A missed chance at superstardom – Chance pe Dance!

Shahid Kapur was on a roll after Kaminey and it seemed like nothing could go wrong, his time to grab at superstardom had finally come. Then came Dil Bole Hadippa – and while Rani was more than satisfactory in a tailor-made role, Shahid was merely there as a bored kind of presence. He should have seen what makes superstars by watching the glorified extra role that Subhash Ghai gave to SRK in Pardes and what SRK made of the role! After Hadippa, Shahid had one other chance in Chance Pe Dance. Ken Ghosh had the right ingredients in the film – a film centered around the rise of a dancing superstar with none other than Mr. Dance himself to play the role, a cute and peppy co-star in Genelia D’Souza, just enough romance, emotions and drama to make the proceedings interesting. It should all have worked really well.

At some level the film does work for me. It starts out very boring, never strays from the predictable path, and never surprises or excites you with anything in the story. BUT the two stars of the show do manage to keep you marginally engaged and interested. Shahid is good in the role – who better than him to play it, including the part where he teaches kids to dance. That harks back to his own training in Shiamak Davar’s dance school. Genelia has some strange accent going – you want to do fraaandship with me? And her voice is somewhat annoying, but slowly the character she plays and the way it is played gets past the annoyances and begins to interest you. The romance is absolutely low-key, so much so that it is near non-existent. I wonder if this caused some of the missed zing for the audience? The other actors are all adequate, and it is good to see Mohnish Behl again, and not as a scumbag this time! As Taran Adarsh mentioned in his review (I bow to thee Taran!) Parikshat Sahni is getting typecast as the father!!! ROFL!! Actually here Parikshat does a good job of the father who is always doubting his son’s ability and unsure of his chance at success. The kids are decent and that part actually does move the story forward and provide an emotional anchor in the film.

So why did this film not work for me and the audience at large? One word – you cannot make a musical without decent music. Look at Khamoshi, Dil To Pagal Hai, Taal – these films all had one thing in common with Chance Pe Dance – they were centered around dancing. BUT they had good, nay excellent, music! In this film we have not ONE memorable or hummable tune. How am I supposed to describe the songs – the one in the night club, the one where he teaches the kids, the one where he does the stage competition and so on and so forth? Shame on Adnan Sami for letting the team down in such a bad way. The music simply sucked and that is why this film will go nowhere. Ken Ghosh tries some magical moments – like the one where Shahid and Genelia are frolicking with Mumbai at their feet, the montage of the love song, but all in all he cannot lift the film above banality and cannot prevent the music from dragging it down. Despite fine performances by both Shahid and Genelia this film is a let down for me.


2 Responses

  1. Well said. You’re absolutely right, of course, this film is very much let down by its music. And to think what is meant to be the grand climactic song is also the weakest of the lot.

    On an aside, the “you want to do fraaandship with me?” is a bit of a Bombay in joke, specifically aimed at the young. From what I understand, “you want to do fraaandship with me?” was being used by many as a pickup line in all seriousness … because that was the best they could pronounce it, and that was the most creative they could get. Taking off from that, it is now often used as a joke pick-up line amongst the more discerning, to break the ice.

    A strange litle cultural nugget, which I was glad they put it. I think there are many details in the film that only hardcore Bombayites will completely get. In fact, the movie’s strength for me was the small details like which may go unnoticed by most.


  2. Thanks Samir – I was not aware of that Bombayism! Of course it seemed like something was going on because Genelia had a decent accent the rest of the time! She does need some voice modulation though. But boy she has come far from Mere Baap Pehle Aap 😀

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