really doubtful that the inclusion of a ‘star couple’ might hamper the original raw spirit of the theme, sidelining all the genuine stars of its much appreciated 2013 hit. But luckily I was proved wrong, since the director Remo D’Souza doesn’t let that happen in his sequel using every known face of the reality show superbly and for that both Varun and Shradha deserve equal applause allowing them the bigger space without any personal ego or image hassles (defying the ages old tradition of the industry).
However before going into the more important ‘unseen’ merits of the film that I seriously wish to share with my readers, let me first give you a short review of ABCD 2 as a much bigger and lavish sequel eagerly awaited by many.
Beginning with the downers, ABCD 2 is completely based on a routine formula with no great storyline or script as such. There is a competition lost in the beginning and there is an international contest to be won in the finale as usual resulting in a stale plot. Plus despite having a real life Mumbai dance group as its basic inspiration, the film can still be easily called a clever mix of STEP UP series of the west, the last half an hour of Farah’s HAPPY NEW YEAR and the basic plot of replacing an injured co-dancer taken from Yash Chopra’s DIL TOH PAGAL HAI hinting towards a love triangle. There are too many illogical cinematic liberties taken by the writers in the film like no reason given for why they copied initially, no problems in the foreign travel by the entire young troupe, the boys easily finding a perfect replacement in an unknown foreign city, a huge difference in Prabhudeva’s elegant staircase and the interior of his adjacent room and the undisclosed ailment of one of its key dancer finding no mention towards the end, clearly affecting the end-product.
Plus the biggest disappointment (despite having some brilliantly arranged instrumental dance beat tracks) remains its weak soundtrack that though sounds fine while watching the film in the theater, but doesn’t give you anything to go for a second listening later after the show is over. Here as per the market news, a few of its songs have already been declared hit as the ‘fresh in-thing’ being liked by many. But frankly for me the melody was simply missing that ought to be ‘a must’ for a ‘music-dance based film’ like ABCD 2.
Moreover, along with the uninspiring writing, okay dialogues and a sudden end, it’s the over-length of the film going into more than 150 minutes that honestly reduces the overall impact on the viewers and they somehow feel ‘served less than the promises made’ due to the very reason.
Having said that, the film’s all clichéd formula still largely works reaching its young target audience since it has one thing in abundance and that too in the purest quality form, i.e. Dance, Stage Performances and their Amazing Moves. So one witnesses a loud applause whenever the youngsters get to see their favourite ones performing on the screen and mind you this doesn’t include either Varun or Shradha expectedly. In fact Remo uses his three main underdogs quite intelligently at intervals and the move really works wonders when you get to hear shouts or whistles each time Dharmesh, Punit, Raghav or Lauren (post interval) enter the scene with a quick, smart build-up grooving to some inventive steps.
As ABCD 2 (Any Body Can Dance 2) is solely based on its plot of spellbinding dance performances, the film has an outstanding choreography that is sure going to be loved by the ones who are actually into this particular dance form of Hip-Hop and doing similar stage performances as a team (with an appreciative mention of the actual inspiration behind the theme, Suresh Mukund and Vernon Monteiro in the end credits playing it rightly). So even if you are not a dancer yourself but do enjoy the act of dancing naturally, the spirited dedication and the huge effort is sure going to make you feel the excitement, tapping your foot along with the musical beats, particularly in all its well-conceived stage sequences and the patriotically charged climax.
ABCD 2The film has a remarkable production value, eye catching set-designs, fabulous lighting and superb cinematography (watch out for the love songs) generating a stunning visual end-result, especially in the spectacular opening sequence, a Chaplin inspired performance in the mid and then the charged up finale devoted to Lord Ganesha (along with a tour of the neon-lights lit Las Vegas as an added attraction). Besides this time for a change the 3D technology really becomes a major plus giving you something to cheer for and not just added for the sake of it as usual.
Coming to the performances, this is one of those rare films that is collectively supported by the entire team and not just dependent upon a single person alone due to his or her star-status. Both Varun and Shraddha perform earnestly, displaying a great amount of homework done for their demanding roles and they do impress a lot particularly Varun Dhawan. Here I would specifically like to applaud the two bigger stars for not throwing any tantrums and letting every single person in the film perform freely (taking the center stage) without any ego issues. An example that truly puts these two new generation actors much ahead than their seniors who were known to cut their opponent’s role in a film using their star-influence in the industry.
But having praised Varun-Shradha for their generous professional approach, the real heroes of the film still undoubtedly remain the famous performers of the dance reality show, namely Dharmesh, Punit, Raghav, Sushant and the gorgeous Lauren Gottlieb also doing well in the acting department. In fact its really a sight watching the whole theatre cheering them all in their individual entries so lovingly with claps, whistles and roars like some big stars.
Prabhudeva continuing from the first part as Vishnu Sir surprises you with a well handled emotional act besides his repetitive yet (always) impressive dance moves. Also the cameos of Tisca Chopra, Kapil Sharma, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Pooja Batra and Ganesh Acharya do contribute a bit in their given scenes.
To give the entire team their deserving respect, a film like ABCD 2 is certainly not an easy one to make conceiving a differently engaging dance act for every individual artist, for every major event in the script progression, for all its love-songs and the pumped up finale involving hundreds of artists performing together in the same frame on the lavishly designed bright sets. So you cannot pull down the show just like another routine film releasing any Friday made without any specific vision.
However if only Remo could have stressed more on the storytelling part, reducing the overall duration of the film giving less emphasis to its full length love songs having a better edit, ABCD 2 would have reached a much wider audience offering a non-stop music and dance festival moving ahead than its original hit.
So in the present version, it might not be liked by all but the ones who love dancing or have a suppressed dancer’s soul caught in their given bodies are sure going to have a blast watching it in the theatre forgetting & forgiving all its above mentioned shortcomings.
Talking about the film’s ‘unseen merits’ stated in the beginning, I would like to support ABCD 2 and the series for some different reasons you might not find in any other write-up addressing the present ‘west-obsessed’ net-age generation given below:
1. As shown in the film, please don’t consider Youtube or the Internet as your virtual teachers when it comes to learning the various art-forms. These sources can only be considered as some useful information providers helping in your overall growth but a personal one-to-one coaching is what’s exactly required going to a learned GURU, if you are really serious in any of your newly found artistic urges.
Because if truth be told, then such virtual practices just teach you how to COPY and not how to LEARN & CREATE, as rightly shown in the film’s initial moments.
2. Learning from ABCD 2’s well-presented climax, one should always aim at performing to the best of his/her ability in any competition of life, instead of just focusing on winning with a mean attitude degrading the others around. These TV reality shows are wrongly teaching us the ‘Sole Aim of Winning’ quite foolishly, whereas in real life (most of the times) its not the winners of these shows but serious performers who actually manage to make a name for themselves in the industry through their own hard work and sincerity. (For instance, read about Arijit Singh, the current in-thing in Hindi film music and taste the reality.)
3. Its easy to work individually, but its extremely difficult to work as a team since it asks you to get rid of all your false egos, anger and attitude, making way for understanding the other working together. And saying this from my personal experience of performing as a part of professional Bhangra group for years, believe me - it is really something out of this world when you are just about to step on the stage after making a circle holding hands together, loudly shouting ‘Bole So Nihaal, Sat Sri Akaal’ or ‘Ganpati Bappa Moreya’ as prominently shown in the film. Putting it honestly, if you haven’t experienced this yet then just try to do it by performing a specific task participating in a team, as the experience will teach you a lot, breaking the old, strong walls of your individual shell.
4. Lastly but most importantly, though ABCD 2 revolves around a western dance form (Hip-Hop) performed in a foreign country, it still thankfully doesn’t forget to showcase one of the oldest and unique Indian tradition of GURU-SHISHYA that is fast becoming extinct in this questionable net-age style of learning spreading widely. As a matter of fact, its quite heartwarming witnessing the rare gesture in the film, when Varun turns back before going on to the stage, only to touch the feet of his Guru asking for HIS BLESSINGS or Aashirwad for their important performance.
The scene truly represents our rich Indian culture, our heritage teaching us the important basics of life, fast getting ignored by the present generation unfortunately. No doubt, a very important and worth applauding insertion by director Remo, keeping the spiritual tradition alive in his new-age film.
Summing up, I would like to recommend ABCD 2 to all youngsters for the very reasons mentioned above and not willing to participate in the Indian Hypocrisy, wherein we loudly praise a well-made English film that has got just ‘Action & Action alone’ to showcase in its 2 hours performed brilliantly, but not ready to praise our own Hindi film that just focuses on ‘Dance and Dance alone’ in its 2.5 hours shot beautifully....
Strangely, we call the first one made as per a specific genre and target audience but forget the same rule when it comes to rate a similar attempt by our own filmmakers.... feeling the inferiority complex. So forgetting all the criticism, if you really love dancing and have a dancer’s soul waiting to be given a chance then do go for ABCD 2 in the theatres and just enjoy the show.
Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (With the additional 0.5 for keeping alive the rich Indian tradition of Guru-Shishya, teaching the young ones rightly)
Tags : ABCD 2 Review by Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Indian dance based movies, Spectacular show by Remo
19 June 2015 / bobbysing /
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There is no competition to Horror genre in India as almost everyone is ready to try it once (irrespective of the star-cast), expecting that probably this time they do it right coming up with a real scary film breaking the long jinx. But unfortunately, ALONE remains another silly addition to the category of all those lazily made ventures following the typical filmy setting of mixing horror with sex and some soothing songs. Moreover this time neither you get to feel the horror nor are served with any exciting sexual content as seen in director Bhushan Patel’s last scary film RAGINI MMS 2.
Adaptation of a Thai film with the same title ALONE (2007), it was earlier remade in south too as CHAARULATHA (2012 – Kannada/Tamil) before the present Hindi version. And the most disappointing feature of this remake is that despite having a decent, novel plot revolving around two beautiful (twin) sisters, the writers/director fails to materialize on it absurdly and goes on and on with the same old clichéd sequences completely ruining its interesting premise right from the beginning. Both the scary and steamy-quotient are not able to deliver anything significant and the film ends just like that making you feel as conned by the makers stealing your precious two hours and the hard earned money once again so easily.
Being too dark throughout (in literal sense), you get to see a brighter screen only in the well shot songs and few other sequences in gaps resulting in a more annoying experience. Plus the boringly slow pace with a routine progression and average dialogues further become its major downers unable to exploit the potential plot that could have been used differently as required. In the performance section, the key face of the project Bipasha Basu continues with her deliberate move of doing more horror movies but displays the same expressions and erotic appeal repeatedly proving herself as a much better kisser keeping aside the acting skills. However the lady surely deserves an innovative director and project to prove her untapped talent in this particular genre quite clearly. Karan Singh Grover makes a confident debut showing his worked upon body and knows well how to do the emotional scenes (learning from this TV serial experience) evidently. But the poor screenplay of the film doesn’t let him do something exceptional making the best use of the opportunity given. In addition the supporting cast provides few funny moments in place of the scary ones resulting in a weird laughter in the theatre post intermission.
In all, the soundtrack with few interesting (but not great) tracks can be rated as the only positive feature of this lousy horrex film (as it is called). And its really a pity to see such an uninteresting remake despite having two clear references right in front of you for the guidance. Therefore you can easily skip ALONE to watch something more scary from your own DVD collection that is compelling enough to be given a repeat viewing.

(For records, one of its song "Touch My Body" has credited 8 lyricist for its creation, since it is a reworked track from Dr. Zeus earlier two songs namely, "Feel My Body - Don't Be Shy" and "Kangna".)

Rating: 1 / 5
Tags : Alone Movie Review by Bobby Sing, Alone Film Review by Bobby Sing, Hindi remakes of Thai movies, Inspired Movies, Copied Films, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
17 January 2015 / bobbysing /
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Many rate Prabhudeva as a ‘one film wonder’ overrated director who has been mostly lucky till date either due to the star power featuring in his movies or few hit tracks largely saving his projects despite the routine scripts. Frankly I enjoyed watching his WANTED a lot along with the fairly entertaining ROWDY RATHORE that had a big merit of being a Rajamouli remake. But Prabhudeva tried to play it pretty safe with RAMAIYA VASTAIYA (a new age remake of MAINE PYAR KIYA) and then raised many big doubts with his R…RAJKUMAR, one of the weakest biggies this year disappointing hugely.

However I was still willing to give the experienced director a strong benefit of doubt, until I witnessed this utterly atrocious attempt in the name of entertainment by the same Prabhudeva along with Ajay Devgun and a big production house falling down to a rare unbelievable level which even goes beyond R…RAJKUMAR in comparative terms.

Following his fixed pattern of opening the film with a supposedly entertaining mix of action, romance and few songs having some surprising cameos, ACTION JACKSON actually reveals its storyline of lookalikes post 50 minutes of the film. And then has got nothing great to offer in terms of content apart from a well shot, brutal & bloody fight sequence just before the intermission. Sharing my personal experience of watching this terrible attempt, at first I thought that a weirdly dancing Ajay Devgun is having great fun here that should ideally build up later offering some fine enjoyable moments. But as the film moved further, I realized that this was in turn a great ham show put together by all the renowned names which is sure going to find one of the top places in the next “Golden Kela Awards” for the worst movie of the year unarguably.

To give you  the exact idea about the amazing hamming sequences shot by the team hilariously, just sample the following and then give it a thought that how could such big names of the industry could even think of doing it on the screen in the name of entertainment. (Spoilers Ahead)

A. The leading lady accidently gets to see the private parts of our hero and assumes that it is her lucky charm. As she tries to witness ‘it’ again making repeated attempts (to become lucky), her group of friends is also willing to do the same and they end up undressing a wrong person instead having a good fun. So this is the romantic angle of the movie (involving all educated new age girls) to be rated as cheeky, cheap, disgusting or vulgar as per your own choice.

B. A scene dealing with the problem of primary school admissions has a principal who behaves more like a Kirana shop-keeper, undeservingly sitting at the reputed post.

C. The actions sequences go on throwing, stabbing, killing dozens of people like vegetables both in the country as well as abroad and our Police is more interested in working for the criminals than the government they wear their uniform for. Moreover the Don’ psycho sister even kills four goons throwing them out of a high rise building to fall on the road in Bangkok as if she owned the city and its law too.

D. The two lookalikes are so overconfident that one even decides to go to Bangkok in place of the other along with his friend without any official hassles at all.

E.  Our hero narrates his tragic story in the flashback, recalling the incidents which actually happened in his absence, as if he had the power of a gifted third eye.

F. A pregnant woman is stabbed pretty badly but she delivers a healthy baby later on surviving a ‘big final operation’ which is never shown. Also our hero’s funny friend gets brutally stabbed in the back only to return looking perfectly fine in the end.

G. Played by an ambitious actress, the film also has the most hamming lip-lock sequence ever with the girl kissing the hero’s funny friend only, to know the hero’s whereabouts.

H. Despite having a reputed name in the lyrics department, AJ has some outrageously written songs such as “Surya Ast Punjabi Mast" (What do you mean by that really???), “Tujhse Milne Ka Keeda Ander Hai” (Now we have fallen down to the ‘Keeda’ level) and “Chhichhora Piya” revealing our foolish journey from “Dagabaaz Piya" to this disgraceful phrase calling the lover Chhichhora. (How could you even approve these dear Prabhudeva and Ajay Devgun?)

I. Along with a badly written, rotten script (can we even call it a script taking everything from here and there?) the film has some sick punch lines mocking two earlier cult hits WANTED and AGNEEPATH. Whereas in reality it is not even close to ‘The Commitment’ and far, far away from ‘The Appointment’ quite shamelessly.

J. The background score is another of those strong hamming elements of ACTION JACKSON, that turns out to be hugely loud as well as funny instead of terrifying at regular intervals. Moreover despite having Prabhudeva as the director, we do not get to see any exceptional choreography too in the mediocre songs unexpectedly.

K. Adding to the technical hamming, the over excessive use of illogical animation and special effects in the film’s editing is so ‘at your face’ that it seems as if the editor has used this opportunity to showcase everything he had got in his editing machines and then tried to make a personal show-reel out of the film, acting smartly.

L. Coming to the performances, they all force you to question their cinematic intelligence loudly as Ajay Devgun seems to be all confused doing nothing new in the film apart from his weird, over confident ‘left foot dancing’. Sonakshi Sinha looks like acting clever while giving her interviews only because the girl has done all exactly similar roles till date except LOOTERE. In straight words, If they are not offering you something different then who is stopping you to refuse all these stupid, identical roles one after another dear Sonakshi? Yami Gautam suffers again due to a bad project and we cannot really blame her completely since who can refuse a Prabhudeva film (with such reputation) as her third assignment only in the industry. The debutante Manasvi tries showcasing her every asset to grab your attention in vain along with those never seen before hamming villains contributing nothing. So among all these non-performers there is only Kunaal Roy Kapur doing a repetitive yet entertaining role of Ajay’s friend generating some kind of laughter in his few sequences.

In all, ACTION JACKSON seriously made me think that did Ajay Devgun & Prabhudeva really had to do this, stooping to such a low? Do these makers actually consider we the viewers as fools for granted, who can accept anything and everything served in a well publicized movie with some known faces offering a big ‘no-show’ in terms of content or entertainment.
Do they have all reached their saturation point in reality, having nothing left in them creatively, hence trying these ridiculous mix-n-match remakes in order to skip the hard work of experimenting with some new subjects and scripts.

Ending on a sad note, the film reminded me of a beautiful story wherein an intelligent father gives 100 rupees to his 3 sons individually and asks them to buy something to fill a room with the money given. Two of his sons decide to buy cheap things such as cotton and grass to fill the room with the money given, but the third son cleverly buys an incense stick for just one rupee and saves 99. He burns the stick and fills the room with its soothing fragrance in no time, winning the competition hands down.

Now finding a relation with the above inspiring story, Prabhudeva’s ACTION JACKSON is exactly like the act of those two sons who try to fill the room with just anything without thinking much. So we have a big budgeted look, huge canvas, great fights, good looking faces, foreign locations, romance, glamour, sex, songs and everything else in the movie stuffed in forcibly to complete those 145 minutes. But the act doesn’t have that soothing fragrance to win hearts.

We are all looking for that pleasant fragrance in our films, dear film-makers. So better try to be the third intelligent son in your upcoming ventures……..gracefully!

Rating : 1 / 5 (Just for the huge effort put in by the entire crew and very few enjoyable moments with Kunaal Roy Kapur)

(Note : Not anything related to the storyline but ACTION JACKSON takes it major inspirations for its sword fighting and all colour scheme and graphics used in the promos from Quentin Tarantino’s KILL BILL.)

Tags : Action Jackson Review By Bobby Sing, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Action Jackson Movie Review by Bobby Sing
05 December 2014 / bobbysing /
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