Chance Pe Dance -- Film Review

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- In "Chance Pe Dance" ("A Chance to Dance"), dynamo Shahid Kapur plays Sameer Behl, a young artist struggling to make it in Big, Bad Bollywood. American choreographer Marty Kudelka, who has worked with the likes of Justin Timberlake, was brought on board to invigorate the genre by mixing Bollywood dance with krumping, an exaggerated urban dance style. Those are the best moments in the film.

Despite Kapur's dizzying talent and toothy charm, the film is likely to be overlooked by audiences on their way back for a second viewing of the boxoffice giant "3 Idiots."

Sameer lives in a tiny bachelor pad, earning just enough money to keep himself in counterfeit designer jeans and Ed Hardy T-shirts. He's resourceful -- he uses his iron to make his morning toast and knows how to make a scooter start when it's run out of gas. And devout, too: One wall of his room is devoted to an incense-scented shrine to Michael Jackson. All he needs is a break.

Director Ken Ghosh cobbles together ideas purloined from movies and rock videos (in one song, Kapur and Genelia D'Souza cavort as giants over Mumbai, like the Rolling Stones' 1994 video). But a subplot that has Sameer grudgingly teaching dance to a motley group of high school kids a la "School of Rock" doesn't go anywhere, and a love story with a pretty choreographer (D'Souza, annoyingly mannered) feels chaste and spark-less.

When Sameer wins a big reality show talent contest, it's no surprise unless you count the puzzling fact that up to that point, the film had shown Sameer rehearsing for a total of three minutes. If only excellence were that easy.

Opened: Friday, Jan. 15 (UTV Motion Pictures)
Cast: Shahid Kapur, Genelia D'Souza, Satish Shah, Mohnish Behl
Director: Ken Ghosh
Screenwriters: Ken Ghosh, Nupur Asthana
Choreographers: Marty Kudelka, Bosco-Caesar
Producer: Ronnie Screwvala
Director of photography: Hari Vedantam
Production Designer: Vineeta Kumar
Music: Adnan Sami, Sandeep Shirodkar
Costume Designers: Shabina Khan, Siraz Siddique, Surily Goel
Editor: Shaju Chandran
Not rated, 130 minutes
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