Chandni Chowk to China poster

Chandni Chowk to China

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

A crazy plotline of the 80s where Seeta meets Geeta or not. An unbelievable journey of a simpleton from shame to fame - where coincidences rule! An unsuccessful attempt at a comedy, but I guess a successful one at slapstick.

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Director: Nikhil Advani
Running time: 150 minutes
Genres: Slapstick
More Movie Info

Chandni Chowk to China - Preview

The opening paragraph of the synopsis on the official site reads -

‘Chandni Chowk to China’ the first ever Bollywood Kungfu comedy takes you on a madcap journey from the by-lanes of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, to Shanghai, the Great Wall and rural China, marrying in its wake hilarious gags, breathtaking action, spectacular locations and heart stirring emotions.

The emotional fool that I am, the “heart stirring emotions” is what interests me the most. But am not foolish enough to let my heart do ALL the thinking. It’s evident that the audience should be looking forward to great coverage of a foreign location where few Hindi films have been, mind-blowing action with all martial art films as reference, unique set design inspired by Kung Fu Hustle. For your viewing pleasure –

Chandni Chowk to China Trailer

AND

Kung Fu Hustle Trailer

So, we are all set for the first high-profile movie of the year – action-packed, filled with gags, grand sets thanks to the obviously huge finances made available by Warner Bros and Rohan Sippy. Complete with a snazzy premiere in Los Angeles -

John Landis, Rob Cohen and McG, who has just finished Terminator 4, were some of the topnotch Hollywood directors who turned up for the Los Angeles premiere of Chandni Chowk To China Wednesday night at the posh Steve J. Ross theatre right inside the Warner Brother premises.

I doubt with this in the plan there was too much money available for story. And I wouldn’t be surprised if fancy fight and dance sequences take care of the problem called ‘story-telling’.

And soon enough I find this in Anupama Chopra’s interview with Akshay Kumar -

Before Warner Brothers came in, Rohan Sippy got me a design of me standing like in that pose. The film was called 'Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu'. He said, "Akshay I want to make a film." I said, "Okay, what's the story?" "I don't have a story." "Okay do you have an idea?" I don't have an idea." "Alright, you have a producer?" "I don't have a producer." Sso what do you have?" "I just have this poster, this is the main poster." His idea was this poster he had made in front of me. This is the first film I've done without listening to anything. I told him I wanted to do this film.

Don’t know about you, but somehow this is not something I’d tell the world with pride. Attention to story or the lack of it is confirmed by this review -

there aren’t enough lavishly choreographed dance numbers and weaving, intricate camera shots in the world to overcome a plot more confusing and muddled than The Big Lebowski’s and a protagonist more scatter-brained and annoying than Borat and Benny Hill combined. Chandni Chowk To China tries too hard in all the wrong places

Oops!

Anyhow, with the rush of being a member of the Pune International Film Festival - organization committee for the last month or so, I’m actually game for a laugh-your-head off entertainer. Still don’t mind using my brain, if they have any use for it.

- meeta, a part of the audience

"Houston, we have a problem" A huge problem.

We are losing Ranvir Shorey to the big, bad world and...fast.

Ranvir is 'Chopstick' who's a Feng Shastra specialist, and sells good luck amulets too. He'll do anything for every penny to get his daily bread. But, he's not entirely heartless. Looks like a nice gray character which Ranvir can do full justice to, right? Uhh...Friendly reminder: we have the heart-throb of the "masses", Akshay Kumar playing a simpleton, the village chowk fool, in this movie too. By definition, the entire cast HAS to speak at least 20 decibel levels above acceptable. And therein lies the problem. Ranvir, who can convey so much just by his eyes, let alone body language, is made to look like the comic filler found in every other slapstick.

I guess slapstick has a role in entertainment. But, then can't there be something fresh, something that makes you roll on the floor laughing, literally. Sure, there are a few lines scattered around that are witty and bring a smile. But then every element of a 'masala' entertainer is like a punctuation for the next element. It' like the scriptwriter/director went -

Oye! 19 minutes since we had an emotional scene. Time for one. Plug it in. OR/AND Oh no! actors have too much glycerin, can't have the audience crying for too long. Where's that crotch joke we played 5 minutes ago? Will be perfect here. AND/OR Oopsie-doopsie-poopsie...haven't had an action sequence in a while. Editor dear, let's put one in, right before this lovey-dovey song. So on and so forth...

There would've been a miniscule amount of grace if any of these elements worked at least by themselves. But, na-ah. A smile here, a smile there. A good laugh with a hard slap on the forehead at the pointless predictability of it all.

True, the action sequences and ensuing computer gimmickry are ght. A couple of 'wows' for Deepika Padukone's karate hu-aa. But that's in absolute terms. Relatively, an evening out with Matrix's Trinity and Kung Fu Panda might give a better dose of action, comedy and cuteness!

There's something about Deepika that doesn't seem right. She looks alright, nothing overly charming or beautiful. But not 'the girl next door' either. She's not completely blank but is still going through the motions. Who am I kidding? There is really no character(s) under whose skin she could let her talent(?) grow and show.

Yeah, yeah, yeah...time to give credit where it's due. Yep! There were a couple of things I liked. Akshay Kumar's character, Sidhu is extremely consistent. There's no point where the event of the moment inspired him to grow brains. The way the character grew gradually didn't seem out of place or sudden.

Like with Nikhil Advani's earlier venture Salaam-e-ishq, I found the tiny spoof-type sub-plots interesting. There are these infomercials which pop up every once in a while. A comment on blind faith is made in passing. I'm curious how such issues make their way into an absolute crazy caper. Anyway too little, too late. This is all completely lost in the pure non-sense that the plot, the script, and the screenplay are. Yep, you are right! What more could I have expected!?

- meeta, a part of the audience

33 reviewers(?) - 3 yays 12 so-so 18 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...Akshay Kumar makes you laugh, cry and cheer for him but then again he is let down by an average script.... full review

Thumbs up, SantaBanta.com : ...The film doesn't really end up being the joy ride it promises to be.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Chandni Chowk to China makes one realise why Akshay Kumar has a space in the industry that no one can tally... full review

So-So, by Daliya Ghose, Bollywood Mantra : ...The film is overloaded with action, drama, songs and one of the plus points of the film is that it grips your attention throughout... full review

So-So, by Abhishek Mande, Buzz18 : ...ou'd be happier watching the reruns of Welcome, Namastey London and Singh is Kinng on television.... full review

So-So, by Martin D'souza, Glamsham.com : ...It's buffoonery all the way, as you are made to suspend your grey matter.... full review

So-So, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...But what sticks with you when you leave the cinema after a screening of Chandni Chowk To China is the feeling of fatigue that comes from being trapped in an elevator for hours.... full review

So-So, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... The screenplay is crammed with clichés and conveniences.... full review

So-So, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Advani and his writer Shridhar Raghavan in an attempt to give us a full-on entertainer sacrificed logic, plausibility, characterisation and even coherence.... full review

So-So, by Ashok Nayak, Now Running.com : ...Akshay Kumar in the stereotypical role of clownery act fails to strike the right cord.... full review

So-So, SmasHits.com : ...Akshay takes the entire movie on his strong shoulders.... full review

So-So, by Harshita Kohli, StarBoxOffice : ...The comedy in the film is forced and it almost looks stupid as opposed to entertaining or hilarious.... full review

So-So, by Filmbear, Upper Stall : ...The story is simplistic and is a mashup of Seven Samurai (or Sholay if you please) and Kung-Fu Panda with some not so-unique Bolly tracks thrown in... full review

So-So, by Ashwini Kumar, ZEENEWS.COM : ...Even if you avoid looking at the technical flaws, there are serious problems with direction.... full review

Thumbs down, by N K Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...Making a good no-brainer requires brains.... full review

Thumbs down, by Baradwaj Rangan, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...Nikhil Advani’s Chandni Chowk to China is so crammed with nudge-nudge memories from the masala era that you could entertain yourself simply with a guessing game about the various references.... full review

Thumbs down, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...CC2C is a colossal waste of resources, talent, time and money.... full review

Thumbs down, by Udita Jhunjhunwala, DNA : ...I might have been put off hakka noodles and chilli potatoes for life - and I blame director Nikhil Advani,... full review

Thumbs down, by Khalid Mohamed, Hindustan Times : ...Deepika Padukone looks fairly good, acts fairly bad.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raghav Ramaiah, IMDB : ...2009 for Bollywood has definitely started off on a real bad note with CC2C totally disappointing the audience... full review

Thumbs down, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...Nikhil Advani pays homage to Ramesh Sippy's movies by merging SHOLAY and SEETA AUR GEETA.... full review

Thumbs down, Indicine : ...Akshay Kumar himself claimed recently that the movie lacks sense.... full review

Thumbs down, by Mayank Shekhar, Mumbai Mirror : ...The theatre remains dispassionately quiet.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nita Jatar Kulkarni, Now Running.com : ...Chandni Chowk To China is disappointing. A mad film can carry itself along if it is tumultuous enough and funny enough, but this one isn't.... full review

Thumbs down, by Subhash K Jha, Now Running.com : ... If this film had been shot anywhere in the world, it would've been just as bland and fatuous... full review

Thumbs down, by Jahan Bakshi, Now Running.com : ...Chandni Chowk To China moves so arbitrarily and randomly that none of the characters are established well enough for them to form any emotional connect with the audience.... full review

Thumbs down, by Ashu Bhai, Passion for Cinema : ...it’s a cult classic that will be spoken about at underground trashy film communities.... full review

Thumbs down, Passion for Cinema : ...The new way of reviewing in a downturn is by not watching the movie. It’s more efficient. You save money and time.... full review

Thumbs down, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...Made with a whopping budget of Rs. 80 crores, the film lacks oomph factor.... full review

Thumbs down, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...Chandni Chowk To China is a disastrous overbudget mess... full review

Thumbs down, SearchIndia.com : ...If you thought Akshay Kumar’s previous film Singh is Kinng was bad, Chandni Chowk to China is ugly beyond your wildest fears.... full review

Thumbs down, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ... Real potato heads we must be, for wondering why nothing tickles our funny bone when you get kick assed in Chandni Chowk... full review

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

1 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 0 nays

Not Interested in Watching, by personalized tshirts : Brattleboro

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Hindilyrics4u.co.in : For all English songs lyrics

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Filled with martial arts.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A few scenes with women in skimpy clothes
  • Concept: None that can be discussed. But, there's this guy who's inspired to make it big in life but is absolutely incapable of doing so.
  • General Look and Feel: Bright and loud!

Chandni Chowk to China - Cast, crew, links

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Running time:
150 minutes
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