When it comes to shaking his shanks, Shahid Kapoor is not a lallu but a lulu. With what nimbleness he wiggles his butt, sways his brawny bod, twirls his pelvis, and virtually wriggles his anatomy into a perpetual tangle and untangle of limbs - like poetry in motion. Pity that his dancing skill be showcased in a movie as plot-holed, disjointed, cheesy and predictable as Ken Ghosh’s Chance Pe Dance.
Primarily a story of a struggler who comes to Mumbai with Bollywood dreams in his head, the film is a study in plot digressions. At whim it veers into tacky subplots that do little, if not nothing, to further the story. It keeps flitting from the shabby insides of the protagonist’s run-down Maruti Suzuki 800, into the lavatories and dance halls of a school, and from there to producers’ offices and dance competitions before crawling to its underwhelming climax, but not without a de tour to an MCD demolished Delhi.
It’s like the writers stitched together different skits to come up with something that has the semblance of a story. And with his good friend Shahid Kapoor at his disposal, director Ken Ghosh presumably thought that the actor’s post-Kaminey charisma, plus his dimpled smile, bulgy biceps and nifty footwork would gloss over the blotches. Nah! They don’t.
‘Chance Pe Dance’ starts off as the story of a struggling actor Samir (Shahid Kapoor) who works as a courier boy when not knocking on producer’s doors or shaking his jelly feet to impress film directors at discotheques. Luckily by chance, one hotshot director (Mohnish Behl) spots him and promises him a break in his movie. Alongside, Samir befriends and later falls in love with Tina (Genelia D'Souza), a cute, bubbly, scooter-riding stunner who’s the choreographer of Samir’s debut film.
But not all is well for our hero. He gets kicked out of his rented apartment and has no money to rent another place. So, he starts living inside his car and takes up the job of a dance teacher in a school, making the nanhe, naughty taare gyrate zameen par. Things get further worse when Samir gets booted out of his debut film after the producers decide to find a hero through a nationwide talent hunt contest.
Now, even as Samir teaches dance to school kids, he has just one option to take his shot at stardom - participate in the contest. But there’s another tragedy waiting to happen.
Keeping throughout the pretense of a triumph-of-the-spirit tale, ‘Chance Pe Dance’ slips into overtly sentimental drama more often than not. After being kicked out of the movie, the protagonist sheds a tear and breaks into an emotional harangue about his unending woes even though his beautiful squeeze Tina sits beside him not knowing what to do or say, just like the viewers.
Shahid Kapoor definitely ought to steer clear of mushy melodramas. Doubtlessly he’s a good dancer and an above-average actor, but he can’t for his life internalize the plight of a struggler in ‘Chance Pe Dance’. Genelia looks terrific and is pretty comfortable in the skin of her charming, teeny bopper of a character. Mohnish Behl is good as the fidgety director, while Pariskshit Sahni gets just two-three scenes as the hapless, hardworking pa of the hero back in Delhi.
The music (Adnan Sami) is not peppy enough for footfalls to set the dance floor quaking. The choreography (Ahmed Khan, Marty Kudelka) is excellent and cinematography good, even though the editor does seem to have slept at times while doing his job.
Just Shahid’s dance, Genelia’s smile, and capers of a few perky kids don’t make a movie. My advice - skip this chance.