Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chandni Chowk to China

Akshay Kumar, who was a degraded actor till the latter half of 90’s, has made those critics’ mouth shut by giving many hits like ‘Garam Masala’, ‘Namsthey London’, Hey Baby’, ‘Singh is King’ etc. in the last few years. His new film ‘Chandni Chowk to China’ has got Deepika Padukone, who got introduced in ‘On Shanti Om’, as the heroine.

Nikhil Advani, who was once associate to Karan Johar has directed this movie. After ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ and ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’, this is Nikhil’s next turn. But the biggies in the creator’s side are the producers. Can you imagine, Warner Brothers, who gave many notable Hollywood projects like ‘Superman’, ‘Batman’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Matrix’ series etc. has produced ‘Chandni Chowk To China’. This substantiates the fact that the distance between the Bollywood and Hollywood is reduced to the minimum these days.

Hero is a helper in the provision store run by Mithun Chakravarthy at Chandni Chowk in Delhi. At the same time, we are shown a village in China, where the villain Don has got the control over them. They are expecting a hero to save them from the baddies. (Such an element we might have heard in a malayalam film before, ‘Yodha’). Two of the members meet our hero in India, they feels that he is the right person to save them. Hero’s companion (Ranvir Sheroy), whom he calls as Guruji, is also supporting them. Thus the hero reaches China without knowing about his mission.

The heroine who is a model for advertisements also reaches China as a part of brand promotion. The hero meets her (Deepika’s second role) at the airport, since some personal issues was going on between them, by mistake he is attacking her and as a result she who belongs to the villain gang, is being chased by the police and their smuggling mission ends in a failure. Thus the hero is being marked by the gang. Hero reaches the village, but he is unable to protect them. His godfather is also murdered in front of him. In the counter attack, he is being brutally beaten by them. There the usual cinematic phenomenon happens, after months he recovers from the injuries, hero gets vigorous training in martial arts from the local hero who served in police before. He happens to be the father of Deepika sisters. He also wants to take revenge, thus in the end the villain is being shattered by the hero.

Other than the thing that the film happens in China, there is nothing important in the storyline. But since the villain and some of the supporting characters are Chinese actors, it will give the feeling of a Hollywood film while watching ‘Chandni Chowk to China’. As it goes on, in the second half I felt some resemblance with the old movies done by Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee. The opening shots and the narration for most of the scenes are unusual for an ordinary hindi film.

Action scenes are neatly done. Cinematographer Himman Dhamija has given colorful frames. Bappi Lahiri has recreated the song “Bombai se Aaye Mera Dosth…” in his voice. But I felt sad for the fact that the natural beauty of China (including the great Wall) is not shown at its best. Akshay Kumar’s character includes mixed emotions like craziness in the first half which later becomes serious.

‘Chandni Chowk to China’ is a journey. It is not necessary that everyone should accompany, those who are deeply interested in such things only should join.

Rating : 2.5 / 5