Planet Bollywood
Chandni Chowk to China
 
Producer: Ramesh Sippy, Mukesh Talreja, Rohan Sippy
Director: Nikhil Advani
Starring: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Ranvir Shorey, Mithun Chakraborty, Roger Yuan, Gordon Liu
Music: Kailasa, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Bappi Lahiri, & Bohemia
Lyrics: Rajat Arora, Shaily Shailendra, Kailash Kher, Bohemia
Genre: Action
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Approximate Running Time: 2 hrs. 30 mins.
Film Released on: 16 January 2009
Reviewed by: Aakash Gandhi  - Rating: 5.0 / 10
 
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Public Rating Average: 5.17 / 10 (rated by 400 viewers)
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CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA (aka CC2C) is Nikhil Advani's third directorial outing after the 2003 mega-blockbuster Kal Ho Naa Ho and 2007's Salaam-E-Ishq. Starring Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone, CC2C has undergone one of the more intense publicity campaigns in recent times, spearheaded by Rohan Sippy and Warner Bros.

Unfortunately for Advani, who rocketed out of the gates with KHNH, has seen himself vanish into the vast oblivion of Bollywood with a rather disgraceful performance in CC2C, a film that is touted as "Bollywood's first true Kung Fu flick." It looks like the makers have broadened the meaning of "true Kung Fu flick" to include any chaotic group of hybrid Indian-Chinese characters aimlessly trying to force dry humor amidst a clutter of fight scenes littered throughout.

Undermined by a very stale script, CC2C has close to nothing to offer other than a few big names and some appeasing visuals of China's rich landscape. The lackluster attempt pours through the film's crew. Editing seems to be non-existent, as the two and a half hour running time only adds what seem to be eons to the painful experience. Fortunately, the action sequences have been directed well.

Not surprisingly, Advani hooks up with a number of talented composers to set up yet another enjoyable soundtrack. The songs serve as a fresh escape from the otherwise monotonously dull screenplay.


Akshay Kumar needs to learn to stay in India from now onwards. He travelled to London in 2007's Namastey London, to Australia in 2008's Singh Is Kinng, and now to China in CC2C none of which have extracted worthy performances. Fortunately for Akshay from a career standpoint, his films are reaping massive returns at the Box Office. However, it is this false notion of success that prevents him from improving himself as a veteran actor should. Although it is too soon to speak on CC2C's earnings, I hope they are not as inflated as the others!

Deepika Padukone's presence is very softly felt. Clearly over-powered by her co-star, her dramatized antics and exhaustive performance appear rehearsed. There is no balance between the leads. The supporting cast camouflages well, in that it mirrors the sub-mediocrity of the rest of the film.

If you showed me Kal Ho Na Ho yesterday and CC2C today, I would have told you that the commander-in-chief of CC2C was an imposter. At least with Salaam-E-Ishq there was still a discernable level of clarity in the execution. It has all come crashing down in CHANDNI CHOWK TO CHINA. You've been warned.



Aakash Gandhi is Managing Editor and Senior Writer for PlanetBollywood.com. He also freelances with AVS TV Network at avstv.com

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