The standard dance film template defined by director Remo D’Souza over three films, has to include the following: an introductory dance sequence showcasing the lead actors, a dance face-off to establish rivalry, ‘Bezubaan’ to establish conflict, a Ganpati Bappa song to seek divine intervention and a song about India to celebrate the unity in diversity. In between the audiences are left looking for a story. ‘Street Dancer 3D’, though is a compilation of dance videos from TikTok clubbed together for a two-hour long feature presentation in 3D.
Sahej (Varun Dhawan) and Inayat (Shraddha Kapoor) are London-based street dancers hailing from India and Pakistan respectively, representing their crews Street Dancers and Rule Breakers. They occasionally challenge each other to dance face-offs and get into ugly confrontations at a London eatery run by Anna (Prabhu Deva). One day, Inayat witnesses suspicious visitors entering the restaurant from the back door and smells a rat. The second time over, curiosity gets the better of her. She confronts Anna, only to learn that he feeds leftovers to the homeless and unemployed immigrants from the Indian sub-continent. Anna tells her about Ground Zero, a dance competition between various street dance troupes across nationalities, and urges her to participate in the same as the prize money is enough to send the hapless immigrants home. Meanwhile, Sahej also has his eyes at the championship as he wants to accomplish his brother’s unfulfilled dream which was cut short due to an accident. Anna urges Sahej and Inayat to join forces and participate together. Will the two rise above their conflict?
Written by D’Souza and Tushar Hiranandani, the idea to strike a conversation around choosing humanity over hatred and spreading peace through art is noble, but the execution is largely juvenile. The dialogues by Farhad Samji and Jagdeep Sidhu fail to evoke genuine feeling and are comical. A key scene before interval involving Prabhu Deva giving a pep talk about unity is unintentionally hilarious. Technically, there is very little to appreciate except for the scintillating dance performances choreographed by Kruti Mahesh, Rahul Shetty and Tashan Muir.
The performances too aren’t particularly enticing enough. Varun has worked a lot on his dancing and physique, which is why there are way too many close-ups of his bare-chested physique breaking into improbable jigs. Shraddha too invests the same sincerity into her dancing alike her act in ‘ABCD 2’ despite being a non-dancer. Nora Fatehi playing Sahej’s half-Brit, half-Indian girlfriend Bobo can move like a dream but her character holds no significance to the plot. Aparshakti Khurrana as an immigrant Amrinder from Punjab is a painful watch. The only respite is Prabhu Deva. Despite his inconsistent accent, watching the man dance to the recreated version of ‘Muqabla’ in 3D is a visual treat and an exciting trip down memory lane for many 90s kids.
‘Street Dancer 3D’ has the heart in the right place but misses the beat.