Rating: 1.5/5 Stars (One and Half stars)
Star cast: Saahil Prem, Amrit Maghera
Director: Saahil Prem
What’s Good: Just the dance.
What’s Bad: Everything else. From acting to direction to screenplay to music were all below underwhelming.
Loo break: Good number of them.
Watch or Not?: Mad About Dance isn’t a pathetic film but it looks like the work of an amateur who is making the film as a film school project. The film hints on too many topics but primarily sticks to racism and dance. Saahil Prem is a good dancer but his lack of ability to bring soul to his character or the film makes the movie a failed attempt. I didn’t loathe it because the last 30 minutes made up for a lot of hiccups but nevertheless this one is far from a decent film. There is a certain lack of gusto and enthusiasm in the film which defeats the point of recommending it even as a passable watch.
Aarav Anand (Saahil Prem) goes to Sheffield to do MBA but his actual dream is to get absorbed in his idol Ceasar’s crew. Finding Ceasar’s team exhausts him of all his money. Working as a dishwasher in the local restaurant, his dream of meeting Ceasar turns out very different from what was expected of him. Suddenly he is pitted against the man he has admired all along and his crew is the finest in the city. Aarav makes his own crew and defeats Caesar’s team and the story traces David Vs Goliath all over again.
Mad About Dance (MAD) Review: Script Analysis
In an interview to Koimoi earlier, Saahil had explained how the film was born out of his own experiences. It is hard to believe it because the film’s story lacks soul. For someone who has lived through the film, the effort seemed very superficial. Not to mention, the film’s casting was very weak. They were just a bunch of dancers who were simply non actors especially Saahil.
When I say the film lacks depth, I am talking about the script mainly. It touches upon everything at a very superficial level. If this was an attempt to be subtle, it seemed lacking in effervescence. The dances too in the first part of the film seemed very ordinary, lacking in the needed energy. The racist streak was introduced in spurts but was built into a full blown climax in the end. The romance didn’t quite have the chemistry. Not enough time was invested in adding the adorability factor in the story.
For a dance film, the energy levels were drooping low in this one. At many cues in the film you get disinterested. The troubled family issues seemed very lame. I hate it when issues as grave as domestic abuse is treated with such frivolousness. Even if the offense is forgiven, the film fails at a very primary level: satiating the fire inside a dance enthusiast. At very few cues in the film will you jump up and say oh! Wow. Probably the end impact of the film was subdued in negativity because the last half an hour of the film was a smashing feat.
Mad About Dance (MAD) Review: Star Performances
Probably it is the ABCD and Dance India Dance after effect, but we equate subtlety with lack of energy often and Saahil Prem is a case of the same. The fact that he can’t emote was evident from the trailer but he failed to bring his angst and pain on screen, even when he was taking on his idol on the dance floor or even when his friend attempts suicide. At every cue there was that vivacious streak missing from him which you would expect in such a film.
Amrit Maghera is more than just a pretty face. She is a good dancer but again she too comes with the same problem. Her pain doesn’t have that heart wrenching quality. I was not expecting exemplary acting from her but the basics too didn’t go as per my expectations.
The rest of the team were just about passable and were stuck between memorable and forgettable. They danced but they couldn’t act.
Mad About Dance (MAD) Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Saahil’s acting lacks energy and the direction lacks experience. This isn’t a pro’s work but at the only point I would like to give him some credit would be that the film seemed straight from the heart. It lacks soul for sure but the film does seem very earnest on many points. Especially in the last two dances, the film made up a lot of its flaws. Keeping the narrative very simple and naively formulaic, the dance styles introduced were admirable. The lack of good music destroyed the impact of the film. Probably if the music of the film was better the impact would have been better.
Mad About Dance (MAD) Review: The Last Word
Mad About Dance isn’t half as mesmeric as a dance film should be. Though Saahil Prem seems earnest in his attempt, his film lacks both energy and soul. Failing to ‘Step Up’ its standard, there is absolutely nothing in the film which should draw you to the halls. I am going with 1.5/5.
Mad About Dance (MAD) Trailer
Mad About Dance (MAD) releases on 22nd August, 2014.
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