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Chance Pe Dance is annoying, exhausting film


Rajeev Masand,CNN-IBN
Jan 16, 2010 at 09:35pm IST

Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Genelia Dsouza and Arshad Warsi

Director: Ken Ghosh

There are three moments in Chance Pe Dance that I can't get out of my head. The first involves a small kid, digging his nose furiously, followed by a tight close-up of his booger. The second is that of a Parsi gentleman in a sudreh, scratching his hairy chest and armpits incessantly. The third is a scene in which Shahid Kapoor scrapes his nails against a blackboard, the shrill sound of which is deafening.

Evidently each of these scenes is intended to make you turn away, to be repulsed even. The thing is, director Ken Ghosh needn't have tried so hard. Chance Pe Dance is an annoying, exhausting film that entirely fails to entertain. ((pause)) Shahid Kapoor stars as Sameer Behl, a struggling actor chasing the Bollywood dream. He faces rejection every day, until finally his killer dance moves get a prominent film director to notice him and subsequently sign him up as the lead in his next film. Not much later, he is dropped from the film.

Sameer has no money for rent and finds himself living out of his car. He has no money for meals, and must take up a dance-teacher's job at a school. It doesn't take a genius to predict that he will lead his oddball students to victory in an inter-school dance championship, and depite all odds, he will become a movie-star after all.

Chance Pe Dance doesn't work because you feel no empathy for its protagonist. The film's writers -- if you can call them that, considering there is no script to speak of -- fail to invest even a hint of vulnerability in Sameer. Moreso, Shahid Kapoor's surface-level performance doesn't help convey the desperation his character's supposedly feeling.

The obligatory romantic track between Sameer and an upcoming choreographer (played by Genelia D'souza) is so random, it adds no dimension to the central plot. This is a film without any character arcs, or plot progression. To be honest, Chance Pe Dance is a film that probably started shooting before a script was ever written; a one-line idea that never developed into a complete story.

The dance portions here are impressively performed by Shahid Kapoor, but you could interchange each of the sequences and it would make no difference to the final film. Much of the blame for that must by shared by composer Adnan Sami who delivers an uninspired soundtrack of indifferent tunes.

Chance Pe Dance is only a little over two hours in running time, but feels much longer because the screenplay limps lethargically in no particular direction.

Of the cast, Genelia D'souza saddled with a half-baked role and left pretty much to her own devices, screeches through her scenes and strums up none of that buoyant energy one has come to expect from her. Shahid Kapoor for his part, makes too many faces throughout the film, and lets his chiselled abs and his nimble feet do the talking. Unfortunately, that's not enough.

I'm going with one out of five and a thumbs down for director Ken Ghosh's Chance Pe Dance; he borrows liberally from such Hollywood films as School of Rock and the Jessica Alba-starrer Honey. But with it's theme of a struggling actor's ultimate vindication, in the end I suppose Chance Pe Dance could be described as "Luck By Chance-For-Dummies". Although it would be a crime to mention the two films in the same breath!

Rating: 1 / 5

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