Chandni Chowk to China: Sticking to the formula

January 17, 2009


If you are looking for intellectual stimulation at the movies, watch Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling” or wait for “Slumdog Millionaire” — “Chandni Chowk to China” is definitely not what you are looking for.

It’s the first big release of the year, is produced by a big Hollywood studio looking to enter the Indian market and has one of India’s most bankable stars. But it also has a lot of Bollywood “formula”.

Now whether you like this film or not depends on whether you like the “formula”. Do you like the twins separating-at-birth-and-meeting-20-years-later formula? Or perhaps the I-will-avenge-my-father’s-death formula? Take your pick because “Chandni Chowk to China” has taken each and every cliché from Hindi cinema of the 70s and 80s and repackaged it.

Akshay Kumar plays Sidhu, a simpleton cook in Delhi’s famed Chandni Chowk, who fumbles his way through life and is waiting for the stroke of luck that will change his life. Through a chance encounter possible only in Hindi cinema, he meets two natives of China. They are convinced Sidhu is the reincarnation of the ancient warrior Liu Sheng, who will rescue them from the clutches of evil villain Hojo.

Somewhere along the way we also learn of Inspector Chang, whose family was separated because of Hojo. Chang’s twin daughters, Sakhi and Suzie (played by Deepika Padukone) are separated while he loses his memory.

To attempt to explain the story beyond this point is difficult, because the plot gets too convoluted and loses itself at many places. Except for the 20 minutes in the second half, where Chang is training Akshay in the art of kung fu, the rest of the movie is one chaotic scene.

But “Chandni Chowk to China” is unabashed about this chaos. It seems to be saying — this is how we like our movies and this is how we will make them. Who cares about a coherent plot line  when you have Akshay Kumar performing stunts and singing mid-air with Deepika Padukone?

Like it or not, this is Bollywood formula at its best or worst, whichever way you look at it.



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Its definatly different, very funny, very well directed.Also you get to seee the best of beautiful china, cultaral dress and arts.

Posted by Riffat | Report as abusive

After waiting for a long time to watch the movie the film has has disappoint me like any thing this is the worst film of Akshay kumar till date.

Posted by QMMS | Report as abusive

Akshay without katrina Kaif your film will not work she is your lucky charm.

Posted by Kumar | Report as abusive

I don’t like the film it is all rubish.The film has lost the plot in the starting only.

Posted by Sohail | Report as abusive

A super hit movie.
Best movie of Akshay till date.

Posted by Sunil | Report as abusive

Great Fun Movie , Enjoyable Ride

Posted by Jeetu | Report as abusive

this movie really sucks, better leave your brain behind before you see this. a total waste of all the talented actors. no plot, no direction, total trash

Posted by sundeep | Report as abusive

It was not so great movie by Akshay Kumar.. Could have been better indeed..It was like a casual acting… As usual Deepika didn’t have much to play.. I don’t know why see want to hide her acting under some Top Actors.. Either she doesnt know how to act or she is not confidence in her acting… Deepika not good… And Akshay kumar is a very good actor… He should select better films.. Overall film rating is 5.5/10 becaz of Akshay…

Posted by Abhishek | Report as abusive

wht formula u r talking abt..this is a complete disaster..even ghajini was a typical masala movie but every one liked it adn evern after 20- 30 yrs, every still watch mamohans deasi masala movies on TV..

its not abt formula..its abt content and direction…we indians like masala no brainer movies but u cant question our intelligence by making a horrible movies like C2CC..I’ll better watch horrible movies of rajnikanth..atleat they are entertaining..

this movie offers nothing..

plz bring in more masala movies ..nbut not kind of C2CC again..

we’ve liked no brainer liek “no entry, Om shanti Om, Ghajini, the list is endless..”

plz don’t question by intelligence by making foolish movies like C2CC

Posted by pradeep | Report as abusive

waste of time, waste of maoney, waste of sence,,,,
terrible comedy!!! we cried in the comedy scenes,,
the mosr wasted film which i had seen in last 3 years,,,

Posted by manu | Report as abusive

Why on earth did Akshay accept to become a part of this movie? How can anyone make such a horrible movie? The film should certainly be kept in library for reference to film studies students: How not to make this kind of movies

Posted by kandy | Report as abusive

Exceptionally comical Movie…Such a laugh riot happens once/twice a year…I enjoyed the movie thoroughly…the best thing was that the director stuck to his focus…of making an out and out comedy without falling for..the usual….drama & emotions which are put into a movie..

Posted by Alok | Report as abusive

This movie was very bad.
I would’ve liked it better if it had been more realistic and believable. It was too over-the-top for me to even think of it as a story.

Posted by BP | Report as abusive

This is a really enjoyable film. If you like Hong Kong action movies, like those done by Stephen Chow (Shaolin Soccer, Kung Fu Hustle), this is definitely up your alley. It takes all the cliches of Bollywood cinema (including a brilliant tongue-in-cheek tribute to Sholay) and of Hong Kong action cinema and puts it together in what is best said by Akshay Kumar in the film: “Naan meets Noodle.” The soundtrack is also pretty awesome, and all the performances, while a bit over the top, are top notch for their genre. It’s amazing how two completely different formulaic genres can be combined to fit so well together.

Posted by CK | Report as abusive

Hey I liked the movie.
Same genre as Shaolin Soccer and Crazy Kung Fu.
Superhit – 7.5/10

Posted by Akshay | Report as abusive

I loved the movie. It’s funny and the story moves fast. I even liked the special effects very much. The short quips through out the movie kept me giggling.
Must watch despite the strong critics to put the movie down. I believe that there are Bollywood lobbies working to tarnish the Akshay image…

Posted by Irustima | Report as abusive

An excellent movie. Really good !!

Posted by Paras | Report as abusive

[…] a Reuter’s blog says it relies heavily on the Bollywood formula: Now whether you like this film or not depends on […]

Posted by Chandni Chowk: Where Bollywood Meets Kung-fu « Sardonic Sistah Says | Report as abusive

Apart from the scenic locations and culture of China, this movie is junk. I feel disappointed after watching that movie. I was not expecting such rubbish from Akshay Kumar.

Posted by Nauman | Report as abusive

hi i m dharmendra. akshay was a very outstanding actor of whole world………

Posted by dharmendra kohli | Report as abusive

Akshay is ultimate,concept was clear, movie is full of comedy but I think everyone is missing KAT because Deepika didn’t do her best.. and moreover presentation of this movie is not at that point.. so its depends upon person to person whether they like or not.. but its pesa vaasool at my point of view.

Posted by Vinny | Report as abusive

a perfect piece of crap!!….cant find a better way to start off 2009!!

Posted by smrithi | Report as abusive

do you know birth place of Gautam Buddha is Nepal but in your movie there is misinformation about this.Why do you play the sentiment of nepali people.why u always attack the sovereignty of my view movies are for entertainment but this movie is creating horror and terror in nepal and totally please review your movies okey dont forget that nepal is good market for the indian movies.

Posted by Laxman | Report as abusive

Very entertaining movie! Akshay and Deepika are both eye candies:-)

You can see the amount of effort Akshay put in the scenes if the movie deserves some credit, I think 90% should go to Akshay! He proves again to be a natural comedian who can actually bring smiles to faces…and makes you laugh!

Yes, storyline can be classified as silly, it does not make sense…but the acting of Akshay prevails and wins!

Rate: 7/10 – I will give the credits to Akshay because he deserves it!

Posted by LondonGirl | Report as abusive