Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chandni Chowk To China

Under normal circumstances, I would have waited for Chandni Chowk to China to be chipped off on DVD or torrent but RS insisted and I could not resist. So we went off on a rather busy Sunday for this over-hyped, widest-US-opener-Bollywood-film, first-Indian-movie-shot-in-China, first-Warner-Bros.-Hindi-movie, that managed to make 33 crores on the opening weekend owing to expensive multiplex tickets in India and some more crores out of tickets sold in USDs.

The new mantra of Bollywood is: have star, will sell. It doesn't matter how much amount of crap you fit in. Yuvraaj, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Ghajini, and now Chandni Chowk To China. Akshay Kumar has carved his way into stardom no less than the Khans, in fact deeper than a few of them.

CC2C goes a step ahead in trying out something new. Blends of kungfu and bhangra, a rustic Delhi vegetable cutter and rural Chinese vegetable sellers, chequered shirts and flowered mandarin gowns add a lot of colour and vigour to the streets of Chandni Chowk and The Great Wall of China. Amid all this you'll find a bumpkin of Akshay Kumar duped into travelling to Chinkiland and falling into a kumbh-ka-mela-separation-revenge sequence that is intelligently weaved into funny antics and a few serious action scenes after a prolonged practice session.

The opening scene of the war on the Great Wall of China had actually thrilled me. Brilliantly shot in shades of gray and a lot of mist, it reminded me of scenes in movies like Gladiator. However, that excitement slacked as soon as the scene shifts to the present Chandni Chowk. Zooming in and out of Delhi as Akshay flies up with smoke-propelling rockets up his you-know-where and falls down on earth, sets that do not quite look like Chandni Chowk, and very stupid TV ads, the movie moves on to a very jittery pace that makes you look lustfully at the Exit doors. However, the pace is checked as the plot shifts back to China and you are glad you didn't satisfy yourself.

If you liked one or more of Singh is King, Welcome, or Golmaal Returns, you will like CC2C's comedy too. You'll find Akshay Kumar blabbering and jumping with his gaon-waali-moustache and punditji-plait, using physical jokes a la Jim Carrey, though much more gimcrack and much less witty. Akki is the only one acting funny though, most of the other characters are serious and genuine, though humour has been attempted by mocking Chinese stunts you'd seen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the like. A few of these and other comic stunts would look good only in Tom and Jerry. In short, a lot of nonsensical comedy in a make-believe setting.

Deepika Padukone simply looks stunning in both her Indian and Chinese avatars. The long-legged lass kicks butt the martial arts way where she looks as sexy as Charlize Theron in Aeonflux, though her newly-developed skills could have been used for a longer screen time. Ranveer Shourey wastes himself being a loser sidekick the way pal Vinay Pathak did in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Actors like them should not try to enter mainstream cinema; they know they cannot look better here, these roles do not demand good acting, and they lose the already niche audience their kind of cinema has.

The music is mediocre, and I had dismissed it initially. But when you keep listening to it, you start liking it. The extra rap song by Akshay was fresh, and the mixing of Chinese rhythms added a new form. The melodious Tere Naina is pleasant to hear to, a few others by Kailash Kher.

Overall, CC2C can be a one-time watch that will sure fetch you some giggles and laughs. Talk of cinema that will be remembered, and you'll have to be content that films like Chupke Chupke and Andaz Apna Apna were made only in yore. Watch it out in a light mood with friends and you might agree for a 6 on 10.


29 comments:

Shailendra said...

I didn't go for the movie in spite of having the tickets, yes one my friend booked the tickets, but then also didn't go, yes it was free of cost.
6 out of 10 :-) yes you are generous just like Taran Adarsh.
Oh no y m i writing a comment on this , i could have written on some of your previous post which i liked, yes i couldn't because of time and work constraint :)
oh yes i'm confused , so back to work, keep watching n keep writing.

Ashutosh said...

dude is it really worth 6 out of 10. I guess you gave this rating based on the money you had spent for watching it in a world class state of the art theater.

in other words.... 600 mein 6 diye hai, 1000 mein kya poore 10 de doga kya... :p

~vagabond~ said...

The only song that I thought was worth downloading from the album was the tere naina song...i havent watched the movie yet...i havent seen a good comedy that comes close to andaz apna apna in years...I have never watched chupke chupke..since you mention it in the same breath as AAA, I might see if I can watch that some time.

Vamsee said...

The trailers were very impressive and we were hoping it would be a good Jackie Chan type movie. I guess not. Will comment again after I watch the movie.
BTW, Chupke Chupke is my all time favorite Hindi movie.

hiteshgupta said...

bottomline if you ve good company(pretty girl obviously)any movie at any cost in a theater can be viewed and enjoyed, & thats priceless...
Ashutosh what say>>

ashes said...

Shailendra:

:) How could you contest my rating if you haven't watched the movie anyway? By the way, did you even read my review? I believe had you read my review earlier, you'd not have given off those free tickets.

I didn't know this, but when you talked about Taran Adarsh I looked it up, and found he has given 1.5 out of 5.

ashes said...

Ashutosh:

Yes, I found it worth a 6, but yes, your logic is good. :) But would that mean you gave a ZERO to RNBDJ, Ghajini, and CC2C because you watched it for free?

ashes said...

Vagabond:

Tere Naina is no doubt the best, and the only sensible song I believe. The rest are catchy numbers with funky lyrics.

Chupke Chupke is one of the best comedies I've ever seen. Grab a copy whenever you find one. In case you haven't seen Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, that too is an amazing satirical comedy. I would rate both of these movies above AAA.

ashes said...

Vamsee:

Yes, the promos were very impressive and the movie garnered high expectations owing to the large production/distribution names associated with it. Sometimes I feel movie-makers don't get a feel of the movie after completion and have no idea of the discrepancy between what they had thought and what was the final product.

I would not say my all-time favourite, but yes, Chupke Chupke finds a place among my top-ten greatest Hindi movies of all times.

Shall look forward to your reaction on CC2C after you watch it.

ashes said...

Hitesh:

Your statement holds correct, but CC2C is really enjoyable. Of course you'd get bored watching it alone. Let me know when you watch it.

Cuckoo said...

Hmmm...
I don't think I will watch this movie unless I get a good laughing company.

Your taste of comedy movies is very much like mine. I must have seen Chupke-chupke at least 50 times and I stop everytime it shows on TV even now. Jane bhi do yaroN was a classic.. a different one. They don't make such movies now. AAA was also good.
But then I also enjoyed "No Entry" .. count goes upto 12 times. :-)
Will tell you, if at all I watch this one.

Cuckoo said...

And yes, I also enjoyed Bheja Fry but no comparison with those older ones.

~vagabond~ said...

Ashes, your comment to Vamsee just made me think how awesome it would be if you did a post on your picks of the top ten greatest hindi movies of all times. I do enjoy watching hindi movies but I dont keep up too much with Bollywood and so I never know which ones are worth the watching and which ones are a waste of time. And because I dont want to waste my time on the crappy ones, I end up missing out on classics. Like Chupke Chupke, which I had never even heard of until you and everyone else mentioned it. Now I've got to see it. So a post on the ten greatest movies of all times would be terrific for someone like me.

Rolling said...

when you do that for Vee, wd it include "Thodasa Roomani Ho Jayein", "Ek Baar Fir", "Gharonda", and that hilarious movie of DD zamana which shows the coming together of two families after the middle aged parent of each marry bringing together five children from each side :) am sure she wd enjoy the lovely freshness about this film. forgot the name though. Nice subject, nice human humorous treatment, lovely song and cute love angle, she might like that, nai? Kya naam thha is movie ka par?
Apart from Mahendra Palsule's urs are the film reviews I can relate to only I didnt like it when u gve 6 to CCTC

Rolling said...

oops forgot to say, "yours are the only film reviews I can relate to", so looking fwd to reading the ten best ever soon.

Vamsee said...

Oh God! This was such a badly made movie! We must have laughed once or twice during the entire movie. Only saving grace was Deepika. She looked very beautiful and I love her voice.
What's with Akshay's paunch? He looked terrible!

chronicleofmylife said...

the reports for this film has been so bad that i cudn't dare to see the film. ab itney dino bad to hall me ja kar dekhna bevkoofi hi hogi. lets c which TV channel shows it first. usmey hi dekh lengey

Amiya Shrivastava said...

Good you commented...I'd not watch this too!!

I didn't like cube zero..that you appreciated a lot!!..I think I am now bored of watching these psycho thrillers..

Anyway, coming back to the movie in context...yeah I'd never ever watch it!!

chronicleofmylife said...

ashes, hav added you to my blogroll. will return to ur blog more often now

ashes said...

Cuckoo:

Yeah our tastes match to some extent. I also enjoyed Bheja Fry. But I did not quite like No Entry.

ashes said...

Vagabond:

Sure. That's a good idea. I shall do a post on my top ten picks very soon.

ashes said...

Rolling:

Thanks for all the appreciation. Yeah let me come up with my list and then see if the movies suggested by you are in that or not.

ashes said...

Vamsee:

Hmm...it was not that bad I felt. I did manage to laugh a few more times. But yes, the paunch, which was supposed to be humorous, was actually irritating.

ashes said...

Rahi (Chronicle...):

Yeah, don't waste money on this movie. Watch it on TV/computer.

Thanks for blogrolling me.

ashes said...

Amiya:

Well, I never liked Cube Zero. Revisit my earlier post and see the ratings I gave it. I liked Cube, the first one.

CC2C can be skipped.

Anwin said...

Hi Ashes, IndiBlogger.in has organized another Bangalore blogger meet exactly a year after the last one. And this is also at the MS office in EGL.

The IndiBlogger team would like your presence at this meet too and blog about. Please do bring as many blogger friends as you can. This time we are also planning for some interesting discussions like "blogger rights", etc during the meet.

Please visit http://www.indiblogger.in/bloggermeet.php?id=26 for more details and to confirm your participation.

Hope to you see you at the meet. Please do give me a call or send me an email or just comment on the IndiBlogger meeting page if you would like to reach out to me towards the meet.


Cheers,
Anwin
+91-9880518019
anwin at indiblogger dot in

Vamsee said...

Hey,
Where are you? I keep checking your blog to see if you posted any new reviews. Watched Delhi 6 yesterday and came to check if you reviewed it.

ashes said...

Anwin:

Thanks for the invitation dude. I could not attend it however, due to personal commitments. You should allow non-blogger friends to accompany bloggers so that they develop an interest towards blogging.

ashes said...

Vamsee:

I was sort of busy, was trying to find out time but couldn't; more details in my latest post here.

Haven't watched Delhi-6 yet. Shall try this week and then write a review. Many others are already pending :(

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