You know when a film just hits that sweet spot of exploiting a formula without being formulaic? That's ABCD. It's an underdog tale well-told, that ends up being really heartfelt and moving, despite not being the best-written script. It's an ode to dance, first and foremost, and what an ode it is!
The film, directed and written by choreographer Remo D'Souza, starring the man whose name is a synonymous with dance, Prabhudeva, begins in a rather dull manner: Vishnu (Prabhudeva) gets fired by scheming dance company owner Jehangir (Kay Kay Menon with a soul patch, which is the most evil of facial hair styles) and is down in the dumps, when he discovers some local youths clashing with one another ..in the form of dance! Inspired by this, he decides to teach them all they need to know about dance. And boy, does he ever.
Let's be honest: you watch this film for the dancing. You should watch this film for the dancing. At the same time, I was surprised at how engaged with the story I found myself. Little by little, the characters emerge from this talented group of dancers, and you end up really feeling for them. It's precisely as Prabhudeva's character says in the movie - to dance is to express emotion, and by the end of the film, I found myself tearing up at these expressions.
I don't know what more to say about this film, really; definitely see it, if you're sick of seeing simplistic dance routines in films, or if you like Prabhudeva as a dancer, or if you just want to see a great ensemble film that's beyond entertaining (especially once they get done with the tedious set-up of circumstances).
Maybe I'll view it with a more critical eye during rewatches but so far, this is my film of 2013 and thus I'll just shower it with lavish praise. Go see it. Go see it now.