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Chance Pe Dance : A Wasted Opportunity

Lots of times a one line story idea sounds great, but when stretched into a movie format, it just doesn’t work. This movie turned out as one of those nice concepts which could not be put well on screen. And most of the blame for it must go to the screenplay and shoddy dialogues. The writer/director just knew where they wanted to go, but had no idea of how to get there. They had the start and finish lines ready, but the roadmap of the journey was clearly amiss.

I worked late till Friday evening and was really tired, hence movie viewing on Saturday was out of question. And why I wanted to watch the movie? Simply because I liked Shahid’s previous works, ‘Kaminey’ being the best of them. And also due to Shahid-Ken Ghosh association, this is the tird time they were coming together. The first time they worked together was in Ishq-Vishq, a nice breezy college romance. Their next movie was Fida, ripped-off from Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Following’. The movie was well made, but the love-angle was over-emphasised and that killed the drama. What started off as a romantic thriller, ended neither on a love note nor a action thrill drama. It was a bit of a let-down to kill Nolan’s storyline with so much suffocation of a love-story. It should have remained a thriller.

Anyways, this time I hoped that they would make an entertaining movie, given that dance was the theme. And with this hope I was standing at the counter window for tickets. I was at the theatre on Sunday by 4.30pm for a 7.45pm show, hoping that the tickets were not sold out. When I was handed the tickets I felt lucky. I mean, for a Shahid Kapoor movie that released two days back, to get balcony tickets on the first weekend without advance booking, was being plain lucky.

I returned to the theatre at 7.30pm for the show. Entered the auditorium and was pretty pleased to see quite a few rows of occupied seats. Yeah! more people like me, I thought! But my smile soon vanished when the movie started with a song that was forced into it. The credits were not rolling while the song was on. The song was pinned there for the heck of it. An unintroduced and over-enthusiastic Shahid and Genelia were tapping their foot to glory and there was no hint of beginning credits. After 3 full minutes the song ended and then the movie credits began which took another 7 minutes. That itself gave me a hint that the movie would turn out bad and I should have listened to the reviews.

Coming to the movie, the intent was there. There was a thought in process, of showing a middle-class guy who moves to Mumbai from Delhi much against his dad’s wish, to become an actor….NO… a dancer… NO… a star …. NO …. a hero. What??? I mean, what did Sameer want to become? Neither the director was clear on it, nor the screenwriters. I think the guy, Sameer, had a great sense of music, could shake his feet to rhythmic beats, and so he was labelled a good dancer. But in actuality, he wanted to achieve stardom and that would be possible only if he became a hero, not an actor but a hero. This is exactly where the movie messed up. If the guy wanted to become a hero, the director should have shown him accepting side characters or smaller roles of some kind. If the guy wanted to become a dancer, the director should have shown him as a support dancer in some dance troupe. But I think he wanted to become a star. So, why movie? Sameer even prays to Michael Jackson at the start of the movie. But MJ was no actor or hero, yet he was a star…superstar!

Moving on, I dropped the question and watched further in utter dismay. The non-existent romance between Genelia and Shahid, much as the director tried to convince us of the blossoming love, it was painful to watch. When Shahid uttered the three magical words to Genelia, in slow breath I uttered my own three magical words – WTF! There was no warmth, no magic, no feelings and definitely no chemistry.

If you thought that Shahid-Genelia romance was incredible, just wait to see the school boys lift the dance trophy. After being out-of-job and out-of-pay, Shahid takes up a job of being a dance teacher in Model High School. But the inane sequences that follow makes you sympathise with Shahid and how he was stuck in a film that had no script, just a few scenes stitched together in a rag-tag movie. The manner in which he encourages the students and teaches them to dance was another teeth-grinding experience.

The only believable bits of the movie was his interaction with Mohnish Behl as Rajiv Sharma, a director of repute who decides to launch Shahid after watching him dance in a club. But his verbal contract with Shahid was as beguiling as was his reality show for a talent hunt. The script was so half baked that the director did not even show a few genuine contenders in the reality show, it was Shahid all the way. Had this movie been a YRF production with UC as lead or Rakesh Roshan movie with Hrithik in the lead, everyone would have termed it as self-promotion. But since it was a Ken Ghosh movie, people will forgive and forget easily. The entire movie was laid out to portray Shahid and his dancing skills, nothing else. All scenes were built around to showcase Shahid. And frankly, he is no Amitabh Bachchan or Akshay Kumar or either of the Khans to carry a movie entirely on his shoulders. Shahid’s antics neither make you laugh nor excite you.

But the biggest letdown of the movie was its music. Some un-inspired music with some more un-inspired lyrics was a recipe for disaster. Adnan Sami should stick to melody, please ask him to compose few more tunes like ‘Tera Chehra’ and ‘Lucky’, and leave the hip-hop stuff to others like Pritam and SEL.Coming to the acting department, Shahid was good in bits. Genelia has a long way to go in acting. To start with, she must first improve on her accent and pronunciations; and then the tone of her voice. Her dialogue delivery was quite irritating, I had disliked her in JTYJN; but the screenplay of JTYJN was able to hide all her flaws. Mohnish Behl was clealry in a haste, I think being-busy could have been shown better. And his character was uni-dimensional, that could have been altered to the movie’s advantage. But then, as I earlier said, no thought has gone into the writing.

I call it a wasted opportunity because the movie could have been so much more. There was a perfect platform set for an expose of reality shows and talent hunts, but the writers did not explore that. The struggle could have been a little more realistic than living out of a suitcase or making a home out of a car or showering in a school washroom. And re-gaining lost glory by making the school students win the trophy could have been handled with more humanity and spirit than some cheeky comments like ‘girls love guys who dance’. The falling apart and coming together of father-son was again forced into the movie to show some bonding where it was not required. And the choregrapher and a struggler falling in love could have been handled with some subtlety and believable romance than a chance meetings time and again. Everything was cliched and predictable, from Shahid not getting to debut in the movie to him winning the contest. It was neither interesting nor entertaining.  Another failed attempt by Ken Ghosh.

After getting out of the theatre, the only thing I recalled was Shahid’s lungi ad. That was the only genuinely funny moment when they show a small memory-capsule, Shahid’s shooting for AirTime lungi with the tagline ‘easy flow’. How I wished the movie too had adopted the tagline of the ad, instead of making it such an excruciating watch!

This post was first published on PFC

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Posted by on January 20, 2010 in bollywood, movie review, movies


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