India and China are basically “brothers from another mother.” What divides both countries is a mere kachche daage or border as we know it. Otherwise, they both share many similarities. For starters, it was only decades ago when both were considered a part of the “sleeping lions” which have now awoken only now to be seen as future superpowers. The two each have a monumental Wonder of the World: The Taj Mahal in Agra and The Great Wall of China which stretches over 4,000 miles of the vast country of China. So when Bollywood decided to take its chance and combine both cultures to create a fusion mix in the form of Chandni Chowk To China, audiences expected Hakka Noodles! So, did the movie deliver a treat to the senses or did it fall short?
Chandni Chowk To China or CC2C, which is the acronym it has lovingly been bestowed with, starts off in the tangling galli’s of Delhi and ends on the The Great Wall of China. Siddhu (Akshay Kumar) is a lazy assistant cook for his Dada’s (Mithun Chakraborty) roadside eatery. One lethargic day, he is told, by two random Chinese strangers, who could really be tourists, that he is the reincarnation of the ancient warrior Lui Sheng. Constantly looking for an adventure and the easy way out in life, Siddhu jumps at the chance to jump the border. However, when he realizes that he has actually been bought back to the small village in China to protect the villagers from the evil doings of the in-house villain Hojo, he finally realizes the “noodle” he’s gotten himself into. In the process, his big brother is killed and Sidhu sees red with revenge. During his journey to China, he meets with Sakhi (Deepika Padukone) who is also headed in the same direction as she is in search of her twin sister Meow-Meow (Deepika again).
CC2C is made up completely of over the top acting and a crazy flawed plot. Nikhil Advani goes off the deep end with this one where one cannot help but question his credibility as a director. It seems almost unfathomable that a director of his caliber would direct a movie where a Delhiwala is taken off the streets, zipped off to China, made an overnight superhero and fights his girlfriend’s twin sister, who was thrown off The Great Wall, caught by the villain and trained to be a villainess. Would someone please remind Mr. Advani that the audiences are not looking for crude and harebrained humor anymore! Content is what drives any successful movie nowadays and CC2C lacks not only content but any signs of sanity, reality or sensibility.
Akshay Kumar in the lead role has tried to pull another Singh Is Kinng with this one. Admittedly, he is the only reason to watch the flick, and he is in his element with the Kung Fu chops and Martial Arts moves. However, that said, his exaggerated acting is getting really boring and repetitive. It would be nice to see King Kumar in a more intelligent role for a change and perhaps change his comical image. Deepika Padukone in her double role avatar is simply average in her debut action film. Ranvir Shorey is okay as is Mithun Chakraborty. The Chinese cast, Gordon Liu and Roger Yuan, definitely showcase their talents in the martial arts sections.
The writer of the film, Shridhar Raghavan, should be sacked effective immediately. With such a weak film that is not funny, the movie does not and will not commercially entertain audiences at all. The music has been deemed mediocre and the choreography is just about the same.
It is a sad day in Indian cinema when internationally acclaimed production house Warner Brothers decides to put in its hand in Bollywood and the outcome is something as baseless and shameful as Chandni Chowk To China. Advani has let himself and to some degree Indian cinema down. Good comedy movies have been made in the past and worked at the box office, managing to bag lots of moolah and additionally being critically accepted. CC2C does not seem like it will do any of the two.
Quite simply put, the movie is nothing short of bad Chinese food. On normal occasions, we would recommend audiences to “leave their brain at home” when watching such a nonsensical movie. However, in the case of CC2C, you are better off leaving yourself out of the cinema hall too! If you really feel the need to get a taste of the Chinese culture, head out for some good old fashioned Dim Sum where you’ll get what you paid for!