Film: Chance Pe Dance (U/A)
Director: Ken Ghosh
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Genelia D’souza and Mohnish Behl
In the opening sequence of Chance Pe Dance (CPD), it’s established that struggling actor Sameer aka Sam (Shahid) is finding it hard to make ends meet in Mumbai.
He has only a loaf of bread and a little orange juice for breakfast, a refrigerator that doubles up as a wardrobe and a landlord knocking on his door for four months’ rent. In the last scene of CPD, Sam arrives for the premiere of his film, a superstar now.
There’s very little between these two scenes that would make you want to sit through CPD. The comedy seems forced, the emotions unreal (and the kinds seen in a number of other such films) and the script trite.
There’s a sub-plot, which entertains you for a while, but which is sadly sidelined for some reason. In stead, you have to bear with another tale of an out-of-towner making it in the big, bad entertainment world of Mumbai.
After three years of struggling, Sam finally lands the lead role in a dance-based film. But even as the film takes a while to roll, Sam is thrown out of his house by his landlord and has no money to afford even a decent meal.
So even if your heart is supposed to go out to penniless Sam – living out of his car now – he looks like he’s been splurging on protein shakes and working out at a high-end gym, although there are no scenes to establish that. Our hero is just blessed with an eight-pack, it seems.
Unwillingly, Sam takes up the job of a dance instructor at a school, and has to prepare a bunch of kids with two left feet to compete at a dance competition where they stood last among 22 schools the previous year. School of Rock ‘n’ Roll, anyone?
Meanwhile, the director of Sam’s film backtracks on his promise to cast him as the hero and launches a nationwide hunt for the role in stead.
Obviously, Sam participates, urged by his girlfriend Tina (Genelia), and if you feel there’s any chance of him not winning this competition, then clearly you are very imaginative.
Sadly, the makers of CPD aren’t. In fact, director Ken Ghosh and his writers don’t seem to have worked on making the film even a little bit engrossing.
The best sequences – and they are few – are the ones where Sam interacts with the kids at school. Even though you see this track go down the road-already-travelled by the Jack Black cult, School of Rock, you don’t mind it so much because at least, then, its not purely a struggler-trying-to-make-it-big-in-Mumbai kind of a story.
Sadly, that’s too much to ask for. The ‘dance competition’ that the kids participate in is hurriedly wrapped up – they obviously win – and then the film is once again about Sam striking gold as an actor.
The only area where the makers seem to have put in any effort is the execution of the dance sequences, and even if a few of them are entertaining, they don’t do much for the film otherwise. They have been picturised well – although one song where Shahid and Genelia are shown to tower over Mumbai’s buildings looks like a 90s music video – and Shahid brings the dances alive with his moves.
The songs, however, are not the kinds you would remember later. The sole exception is ‘Pump It Up’, in the climax, but you’re so fed up with CPD by then that you don’t really care.
Shahid gives an uneven performance, ranging from very good to hammy (especially when he’s supposed to do comedy). Post-Kaminey, you see the actor in a new light and he looks a lot more confident and sure of what he’s doing onscreen.
Although he does not-so-badly, performance wise, he needs to smarten up and choose films that do justice to his talent. His dances are a treat to watch.
Genelia is cuteness personified and gives a pleasant performance. Her pairing with Shahid works and scenes where they get to know each other are sweet.
Parikshit Sahni seems to be playing the troubled father in every second film and does a repeat of what he did in 3 Idiots and Dulha Mil Gaya recently.
Director Ghosh seems to have put all his efforts on song picturisations and little else. But with a story and script as bland, you can’t really expect him to make any sort of mark.
Chance Pe Dance is the kind of film where you know the end and can’t wait to get there, even if it takes its own sweet time to do so.
Watch it only if you’re a die-hard Shahid fan and if three good songs and four good scenes satisfy you as an audience.