Far below my expectations! Absolutely horrible! I had a lot of expectations from Chandni Chowk to China and I can say that I am highly disappointed. Akshay Kumar told Amitabh Bachchan during the London premiere that leave your brains at home. He also told recently in the movie’s promotion that all movie viewers should leave their brains at home while watching this movie and should watch it like a cartoon film. I just thought it was a joke and certainly this movie would be quite good with all the hype around it. But after watching the movie I would like to ask that if I was so dull to watch a movie like a cartoon then why would I waste my time and money by watching such a worthless movie. Would I not watch Tom and Jerry or any Disney cartoon at home. We can enjoy a movie and have fun but we cannot enjoy a senseless movie which does not have any worthwhile meaning.
This movie is perhaps Akshay’s most expensive movie till now and the movie is produced by one of the biggest Hollywood production houses Warner Bros. There were four international premieres of the movie and it was promoted as the Kung Fu comedy of Bollywood. This movie had the biggest release in US with supposedly 125 prints released all over US. But what were Nikhil Advani and Akshay trying to show to the western Indians. On one hand, a Hollywood director Danny Boyle makes an awesome movie (Slumdog Millionaire) from an Indian subject (with many Bollywood actors) increasing the stature of Bollywood while a Bollywood director Nikhil Advani makes a horrible movie after taking support from a huge Hollywood production house degrading the level of Bollywood. I really expected a lot from this movie and thought it would be an awesome action-comedy and it would be a great opening for Bollywood into the west. But I am really disappointed that this opportunity has been missed completely.
The movie is about Sidhu who lives in Chandni Chowk in Delhi and cuts vegetables and peels potatoes for a living. He prays to Ganpati Bappa to rescue him from such a life and tries different methods to get from his daily drudge. Then he abruptly gets the chance to go to China after two strangers from China claim him to be a reincarnation of their war hero. Then he goes to China where he finds Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey), Hojo (Gordon Liu) and Sakhi (Deepika Padukone). Then the messed up story continues till the end of 2 hours and 45 minutes when you repent for watching the movie. To cut short the movie is meaningless and there is no proper story. The movie has got good action by Bollywood standards but that is not enough to watch a mindless movie which does not even make us laugh. You might still remember the pathetic Salaam-E-Namaste by the same director Nikhil Advani and it seems that he has not improved till now and is till in the Salaam-E-Namaste mode.
Akshay said it in his interviews that the story of the movie was written only after Akshay and Nikhil decided to make the film. Nikhil is supposed to have got Akshay’s Kung Fu style poster got printed which he then showed to Akshay and then they decided to make the movie and write a story around it. But if there was no prior story (which is pathetic) before Akshay signed the movie, still a proper story could have been wrote around it. Akshay has to learn a lot from Aamir still on how to select a script based on a proper story. The writers Shridhar Raghavan and Rajat Aroraa have failed miserably with the movie’s script.
Akshay has done fair enough in the movie but unless you are a die hard Akshay fan I would advise you not to waste money and time on this movie. Instead wait for Slumdog Millionaire and Raaz The Mystery Continues next week which might be much better (Slumdog Millionaire is a million times better for sure). Chandni Chowk to China might do average business due to the movie’s hype. But I would not be surprised if it proves to be a debacle at the box office and 2009 starts with its first big flop.
I would give it a rating of 2/5.
I have been an ardent fan of Hollywood animation movies ranging from Shrek, Bee Movie, Madagascar and almost every big Hollywood animation movie. But the animation movies in India did not give me much hope for 3D animation movies in India but Jumbo has changed my view. Hanuman was a very good movie in terms of story but I would still not compare it to Hollywood animation movies because the quality of animation had a long way to go. I watched the Yashraj movie Roadside movie but it was much too Indianised and looked like they were trying to include Bollywood masala into an animation movie which was really pathetic. But Jumbo gives some sigh of relief.
Jumbo or Jaiveer is a baby elephant who dreams of following his missing father’s footsteps and becoming the royal elephant. He moves out in search of his missing father and meets with a female elephant (later his love interest in the movie), a messenger bird and a kindly elephant trainer. Then he becomes a war elephant and defends his kingdom against opponents.
Although it has taken a small step towards Hollywood animation movies, but it still seems to be directed to cater to an Indian audience which disappoints me a bit. I believe that animation movies much reach beyond boundaries and only then will they become popular. I have watched a lot of Hollywood animations and I do not remember any of them made specially attractive for western or US audience. I hope that in the next Bollywood animation venture it would be catering to a global audience but Jumbo is still a much better relief than the previous attempts by Bollywood in animation movies.
I would give this movie a rating of 2.5/5