Movie Review: Let’s Dance

Let’s Dance has the understated romance of Jaane Tu…, fleeting emotions of Slumdog Millionaire and the mood of Rock On. If you have liked any of these movies (and I guess, you have), then you won’t be disappointed with director Aarif Sheikh’s effort which parades a host of newcomers. Of course, there are flaws but the whole feel of the movie compensates for it and you are willing to sit back and enjoy, and even tap your feet at times.

Let’s Dance is not your big budget, over-hyped multi-starrer, which promises the moon and delivers zilch. It’s about a bunch of committed newcomers who put it their all to bring out a sensitive, sensible subject putting their soul into what they are doing. And leading the pack is Gayatri Patel, who plays Suhani, a dance instructor with stars in her eyes. What immediately connects you with the leading lady who carries off the film superbly in her debut is her simplicity, honesty and naivety in which she pursues her dream of featuring in a music album directed by one of the hottest directors around (RJ) Rehan Jones, played by Aaquib Afzal. Her interest in street kids when she stumbles upon them dancing on the streets and her desire to get them off their ‘on street danger’ to something more meaningful in life is something very real. Don’t we all want to do something like this and are stuck because of lack of direction? Gayatri’s character shows that all it needs is a sincere willingness and that anyone can help the marginalized.

The girl is a good dancer and acts with gusto. Nothing ‘over-the-top’: very impressive for a debut. When faced with the inevitable in the big bad world out there, she does not succumb, like shown in many movies, but stands up and punches back. Now this is what I like about the director. He has shown his leading lady with lots of spunk and self-belief. He has also surrounded her by an angel in the form of Neil Chaudhary played by Ajay Chaudhary. That’s what life is, we all have God-sent angels but fail to recognize them and end up doing what we are not supposed to. Aarif Sheikh throws light on that fact. Full marks to him because the movie not only entertains, it also educates.

Sugandha Garg who plays Anoushka, Suhani’s roommate along with Nikunj Pandey, Asif Basra and Abhaas Yadav (the street boys) complete the cast. Sugandha was last seen in Jaane Tu… and she carries off her good performance to this film as well.

Highlights of the film: The subtle romance between Suhani and Neil; the bond between Suhani and the kids; her holding of principles against RJ and the other of his ilk who ‘request’ their pound of ‘flesh’; and the well-choreographed dances and easy on the ears music.

Flaws: Believe me, you will not mind them, because what stands out is the sincerity with which the entire unit has worked as a team.

Jai ho! Or should I say, Rock On!!!

Rating: 2.5 / 5
Martin D’Souza
This first appeared on glamsham on June 20, 2009

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