Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chance Pe Dance: Straight from the Heart!


To put it bluntly, Chance Pe Dance is not a good movie in the way Omkara is a good movie. But what Chance Pe Dance is, is a highly entertaining Shahid Kapoor vehicle that seems to have been designed to push every single one of my buttons. Here are some things you need to know before going to see Chance Pe Dance: 1. It is a chick/gay man flick. There was approximately one (1) man in the audience when I saw this and he kept getting up and going to the lobby. 2. There is a significant subplot that features many precocious children. If you hate child actors, do not see this film. I thought they were adorable but I know some people really, really hate child subplots. 3. The plot makes no sense in a “logical” way. Events unfold in a way designed to heighten the drama. If you are the kind of person to spend a whole film wondering WHY something happened, do not see this movie. 4. Dancing—lots of dancing. If this is not your thing, do not see this film.
5. Finally, if you in any way dislike Shahid Kapoor, do not see this film because he is in almost every frame.
Okay, for those of you still with me, let me tell you that Chance Pe Dance was delightful! I never got bored once and, in fact, when intermission came along I was disappointed because I wanted to find out what happened right away!

Something happened to Shahid Kapoor in between the mediocrity of his performance in Chup Chup Ke and his effortless command of the screen in Chance Pe Dance (I’m guessing the breakup with Kareena Kapoor has done wonders for his self-esteem but who knows). I know I’ve gone on record saying that I didn’t think he was cut out to be a capital H Hero but I take it back! I take it all back!

Put simply: Shahid Kapoor is a delight to watch.

And it goes beyond dancing – every movement, every line, every glance was mesmerizing. I could feel the emotion he put behind every act. And even though the script was pretty blatantly tailored to put Shahid’s character in as many emotional scenes as possible, I didn’t care because I got so caught up in watching Shahid react to things.
He’s come a long way as a comedian and an actor.

His character, Sam, was just such a sweetheart. He gets kicked around by fate but he always tries to make the best of it – even if it’s not exactly what he had in mind for his life. The beginning of the film brought back memories of Luck by Chance but unlike Farhan’s conniving character, Sam is not a game player. He puts his relationships first – whether his father or his friend or his girlfriend.

Let me take a second to praise Genelia d’Souza, who was also fantastic. In the two films I’ve seen her in before - Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Bommarillu - her characters were flighty, ditzy, and overly emotional girls. In Chance Pe Dance, Genelia gets to play a put-together career woman. Although her role in the film is essentially “girlfriend”, it seems like the filmmakers went out of their way to have her be a self-actualized character instead of the spoiled daughter-type ladies that usually populate films like this.
Genelia’s character, Tina, is a choreographer. Not a dancer, a model, or actress – or even an aspiring dancer, model or actress. She loves dancing but seems content behind the camera, which I thought was very, very cool. Tina even choreographs a performance FOR Sam – in sort of a reverse Taal set-up.
So, what else… I trashed the OST in my music review and I still that is true if you are listening as an album. But in context, the music fits perfectly with the sublimely cheezy style of the film. Not only were the picturizations to every song a whole lot of fun, but Chance Pe Dance also sets a high bar for Most Dubious Use Of Special Effects in a Song Picturization for 2010. I don’t really want to say more because it will ruin the fun if you know it’s coming – but let’s just say that a certain portion of Mangta Hai Kya from Rangeela has finally been topped.
I’m sure having read me over-intellectualize the film, you might be curious about whether or not to see it. I would refer you back to the top of the post. Do you care more about a logical story or an emotional one? Because the emotions of Chance Pe Dance strike true, even if not in a “logical” way.

10 comments:

Debra said...

I love Shahid Kapoor and thought he did a fab job. Same for Genelia. Even the kids were cool (and I'm not the biggest fan of annoying children in Bollywood flicks). What was not OK about this movie was the appalling storyline - or should I say lack of one. Perhaps the version I saw was cut down (it seemed to run for way less than 2 hours), but there appeared to be gaps in the story that just didn't cut it.
The first half dragged, Shahid returning to Delhi and his sudden return to Mumbai didn't gel for me - and I can take a poor Bollywood script more than many. I really enjoyed Delhi 6, Saarwariya and Chandni Chowk to China to name a few.
Don't get me wrong, this was an enjoyable movie - just, but I was just thoroughly disappointed with the lack of an even slightly cohesive story. Please tell me I saw a cut-down version and I'll take it all back.

I saw Dulha Mil Gaya the previous evening and LOVED it in comparison.

dayshaze said...

Shahid is growing on me, except for that whole Kaminey thing. He's so darn cute, and gets points for talking smack about Bebo.

I don't think I'm going to see this one, though.

I'm saddened that I haven't been able to find a copy of Rangeela, which seems more up my alley.

I did however see my first Aamir movie, Fanaa. Can't say enough phenomenal things about that piece. Probably the best B'wood flick I'm seen so far.

Rum said...

I really want to see this, so Filmi girl you sold me on it! i dont usually listen to the silly critics who panned this film, but they dont appreciate a good Shahid wiggle dance like us bloggers do! Genelia looks great, and that song by Hard Kaur is in my head all day long as well as AAL IZZ WELL!
Just saw 3 idiots, was thinking Filmi Girl would have hated the Aamir manic pixie boy looks in this lol!

jholomorphic said...

You're enthusiastic, yet I can't figure out what you liked about it. It's not that it was unpleasant; the film was just an empty shell. All I saw was:

"And it goes beyond dancing – every movement, every line, every glance was mesmerizing. I could feel the emotion he put behind every act."

The dialogue was really bland, and the dance scenes seemed fine but unspectacular. Were you merely enthralled by SK's gaze or six-pack or whatever floats your boat? The actress in CPD was charming too, but not mesmerizingly so, and her character was awfully flat.

B.H.Harsh said...

My review totally differs with u.. Haha! But I understand your point-of-view too.

However, It just didn't work for me. I never looked for logic, but coming from the diector of Fida! (and Ishq Vishq).. I was expecting a fairly engaging flick! :)

Hope to read more of your reviews of latest films. Do read my take on CPD if possible :) Cheers!

Filmi Girl said...

@Debra I understand where you are coming from but I would point out that films like CC2C and Delhi 6 didn't have illogical stories the way CPD did. The entire film I felt like I was being carried along by gentle waves of random events. I don't mind that kind of stream of consciousness story telling because I tend to be more focued on performances but I totally understand why other people would find it irritating - hence the warning. :) Maybe I should have said nonsensical rather than just illogical...

@dayshaze Yes, skip this one and also skip Chup Chup Ke, which I found to be extremely tedious. I'm so glad that you got to watch Fanaa!! It's one of my favorites, too. I don't know if you are on Netflix but they do have "Rangeela" although it might be under a different title. *double checks* Yes, it's called "Bollywood Dreams" on Netflix.

@Rum Correct on both counts! You might enjoy this one!

@Jholomorphic Ha! You are not wrong about the empty shell part, it's just that I got really swept up in Shahid's performance. I'm not talking about 6-pack abs, which don't make their appearance until the very end of the film BTW, but I really found him to be an engaging presence onscreen. Each little movement and gesture were so graceful and I honestly felt the emotions he put behind each scene. It's not that I'm dazzled by Shahid's good looks but more that his effortless and graceful performance was enough to give me a deligtful movie watching experience.

I don't know if you saw it but I posted an essay by Subhash K. Jha where he basically explains the exact same thing, so I'm not the only one, but judging by the negative reviews this film got, there aren't too many of us out there who are content to watch a performance-driven piece like this.

So... yes, I just wrote a lot... LOL! In short, I understand why you didn't like it and I hope I made it clear that I didn't think it was a GOOD movie but I really, honestly, did enjoy Shahid's performance - much beyond the 6-pack.

@B.H.Harsh Hee! I find myself doing that a lot - disagreeing but seeing the other side. I totally understand that the narrative was awful but I really, really found Shahid Kapoor's performance to be engaging and quite the revelation. And for me, for this film, that was enough. :)

shell said...

Sometimes it is enough for a character's charisma to hold a viewer's attention. I know that there have been several films I've seen where I thought the story was maybe rubbish or lacking, but only one element kept me watching. There's a million reasons why someone watches a film and a million more why they liked it (or didn't like it). Even after hearing other poor reviews on this I am still tempted to watch it just for Shahid. There's only a handful of men who can rip up a dance floor as well as him, and that's worth it every time for me!

jholomorphic said...

Fair enough. (I'm sympathetic; I myself will tolerate a mediocre movie lost in Rani or SRK's eyes, or watch Jackie Chan in a stinker just to see him beat up someone with a ski, etc.)

Speaking of empty shells: Subhash K. Jha.

Vishal said...

For me Shahid came into his own with Jab We Met. Before that he was undoubtedly talented but not as relaxed and confident. Other than Kismat Connection (which really wasn't bad because of him) he's had a steady run of awesome* and I'd watch the man in anything.

*(I haven't seen the Crossdressing Cricket movie though)

Ami said...

There were some actors I thought will hit it big back when I watched some of their earliest films: Shahid Kapoor (don't remember which film now), Aftab Shivdasani (Mast) & Priyanshu Chatterjee (Tum Bin).. but the other two never seem to grow out and away from their early works. I love that Shahid is not just a pretty face anymore now. Looking at the skinny boy in that SRK ad, can't believe he's the same person..

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl