Chance Pe Dance

Okay, I'm going to say first off that I had no expectations for this movie. Okay, if I'm being honest, I had one: to drool! After the credits rolled, however, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it, starting with Shahid in all his goofy glory from the first song to a very cute opening sequence that has Sameer dancing, ironing his breakfast and wiggling his way through what is one of the most enjoyable opening sequences I've seen in a film in a long time.

There was a lot about this film that I liked, besides Shahid's delicious abs. I think it's rare to come across a film that is 100% completely original these days, but that's not to say that you can't take a story that's been told a hundred times and not make it feel fresh and genuine. Sometimes some of the most endearing truths of life emerge from situations that work in a direction opposite to the unique. However, words on a page are simply that, until they are brought to life, and, in this case I can think of no other actor that could have done Sameer justice other than Shahid. His performance felt honest and real to me, and was much more convincing than the route Farhan Aktar's character took in Luck By Chance. In an industry where it's eat or be eaten, it's often very easy to get lost and discouraged, and it was relatively refreshing to see Sameer continue with his dreams despite losing pretty much everything. He goes through the predictable grind, but with such extraordinary sincerity and involvement, you realise the one truth about life’s vagaries. Every struggle, no matter how similar on the surface, is different underneath.

Bollywood's changing. There's no doubt about it. It seems more and more films are being made following a "Hollywoodized" formula. Whether or not that path is going to benefit the Hindi film industry or kill it is the subject for another post, but it makes me wonder the future of the "Bollywood hero". Though I don't see the notion of an aging leading man as anything but completely natural and necessary (I need my Shah Rukh Khan for many many more years), it does raise the question of where does the next generation of actors fit in? Up until now I've viewed Shahid with a certain amount of distant curiosity, but after seeing him in this movie, I believe that he has really got that "thing". You know, the IT factor that keeps the film scrips coming and keeps the girls lusting, even when compared to some of the other up and coming actors like Ranbir Kapoor or Imran Khan.

A touching moment

It was interesting to learn that Genelia was not the first choice for this film and that Jiah Khan actually completed half of the movie before she was replaced, and I say thank God! As with Shahid, I've only seen her in two other movies, and in Life Partner she was so abrasively annoying that I didn't know if I'd be able to watch any more of her films. However, as Tina Sharma, she was absolutely a delight to watch. Independent (no meddlesome boyfriends or parents here!), self-assured and adorable, Genelia is perfect in this movie, and perfectly natural as well. I loved that she had her own career, lived on her own and lived by a set of principles that extended past her own little world. She probably is underutilized in a girlfriend kind of role, but, with that being said, I think she plays an important role in Sameer's life, and some of my favorite scenes are between her and Shahid (for the record, I liked the chemistry between the two of them - Genelia's best pair up that I've seen to date).

Now that I've got my love on for this film done and out of the way, there were a couple of things I had issues with. For someone whose career path is choreography, Genelia's opening dance sequence was completely juvenile. Which brings me to my second point. Chance Pe Dance was marketed as a dance movie (with the only dancing we really get to see during the song picturizations) when it's not actually about the world of dance. Don't get me wrong, I'm okay that it was the story of a struggling actor, but then market it as such, otherwise you leave the viewers a little confused. This leads me to my third point. I was warned about the special effects during the song sequences being distracting, and I agree, with One More Dance being the worst offender. And can I just add that I absolutely love watching good dancers, but the thing that irritates me most is when all you get to see if above the waist. What I mean is I want to see the whole body move when it's dancing, including the feet, and if filmmakers can show Hrithik Roshan in all of his dancing glory, then surely they can do the same for Shahid, who I believe is one of the best right now. Also, I was worried about the introduction of the dance teacher job, and I thought to myself, "Please God, don't turn this into a movie about children." However, it was just a detour, albeit a completely unnecessary one (although the scene where the kids all give their lunches to Sameer was touching). Keeping that in mind, I totally felt ripped off when the kids finally got their chance to shine on stage, all we got to see was a choppy slow-mo version of their dance.

Hey, if Jewel could live in her van for years...

"No worries, pop, I'm getting work, really!"

I don't have much to say about the music from CPD, though I will say this. I loved the background score. The "Doo-be-doo-be-doo-ba" bit totally fit the mood of the film, fun and light. The only song that stayed with me though was Pump It Up. Could possibly have something to do with finally being able to see Shahid's spectacular bod, but what can I say? The man knows how to rock it!

There's lots about this movie that doesn't make much sense, but it's still a very fun ride. Definitely watch it if you are a fan of Shahid or Genelia, even if you have suspend a few brain cells and just go with the flow.

One of my fav scenes:

Sameer, you've got that look in your eyes...

18 Response to "Chance Pe Dance"

  1. Christy says:
    April 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    I liked it too for what it was. I was more bothered by the special effects than you I think because it was an indication to me of a certain laziness or disingenuousness on the part of the filmmakers. "you can't figure out how to shoot it? Ok, we'll just throw in some effects." or "you know I've really been wanting to play around with this new special effects computer program I got. Can I just throw some in the film somewhere?" Anyway, have you seen Dil Bole Hadippa yet? I like that Yash Raj makes total fluff films but are honest about it and put all the money and effort and thought into them that most companies would save for "serious" films. All hail movies that aren't great but are still a lot of fun!

  2. sonia_bonjour says:
    April 20, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    Thanks for the post!

    Now I'm a bit more relieved 'cause most reviews on CPD are not that good. I haven't watched CPD yet but I'm definitely watching it since I'm a big fan of both Shahid and Genelia.

    You HAVE to have to watch more films with Genelia! I've only seen her in Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na if we're talking about Hindi films. But she's spectacular in many South Indian movies!

  3. bollyviewer says:
    April 20, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    One more film about films? Not that it is necessarily a bad thing. Its just that even I had impression that CPD is about a dancer or dancing. I'll try to get it from the library, if/when it arrives!

    "It seems more and more films are being made following a "Hollywoodized" formula."

    What exactly does "Hollywoodized" mean? Does that mean a loss of distinct song sequences? Or just having tighter storylines and lesser running times? Coz, apart from these, I really dont see much difference between Hollywood and Bollywood - both industries seem equally formula driven in their narratives and contents. Of course, Hollywood doesnt make masala films like it used to, but then neither has Bollywood, for more than two decades!

  4. Filmi Girl says:
    April 20, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    I agree 100%!! I liked this so much more than Luck By Chance - it felt more emotionally real even if it was less 'Hollywood realistic.'

    Shahid is an amazing physical actor and I feel like Ken Ghosh got him to use his talents to the fullest even during the non-dance sequences. That opening sequence with him getting breakfast, brushing his teeth, etc. GENIUS! This is one I would gladly watch again, even though it's not a technically "Good" film. :)

  5. Shell says:
    April 20, 2010 at 1:31 PM

    @Christy - the special effect really only bothered me on that one song, but I get your point. I have seen Dil Bole Hadippa. I actually didn't like it as much. Don't know if it was the chemistry between Rani and Shahid, or what, but I didn't feel it. Usually I am all about a Yash Raj production.

    @sonia_bonjour - Well, it certainly has gotten it's fair share of bad reviews, but I thought it was sweet and honest and lots of fun. Definitely a must watch for Shahid. I've yet to venture into Southie films, but will watch them if they come my way.

  6. Shell says:
    April 20, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    @bollyviewer - I wouldn't say the dance factor isn't present, but you see it more in the school subplot than Sameer's own ambitions. Plus, in a dance movie you almost always have a dance contest, dance off or show, and that is missing completely.

    What exactly does "Hollywoodized" mean? Does that mean a loss of distinct song sequences? Or just having tighter storylines and lesser running times?

    Well, CPD certainly has it's share of song sequences, so I don't think it is that exclusively (though I've noticed and increase substitution of actual picturizations with background songs or music montages). It's something I need to explore more, but a lot of the newer movies that I've seen just feel different, even from movies made only 10 years ago. Though, to be fair, it could be that the industry is just progressing and my generalization is incorrect. As long as they continue to make movies I can love I don't really care where the industry goes.

  7. ajnabi says:
    April 21, 2010 at 7:47 AM

    Yay for someone else liking the movie, besides Filmi Girl and myself. :-) I thought it was fun, and I like Shahid in his loser avatar. Oh, I'll be honest, I like him just about anyway I can get him, sans Twitter.

  8. Shell says:
    April 21, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    @Filmigirl - Ha ha! I love how you always to refer to fun, but not necessarily intellectual movies as not technically "Good" films! It's okay to like them, really it is!

    I liked Luck By Chance actually, but I liked this film more, and I agree 100% about the physical comedy aspect. Shahid was so funny in that opening bit, I would watch it again just for that!

    @ajnabi - We may be only 3, but at least we know what we like! I simply ADORED Shahid in this, and for the first time probaby understood why you like him so much! I have big hopes for Badmash Company.

  9. Sarah (Pardesi 2) says:
    April 21, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    Shahid is so adorable; it's unbelievable. But, speaking of Bollywood changing, I really wonder about whether these new guys (regardless of how adorable they are) are ever fully going to be able to replace folks like the three Khans, in terms of being personalities that people want to see and know about, and will adore no matter what. I mean, for example, can anyone really fill SRK's shoes?

    But if anyone can manage that it will be the two Kapoors, Shahid and Ranbir; they are pretty awesome. (and I go back and forth between which one I like better depending on which one I've seen in a movie more recently . . .)

  10. theBollywoodFan says:
    April 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM

    Thanks for this, Shell. I thought I'd pretty much made up my mind that I wasn't going to see this after reading Filmi Girl's review, but comments on Genelia have me reconsidering. (Although I really enjoyed her performance in Life Partner! (Go figure, LOL :)

    I like the 'Hollywoodization' of Bollywood, assuming I get what it means in this context. (There's plenty of room for all sorts of films to be successful. We probably have enough popular actors to keep old-school masala alive! :D) My theory is Bollywood's evolution has been more of a need than a desire, because stuff from Hollywood is immensely popular in urban India (has been for a while), and these guys need to keep up to not lose out big time.

    As for the next gen...the sense I get is Shahid and especially Farhan Akhtar are already well in the lead, based on experience. I also get the sense that Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan are as popular among and as well-liked by the 18-35 demographic, as anyone else. So I hope that keeps up, since I really want them to work on a remake of Andaz Apna Apna! :)

  11. Shell says:
    April 21, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    @Sarah - Namaskar and welcome to my blog! I totally agree with where you're coming from. I don't think anyone will ever be able to fill Shah's shoes, but that's okay really. Having two many stars of that magnitude is exhausting anyway! LOL! I think we've already started seeing a different style of heroes emerge and I don't see that changing.

  12. Reema says:
    April 21, 2010 at 3:17 PM

    Only one screencap of Shahid shirtless? I'm disappointed. :P

  13. Jules says:
    April 21, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Was there dancing in this movie? I think I was too preoccupied with wishing I could see more of Shahid naked. Yum-ba-dum-bum.

  14. Shell says:
    April 21, 2010 at 6:16 PM

    @tbf - Genelia was totally charming in this - you must see it if only for her (and Life Partner? Really?). I can't wait to read your thoughts if or when you see it.

    I don't know if I see Imran and Ranbir redoing AAA. Neither of them seems daft enough to play Salman's character, but it could be interesting nonetheless.

    @Reema - There's two if you count the movie poster! LOL! I need some substance to my posts Reems, or they just become too fangirlish, na?

    @Jules - Ha ha! Not much dancing (at least not as much as there should have been). You and Reema should get together for an ogglefest!

  15. Darshit says:
    April 22, 2010 at 7:37 AM

    anything for Genelia.
    I wanted to see this film badly, but couldn't make it when it was in theatres [for a week only :(]
    But I think now i have to see it.

    Yes, tBF 's suggestion is good. You should see Life Partner. I found it totally fun. And Oh, its based on Gujarati families !

    by the way, second last screencap - doesn't Genelia look like Madhuri Dixit??

  16. Shell says:
    April 22, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    I've seen Life Partner. I thought it was okay, not great, and I didn't love Genelia in it at all (especially the ending - she really was too much).

    Madhuri hey? Hmmm, I guess I can see a little bit there.

    Hope you enjoy CPD when you get to see it!

  17. Filmbuff Says:
    April 22, 2010 at 8:50 PM

    My twin and I also liked CPD. Both Shahid and Genelia have done well. So you, ajnabi, filmigirl et all are not in a minority in liking this movie.

    I liked your review. The movie is a realistic portrayal of how people struggle in getting a foothold in Bollywood esp the scenes involving Monish Behl as a producer and the way he treats Shahid.

    See Genelia in the telugu movie Bomarillu - The BollywoodFan has the best review on this movie. Siddarth (from Rang De Basanti) is the hero. Prakash Raj is the dad.

    I also liked Genelia in Mere Baap Pehle Aap. Akshay Khanna is the hero. Paresh Rawal, Om Puri and South Actress/ Dancer shobana have good roles too. I think this is a remake of a malayalam film by Priyadarshan.

    Genelia was also the heroine in the hit telugu movie Ready which is being re-made in hindi acc to press reports

  18. Shell says:
    April 23, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    Yay! I'm glad there are a few of us that can appreciated CPD for what it has to offer! I imagine things like the handshake contract between Sameer and his producer, and the consequent fall out, happen more often than we realize.

    I've heard that Bomarillu is a very good movie and that Geneila has done some very good work in Southie films. One day I will remember all the movies I've been recommended and place a big order.