|Banner:||R S Entertainment, Orion Pictures, Warner Bros|
|Cast:||Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Ranvir Shorey,Mithun Chakraborty|
|Production:||Ramesh Sippy, Mukesh Talreja, Rohan Sippy|
Chandni Chowk To China - A turbulent journey
Perhaps, Chandni Chowk to China has nothing phenomenal, but a timeworn script of a coward transcending into a hero, and an estranged family getting unified. Producers promoted CC2C as 'First Ever Bollywood Kung Fu comedy' and for your kind information, the flick doesn't possess top-notching humorous elements or the splendid Kung-Fu you would expect. Well, you've them in bits 'n' pieces amidst of a very long show, running for 160 minutes. Sluggish screenplay blended with lots of ridiculous factors does get you annoyed and Nikil could have cut the duration short thereby favoring him.
Despite Akki, Ramesh Sippy, Warner Bros and biggies together on the lead, the flick doesn't surmount your expectations. Above all, the most disappointing attribute is that we don't get to see spell-binding stunts choreographed by Huen Chiu-Ku. Naturally, everyone expected there to be ones like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", "Kill Bill” Volmes. 1 and 2 and "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor". Again, it's all about dashing down our hopes.
Our protagonist Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) is the lowest on the totem pole, cutting vegetables at a roadside food stall in Chandni Chowk in Delhi. He longs to escape his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts- with astrologers, tarot readers and fake fakirs - believing anything except himself, despite his father figure Dada's (Mithun Chakraborty) best efforts. His redeeming moment arrives when two strangers from China claim him as a reincarnation of a war hero in the past and take him to China. Sidhu now dreams of wine, women, and a princely existence in foreign lands. Thanks to the devious translator, a conman by the name Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey), little does he know that he is being taken to the Promised Land to rid the Chinese village of the vicious smuggler Hojo (Gordon Liu)!
Therefore, Sidhu blissfully sets forth to China with Chopstick who instigates dreams of a delicious future and forgets to reveal the perils, which await him. Along the way, he meets Sakhi (Deepika Padukone), Ms. Tele Shoppers Media (Ms. TSM) who has embarked on a journey to pay homage to the land of her birth and her dead father and twin. Initially, Sidhu through a series of lucky coincidences manages to sidestep being beaten by Hojo's men but finally Hojo catches up with him and exposes him as the country buffoon that he really is. Sidhu has the fire of revenge in his belly and finds the one man who will make him a Kung Fu expert and set the village free. Armed with his Sifu (master), faith in himself and the love of the fair Sakhi, Sidhu sets forth to conquer all!
Nothing to blame on star-casts for they stride with their best spells. Akshay Kumar getting back to pavilion with action-hero is over the top and comedy sense is a splendid show. But, he gets stripped out with an inadequate script. A newfangled Deepika Padukone on dual role steals the show, especially on the characterization of 'Meow-Meow'. Alas! There's nothing such as romance so-touching between Akki and Deepika, blame Nikil Advani for that.
Gordon Liu strikes with a mind-boggling performance. Be it his gestures or his scaring stare, they're awesome. Mithun Chakraborthy with his minimal role makes a good impression (As in his previous flick 'Yuvvraaj'.) Ranvir Shorey with his clichéd acting wins appreciations emoting stupendously on all situations).
The narration is really perplexing. Wonder how Warner Bros picked up a flimsy script with absurdities. It is ok to miss out fine logics when you're penning a script on fantasy-action, but Nikil Advani comes up with quite galling attributes. How come strangers from China assume Akshay as their reincarnated war-lord? Even a dim-witted or 5-sense individual wouldn't fleet to a strange land ignoring his relations with a blind plan. In fact, how does Mithun permit Akki for this meaningless venture? All these are questions to which we can’t find answers. And Deepika's trip to China is well expected and a formula already tried and exhausted in many films.
Perhaps, this is the first ever film to be extensively shot at the Great Wall of China, but again cinematography isn't worth mentioning. Songs are catchy on the screen especially 'Sidhu' is fantastic with hilarious elements blended. The whistling of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' as signature tune is a good pick. Thanks to Mozart for an enchanting tune. 'Chak Le' is where you to get to watch Akki preparing for retaliation. Rather than depicting him seriously frustrated, it's weird to watch the protagonist with goofy gestures. These sequences fail to make an impact on the audiences. The latter half of the film lacks solidity with a dragging screenplay that offers 'boredom' till the penultimate sequences. Signature style of voice uttering 'From Chandni Chowk to Africa' during the climax is sure to delight Akki fans because we can expect a sequel.
On the whole, Chandni Chowk to China would have been better if Nikil had penned a substantial screenplay that could've got our attentions from getting scattered. Apart from a few hilarious scenes and Kung Fu (Especially Roti-rolling style), the flick lacks finesse.
Verdict: Middling on all quotients.