Film review: ‘Street Dancer 3D’ cares, but you don't have to | Mint
Active Stocks
Tue Feb 27 2024 15:57:55
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 749.70 -1.23%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 144.15 1.09%
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 292.50 1.65%
  1. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries share price
  2. 1,579.10 1.42%
  1. ITC share price
  2. 411.15 0.48%
Business News/ Industry / Media/  Film review: ‘Street Dancer 3D’ cares, but you don't have to
BackBack

Film review: ‘Street Dancer 3D’ cares, but you don't have to

Remo D’Souza’s film, starring Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor as the heads of rival dance crews, is well-intentioned but tedious

Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor in a still from Street Dancer 3D.Premium
Varun Dhawan and Shraddha Kapoor in a still from Street Dancer 3D.

The hidden cost of Prabhu Deva dancing is Prabhu Deva saying things. The owner of a London restaurant, he’s trying to get rival Indian and Pakistani dance crews to team up. “In physics, two negatives make a positive," he says. A point well taken, but Anna isn’t done. “In economics, it’s better to share profits than suffer losses alone. In moral science, we are told that united we stand, divided we fall. In history, the foreigners only left India once we all came together."

In screenwriting, this is called a Farhad Samji. In time, two-and-a-half hours were spent. In all honesty, after ABCD, ABCD 2 and this, I feel like I’ve seen enough Remo D’Souza dance films for one lifetime.

For Varun Dhawan to dance, family must suffer. Having performed for the memory of his departed mother in ABCD 2, he’s dancing for his injured brother in Street Dancer 3D. After the elder sibling takes a bad fall in the finale of a major dance tournament, Sahej vows to win it for him. He reassembles Street Dancers, a crew of Indian-origin dancers in London. Their rivals, the Pakistani-origin Rule Breakers, led by Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor), are eyeing the same prize. It’s all fun and games and competitive cricket-watching until the refugee crisis rears its head.

Late one night at Anna’s restaurant, Inayat finds out he’s been feeding immigrants from the subcontinent who live in a nearby tunnel. Sahej’s conscience is also under siege: four Punjabi musicians he brought to London under false pretences for a fee have fallen on hard times. It’s a strange feeling to go from breaking and twerking to homeless Indians and Pakistanis narrating their sad stories, but D’Souza is obviously moved by their plight, and by the charitable work of the Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team, who get a shout-out at the end. It’s an irony beyond the scope of this film concerned with the well-being of Indian immigrants abroad that it’s releasing as the country fights over the rights of immigrants in India.

As for the dancing itself, it’s expertly done and entirely boring. The joy of dance is replaced by the inaccessibility of gymnastics, the thrill of bodies in motion dulled by the monotony of choreography. To see Prabhu Deva perform a new version of “Muqabala" is to feel intensely nostalgic for the ‘90s, a time when dancing in Indian films was either impressive or terrible but wasn't presented with the seriousness of a military manoeuvre. At least the dancing is professional – the brief horror of Dhawan’s British accent is revenge for the Kohinoor.

Lesser movies offer advice; Street Dancer 3D offers advice that rhymes. “Confidence thrills, overconfidence kills," Anna informs Inayat. She in turn tells Sahej: “We dance to express, you dance to impress." This film exists neither to impress nor express but to oppress and distress.

Unlock a world of Benefits! From insightful newsletters to real-time stock tracking, breaking news and a personalized newsfeed – it's all here, just a click away! Login Now!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Uday Bhatia
Uday Bhatia is an assistant editor and film critic at Mint Lounge based in New Delhi. He also oversees the 'How To Lounge'/Culture section.
Catch all the Industry News, Banking News and Updates on Live Mint. Check all the latest action on Budget 2024 here. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
More Less
Published: 24 Jan 2020, 05:10 PM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App