Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Review: Street Dancer 3D

Release date: January 24, 2020
Running time: 146 minutes
Starring: Varun Dhawan, Shraddha Kapoor, Prabhu Deva

Street Dancer 3D is the third movie in an Indian dancing series.  The first two films were released as ABCD: Any Body Can Dance and ABCD 2.  In the third film, the Street Dancers have now successfully created a dance studio but are still dancing on the streets of London.  However, a new, young Pakistani dance group challenges them, leading to a conflict of not just dance styles, but of nationalities.  These groups enter an underground dance competition with a large grand prize, but do either of them have enough to take on the undisputed British champion Royals?  

If the plot sounds ridiculous, well it is.  This is a dance movie, first and foremost, and the plot is simply there to drive the dancing forward.  It provides a loose structure to have intense dance battles, varied locations and costumes, and plenty of slow motion dance moves--sometimes in the rain.  The dance battles themselves are fun to watch.  Although the earlier battles are not the most involved, the battles during the underground competition are the appropriate level of grandiose, with some larger than life moves and effects to move the beat along.  On top of this, each dance battle has a new set of coordinated costumes, great choreography, and plenty of twists and turns (literally and figuratively) to keep the dancing interesting.

The cast of Street Dancer 3D is also enjoyable.  They are diverse, with plenty of dancers and dance styles to keep the film varied.  Many characters from the previous films return, along with some new faces to keep the story fresh.  And the costume design is bright and colorful when needed.  Where the film misses a beat is in its greater social message.  This movie pivots at the start to a movie about the plight of immigrants in Britain and a lesson in haves vs. have nots.  It is a good message, but the film delivers it in a heavy-handed way.  It really tries to tug at your heart strings and ends up feeling very forced.  Again, I like the overall message but it feels like this could have been delivered more subtly.  On top of this, the movie also inserts a certain amount of nationalistic pride in the rivalry of the Indian crew and the Pakistani crew, which is off-putting at first but resolves itself as the film progresses.  And finally, the plot is ridiculous, as you would expect, but that is par for the course in dance movies.  

Street Dancer 3D takes on the world with intense and grandiose dance battles from some immensely talented performers. 

Rent It

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