Pappu Can’t Dance Saala is an unlikely love story of a small-town guy (Vinay Pathak) and a chorus dancer (Neha Dhupia) of Bollywood. Read the review for more.

Neha Dhupia, Vinay Pathak Pappu Can't Dance Saala
Neha Dhupia, Vinay Pathak Pappu Can't Dance Saala

Business rating: 1.5 / 5 stars

Star cast: Vinay Pathak, Neha Dhupia, Rajat Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra, Naseeruddin Shah.

What’s Good: The realistic comedy; performances of the actors.

What’s Bad: Repetitiveness of the drama; the lack of a believable conflict in the second half.

Verdict:Pappu Can’t Dance Saala is an entertainer but only upto a point. It will work to an extent in a few multiplexes but that’s not enough to fetch returns.

Loo break: A couple in the second half.

Watch or Not?: Watch it for the comedy and the performances.

R-Vision India Pvt. Ltd. and Marriedprint Films Production’s Pappu Can’t Dance Saala (UA) is an unlikely love story of a small-town guy and a chorus dancer of Bollywood. Vidyadhar Acharya (Vinay Pathak) comes to Bombay from Varanasi and finds it difficult to adjust to the fast-paced life of the heartless city. His neighbour, Mehak Malavade (Neha Dhupia), is a chorus dancer in Bollywood who is loud and brash and who has adjusted to the city in spite of hailing from another small town, Kolhapur. Both of them illegally occupy flats in government quarters but a raid by the vigilance officers leads to Mehak’s flat being sealed. Since Vidyadhar and Mehak can’t see eye to eye due to their very different ideologies, Mehak assumes that Vidyadhar must’ve complained about her illegal stay to the vigilance officers. To spite him, she shifts into his flat and even occupies his bedroom.

Initial quarrels and bickerings give way to Vidyadhar and Mehak ultimately developing a soft corner for each other. However, Mehak does not approve of Vidyadhar’s gesture of getting her father to the city to meet her. The father, on his part, is angry with Mehak for spoiling the family name by becoming a chorus dancer in films. Frustrated, Mehak gives a piece of her mind to Vidyadhar who then leaves the city and returns to Varanasi. What happens thereafter? Do Vidyadhar and Mehak miss each other? Have they fallen in love with one another? Do they ever meet again?Vinay Pathak, Neha Dhupia Pappu Can't Dance Saala

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Review: Script Analysis

Saurabh Shukla’s slice-of-life story is sweet and affords itself to several comic situations, especially in the initial portions when Vidyadhar and Mehak can’t get along with each other. But since the story is uni-dimensional, it becomes predictable and repetitive after some time. Saurabh Shukla’s screenplay fumbles in the second half in the absence of a well-defined and concrete conflict between the two lead players. In fact, the conflict looks quite contrived and is the weakest portion of the drama. It is in the second part of the pre-interval portion and post-interval too that the audience gets the feeling that the script was more suitable for a television serial.

While some comic scenes are quite interesting and entertaining, the latter ones lose quite a bit of their charm because they appear repetitive. Had the plot been more varied and had there been more incidents in the lives of Vidyadhar and Mehak, the drama would’ve been far more engaging and enjoyable. Nevertheless, the dialogues, penned by Saurabh Shukla and Rahul Awate, and the very natural performances of the actors save the film from becoming boring despite the repetitiveness.

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Review: Star Performances

Vinay Pathak does an excellent job of the small-town guy with his principles intact. His acting is layered and he is so much in synch with his character that he makes Vidyadhar Acharya an endearing personality. Neha Dhupia is simply brilliant, delivering an effortless and natural performance. She makes a number of scenes, especially in the first half, truly entertaining because of her spontaneity. Rajat Kapoor gives a restrained performance. Brijendra Kala lends good support. Naseeruddin Shah is very likeable in a special appearance. As his wife, Veena Malik also does a fine job. Sanjay Mishra and Saurabh Shukla make their presence felt in brief roles. Eddie Seth (as Mehak’s English-speaking friend, Darsheel), Kanchan Pagare (as the ‘Hello’ guy, Tavade), Sushil (as the ‘Hello’ guy’s accomplice), Rati Shankar Tripathi as Dwivedi (friend of Vidyadhar’s father) and Datta Sonawane (as police constable) provide very good support. Anand Abhyankar is fair as Mehak’s father. Suhasini (as dancer Beejal), Vidhi and Sharda (both as Mehak’s friends), Sunil Chaturvedi (as society secretary Chaturvedi) and the rest are alright.

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Review: Direction & Music

Saurabh Shukla’s direction is mature and definitely better than the script which loses steam after a point. However, the whole angle of space crunch in Bombay and illegal occupation of flats would be comprehended and appreciated more by the audience in Bombay and other big cities but the viewers in small towns may not identify with the housing crisis. Malhar Patekar’s music is fair.

Lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya and Saurabh Shukla) go well with the mood of the film. Song picturisations (Longines Fernandes) are appropriate. Fuwad Khan’s cinematography is nice. Sets (Meenal Aggarwal) are alright. Editing, by Sankalp Meshram, is functional.

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Review: Komal Nahta’s Verdict

On the whole, Pappu Can’t Dance Saala is entertaining but upto a point only. It will win more acclaim than box-office rewards because it cannot hope to recover its cost from the few multiplexes it will work in. Its poor start at most of the places is an indication of its ultimate box-office fate.

Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Trailer

Komal Nahta, the Editor of, is Bollywood’s most trusted trade analyst & film reviewer. You can follow him on Twitter and check out his Video Blog.

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