2.5 Good

Chandni Chowk To China

Before I begin with the review, let me introduce you to the director of CC2C
Nikhil Advani,
Assistant Director for Mohabbatein, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, Iss Raat ki Subah Nahi \
Screenplay writer for Iss Raat ki Subah Nahi with Sudhir Mishra,
Director of Kal Ho Naa Ho and dubious Salaam-E-Ishq.

Post Kal Ho Naa Ho, Karan Johar and Nikhil Advani parted ways. There was a speculation that Karan Johar ghost directed Kal Ho Naa Ho, Nikhil Advani went all out saying that he wasn't going to be a director whose style of working would match to Karan Johars as he felt that he doesn't want to be associated with Candy Floss movies. Gr8!! I said, I always had a feeling that after a pathbreaking Kal ho na ho ( I say path breaking, as people would agree that while Kal ho na ho released it introduced new camera angles, the famous Kantaben and a very memorable climax of SRK & Saif). I agreed with Nikhil that directors like him should break in new avenues for Indian Cinema. Since then, I awaited a Nikhil Advani movie, be it a debacle called Salaam-E-Ishq, which made me bang my head, pop in some disprins for headache, Buy a relispray for my back which ached badly after sitting in a movie hall for 4 hours. But even then, I blamed it on the writers and actors and started a new wait for his next Chandni Chowk to China. What did I get for my wait is what we will talk about.

CC2C has everything working for it. Warner Bros. A Hollywood giant backing this project, add to this a producer like Mukesh Talreja who spends enough to make a movie big than it should, and then Rohan Sippy one of the Producer-Director who has the potential to take cinema to the next level, Akshay Kumar in his best form these days, Deepika Padukone who could be called lady luck for many and lastly an international cast. Something like Rush Hour, atleast thats what I am sure people would have expected, India meets China. Sadly, this is a disappointment for many who expected a movie with fun and action, Logic was never in contention and this I believe could be the biggest flaw for this movie.

The movie begins on a promising note, The Great China Wall and the action which begins, how the story connects from China to India and the introduction of Akshay Kumar as Siddhu, its all clapworthy. Then slowly we are introduced to the characters and the movie starts to take the beating with the introduction of Deepika's character, its funny !!! yes. But then starts the problem, Nikhil Advani as a director has this ability to stretch things beyond a point and this is what happens. Without disclosing much, let me tell you that its a revenge saga ala any Mithun or Dharmendra movie of 80's or even any of Akshay Kumar's Khiladi type movies where he used to fight with the Undertakers and wrestlers from WWF. The movie is just about this and a Potato period.

As a point I made earlier, the movie starts taking itself too seriously and thats the problem with the director alone. Akshay Kumar movies are never meant to be logical, we never looked for logic in the first place. But the director tries to bring in a logical reasoning for everything that happens and wants to connect any character who comes in the movie and try to surprise you. Like, how Deepika's father who is a Chinese knows Hindi, How the useless and superficial gadgets would help Akshay and Deepika, etc., etc..But sadly, we are not amused Sir!!. The songs are pathetic and do not connect with the movie barring 'Naam hai Siddhu' and too an extent 'Chak Lein de' none of the tracks are impressive. The comic scenes look promising in the start but again as the movie progresses to be a disaster the jokes start getting crass and Vulgar. The biggest problem with the movie is the action, if I am not going to get comedy out of Akshay, the next thing I expect is good Action and with a title like Chandni Chowk to China, you expect not only good but great action sequence, The action is a big let down to be honest, the training of Siddhu doesn't evoke any excitement, (Honestly people Ajay Devgan's Jigar had a better training) and the worst of all is the all important climax scene. The Movie which begins on a clap-worthy note ends in a slap-worthy note. Yes, Slap the director and slap your head in disbelief as you have been bullied on expecting the movie to be atleast entertaining.

To give the credit where its due the movie scores big on 2 departments, the Cinematography and the EFX. The visuals are appealing without any doubt.

I strongly feel that this winter, the season is of showing muscle power on the box office by the bigwigs of Indian Cinema. It started with Salman in Yuvvraj which bombed, SRK in RNBDJ which went to to be a Super Hit and then came Aamir with Ghajini which is by now MEGA Hit. Now is the turn of Akshay Kumar, to show his power. Though I feel all the above movies be it RNBDJ or Ghajini or CC2C whether they rake in big money due to the star power, what everyone needs to understand that 2008 has raised the bar, now is the time for all the actors to reinvent themselves and take Indian Cinema to next level. For me all the 3 movies are regressive cinema. Rock On!!, Aamir, A Wednesday, Mumbai meri Jaan and Oye Lucky are changing the face of Indian cinema and its sad that such movies are not the big money spinners and not even award winners. I would have loved to see Rock On or A Wednesday earn 200 crores for it makers than a movie like Ghajini.

Akshay Kumar has the weaving of a fine actor, and its sad that he is limited to such roles. But then, if the movie makes in money its only because of Akshay Kumar. I can't imagine any other actor in current times to pull off a mediocre role and movie with such élan. He is the only reason why you sit across the painful journey of Chandni Chowk to China but then Akshay and all the Khans need to pull up their socks as actors like Farhan Akhtar and Abhay Deol are pushing the envelope and what should be a matter of concern for them is they are being immensely popular now. Even if Akki fails to break Ghajini's box office record he has already broken one record and that is of Sunil Shetty, Yes, Akshay drops his saliva in almost every 4th scene of the movie. Deepika Padukone, is a waste in the movie, she has no role to talk about, She doesn't look Chinese and the one word she utters in Chinese is 'wuaaah' and that makes u laugh, when it was not supposed to. The problem with Deepika is not her acting skills or her looks, but the story doesn't needs Deepika and that too in a double role was not required at all. Ranvir Shorey, by the end is made a sidekick, someone like Rajendra Nath or Mukree. Mithun is a darling of masses but he is just for a few scenes. Of the Chinese cast, Gordon Liu is suppose to invoke terror whenever he comes on screen but you end up laughing on him at times, Roger Yuan ( playing Deepika's father) is good specially with his Hindi i.e. if he has spoken it himself.

So now let me come to the director, Advani Sir,
I thought you could be a great director, I had immense faith in you and your abilities and thats the reason why I thought Salaam-E-Ishq could just be a mistake and I waited for your next movie. After watching CC2C I can make a speculation to rest i.e. Kal Ho Naa Ho was indeed directed by Karan Johar and Salaam-E-Ishq was purely your efforts. And yes, for the sequel which you have warned us now i.e. Chandni Chowk to Africa, Thanks for the warning sir, I will try to stay away from it.