Over the past few years trends have changed and some of the "old ways" have begun to make a come back. Beginning in the 1930s with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers with RKO and the 1940s where Gene Kelly graced the Silver Screen through MGM films, dance and musicals were an escape from what was day to day life. Today the musicals and dance are making a huge comeback with shows like 'So You Think You Can Dance?', 'Dancing with the Stars', and even 'Dance Your Ass Off'. As a former dancer I always enjoy watching anything that involves dancing of all kinds. During the past decade I have increased the number Bollywood films, be it of the American Chai and The Guru style, Bride and Prejudice style, Monsoon Wedding style, or in the more traditional sense of Bollywood in Lagaan. This weekend a new Bollywood filme Chance Pe Dance opened with a limited release around the US, and this Hindi film is a spectacle all of its own.
With a running time of over 2 hours, this film includes a full soundtrack of completed songs and performances that would easily rival an MTV music video. Directed by Ken Ghosh, this film follows an aspiring actor who moved from Delhi to Mumbi and is given one chance to finally achieve his dream. Shahid Kapur stars as the hero, and I believe that it is of great thanks to his father (actor Pankaj Kapoor) and mother (actress/dancer Neelima Azim) for why his talents were such a great highlight for his film. He is a talented dancer, and it was featured throughout the entire film and especially during the routines. It did not hurt that he was extremely easy on the eyes, and that he was given a beautiful co-star to share the screen with. Genelia D'Souza plays the love interest for Shahid's character Sameer Behl, and is the choreographer who stands up for her beliefs in what the industry should be rather than it is when things begin to go downhill for Sameer. It is through his journey and with Tina's (D'Souza) encouragement that that dream becomes a clear possibility. The story has heart and soul that is so full that it spills over the edge.
It was fun to watch the film, even though I had to take my eyes off the action to be able to read the subtitles, but it was all worth it. The routines were brilliantly choreographed and the cinematography brought out the best in the actors as well as the visual side of film. It felt like watching a marathon of music videos with the climax of the final routine being the biggest and brightest. The only thing I missed with the bright and vibrant colored costumes that I am used to seeing in other Bollywood films. I guess the concert style lighting made up for the shortage of colors as they were just as exciting as watching an actual concert on stage.
If you enjoy a little culture, some singing and dancing, and an interesting storyline that brings out the soul of what a Bollywood film is, than this is a film for you. Even if you are not used to this genre of film, it never hurts to try something new, so just go give it a shot. After watching Chance Pe Dance in its entirety, I give this film a 3.5 out of 5. It is a fun film, maybe a little long, but definitely fun film to go watch.
Guys don't come much cuter than Shahid Kapur and he sure can bust a move, but when you come down to it that's all Bollywood's CHANCE PE DANCE has going for it. The film's overwrought screenplay combines two plot lines (both of which are cliches in both Hollywood and Bollywood) 1) that of the long suffering but extremely talented young actor/dancer trying to make it big in showbiz, and 2) the teacher who turns an unwilling band of misfits into into a winning team...while (of … more