Rating:*** (3 stars)
I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by a film that was obviously so far beyond the kind of films I usually like. But now that I’ve actually sat down to write this movie review, Street Dancer 3D is the kinda film that is the best kinda paisa vasuul. When I had watched the trailer, I had thought, ‘Oh man, I really hope this doesn’t venture into Islamophobia again!’ because so many Bollywood films had either completely gone ballistic when it came to nationalistic films or had a thinly veiled bigotry that is so much more malicious at times.
But Street Dancer 3D is all heart and soul. Directed by Remo D’Souza (who hasn’t had the best luck in films lately), Street Dancer 3D tells the story of Sahej (Varun Dhawan) and Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor), two young people living in London who are ‘street’ dancers. They’re part of their own respective dancing troupes: Sahej is an Indian Punjabi and Inayat is a Pakistani and both of them hate each other – because of obvious reasons.
Enter Ram Prasad/Anna (Prabhu Deva) who secretly is feeding homeless illegal immigrants with leftover food that Sahej and Inayat use to fight with each other (do food fights still happen?). Once Inayat finds this out that he’s been helping the homeless immigrants, she decides to help Anna by winning the Ground Zero dance competition held every year with a prize money of 100’000 pounds.
Sahej has his own troubles with his family and how he had brought in a group of struggling dhol players (the ever-wonderful Aparshakti Khurana and co) to England who ended up being the homeless immigrants too. Saheej doesn’t care. He’s too busy trying to win and trying to impress his brother who was an ex-dancer too before he got an injured leg.
Street Dancer 3D Video Movie Review
Don’t look too hard for the plot and don’t worry too much about it making a lot of sense because it doesn’t need to. This is a big eye-candy, shimmy-your-shoulders kinda venture that falls apart when it comes to the plot but is immediately rewound by some incredible dance performances (especially by Nora Fatehi and Prabhu Deva) and sensitive messaging.
Varun Dhawan really has the prodigal son down pat. He’s convincing as the boy who doesn’t care, who lashes out at everyone but then eventually has a turn of heart with a big song in the background and goes on to saves the day. He’s adorable so the clichés worked.
Shraddha Kapoor holds her own with the other dance maestros around and this may not be Haider but I, for one, am deeply grateful for her playing Inayat as a regular expat-Muslim girl instead of overdoing it or exaggerating it in any way.
The music is enjoyable, the dance sequences are one spectacle after another. The ‘Muqabla’ bit with Prabhu Deva will give you goosebumps (if it doesn’t, you haven’t lived the 90s like I have). What Remo forgets in fixing in storylines he makes up for adding the songs in the right places. Oh no, I haven’t forgotten Race 3 and that is half the reason why I gingerly walked into the theatre thinking there’d be another misplaced song here or there or perhaps a Salman Khan crooning as a special appearance (yikes). But thankfully Remo has spared us all. While there were definitely some moments that the film could have done without (a super cringe moment between Sahej and his brother – who suddenly gives up his cane and dances), overall Street Dancer 3D is a fun, breezy feature that definitely deserves your love.