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  Publicity Stills of
"Chandni Chowk to China"
(Courtesy of Warner Bros)

Genre: Comedy/Musical
Director: Nikhil Advani
Cast: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Mithun Chakraborty, Gordon Liu
RunTime: 2 hrs 36 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.cc2c-thefilm.com

Opening Day: 15 January 2009


A Bombay loser’s fortunes change when told he’s the reincarnation of a great Chinese village hero. However, on arrival to China, he finds out that he has been chosen to save that village by confronting the most dreaded foreign drug lord!

Movie Review:

If the word fusion can be affixed to a movie, Chandni Chowk to China is probably the likely choice. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, this is nothing like the studio has done before. This movie is a desi affair with all its colour and splendour set against the backdrop of a legendary and rustic China. The length of the movie may have been watered down slightly to appeal to a wider audience but what seems like the “appropriate” Bollywood length remains.

At the heart of this film is Sidhu (Akshay Kumar), a cook in the town of Chandni Chowk, India, who is believed to be the reincarnation of a Chinese warrior, Liu Sheng. He lives day-to-day, chopping carrots, carrying sacks of potatoes under the watchful eye of his Dada, a guardian who has taken care of him since young. It is until two Chinese villagers travel to India to find the man who they believe is their hero reincarnate. Aided by his friend Chopstick, the dreamer in Sidhu travels to China to fulfill his destiny without fully knowing what lies in store for him, Chopstick not telling him everything. The villagers believe Sidhu is the man who will save their village from the very evil, Hojo (Gordon Liu).

As Sidhua embarks on this newfound journey with his potato (who he believes is a representation of his Lord Ganesh), he is tricked by Miss TSM [Miss Tele Shoppers Media] (Deepika Padukone) and when he stumbles upon her again in China, discovers that she too has a hidden secret.

Akshay Kumar, who is commonly seen as the dashing hero in his movies plays Sidhu here to Borat-esque proportions! I never knew Akshay Kumar had it in him to play comedic roles as such, mangling his face and coming up with nonsensical antics, coming across as more idiot savant than hero to the rescue. But that is what makes the character Sidhu lovable and a fan-favourite. Deepika Padukone as both Miss TSM and Meow Meow is a stunner, who shuttles between playing the damsel and the evil kung-fu-fighting associate of Hojo. Gordon Liu’s Hojo is also good fun to watch, especially so with his killer signature move.

The fight scenes are pretty exciting as are the training sequences. They are quite the entertainment factor yet engaging to watch. These are also coupled with goofy and over-the-top action moments like Sidhu flying through the air several times when kicked by his Dada or Sidhu and Miss TSM break-ing out into a love-esque moment while freefalling off a building. Only a Bollywood flick coupled with some kung-fu-hustling can lead to this. I must say that while they are ludicrous, they provide great laugh out loud moments.

This movie is a fun affair that should be able to transcend language barriers. It is meant to be taken lightly despite its near-epic length. A fun ride through and through, unfortunately, it just somewhat falls slightly short of Kung Fu Hustle. But that does not mean it does not warrant a ticket purchase.

Movie Rating:

(This goofy movie needs to come with a giggly good time guarantee!)

Review by Mohamad Shaifulbahri


. Rab Ne Bana Di Joni (2008)

. Brick Lane (2007)

. Saawariya (2007)

. The Namesake (2007)

. Water (2006)

. Mistress of Spices (2006)

. Bride & Prejudice (2004)

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