A bunch of Asians dancers in UK for the first time take on the challenge of a dance face-off with national champs
No Elvis this. Yet his thrusts have a lot of pelvis. He 'locks', 'pops' and 'breaks'. He's fast, smooth and footloose. The heart of this story rests on the dance floor, but dares to step out too.
Aarav Anand's (Saahil) life pirouettes on one big dream - he wants to join his idol Caesar's dance group. With little money and pounds of passion, he moves to the quaint town of Sheffield in UK to track down his dancing guru. He bonds with other struggling desis having similar woes of living in a phoren land. He traces Caesar and his troupe of sinister-looking white snobs, who hate the 'brownies' ("Brownies are fit to be waiters, cabbies and caterers!").
He even suffers a humiliating defeat in a dance battle and is ousted. He meets UK-born desi girl Aashira (Amrit) who hates the 'browns', but abruptly waltzes over to the other side, finds a partner in him and falls in love too. Aarav then forms the first Asian dance crew in Sheffield that participates in a fierce dance battle at the national level.
Debutant director Saahil Prem's film is simple with a formulaic story line. It doesn't ever 'step-up' to another level. It delves into issues beyond dance - racial conflict, youth dilemmas and dreams. While none of these sub-plots are well-fleshed out, they end up throwing the story off the dance floor.
Some dance routines (B-boying, locking, popping, break-dance, free-style - Salah Benlemqawanssa & Supple Nam - Kryptic Movement) will arouse cheers, and the dancers are undeniably impressive during the fiery dance face-offs. Yet, for a dance film, it lacks pace, energetic enthusiasm and a good soundtrack. The lead pair burns the dance floor, can't say the same about their romance. Most of the cast dances better than they emote.
Saahil strikes with aggressive moves, he's silently charming, but underplays his emotions. Amrit is smooth on the dance floor and likeable; Raashul Tandon (of the buddy gang) provides laughs.
'MAD' puts its best foot forward at the end, hold your breath for the last dance. Overall, it's a film for dance lovers. Even if it leaves the heart dancing for more.