Chandni Chowk to China Review – Wild Ride

 by Sonny Chatrath

Chandni Chowk Review – Slit Your Wrists, Akshay

It’s not very often that the wife, and I get to get a night out on the town, so we were really thrilled to receive two VIP passes to the advance screening of this much anticipated chuckle a minute spoof from the renowned director Nikhil Advani.

We arrived at the AMC Empire theatre on 42nd St in Manhattan around 6.30PM almost frozen stiff, and tried to rush straight in, only to be pushed out into the freezing cold.

We were told to stand out and cheer Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone like cheerleaders from one of those newly formed Indian Cricket Teams. I did not find that humorous, as we are grown people, who try to be dignified, but this little sting robbed me of any dignity I had. Not to mention my bitter half was really bitter. She wanted us to leave right away, as her highness is not used to being stood up.

Chandni Chowk To China
Click on image for video of NYC Premiere

We braved the bitter cold of New York City just to catch a glimpse of the glitterati for a split second.

Deepika Padukone got out of the limo and rushed straight in, as she was wearing a strapless dress (She is brave).

Akshay and Twinkle (his wife) arrived shortly, and mingled with the crowd.

You should have seen some of the grown desi men in moustaches screaming at the top of their lungs Akshay, we love you. I honestly found that quite entertaining, although you won’t catch me screaming like that even if they put my favorite Katrina Kaif next to me in a bikini (I would be eating my hat minus the toppings in my heart though).

Everyone was so cold by the time the celebrities left that we all literally pushed our way in past all the dolled up hopeful chicks, who just wanted to catch Akshay’s attention.

Little did they realize that he would have his beautiful wife in tow.

Anyways to cut a long story short, we got into the theatre with a complimentary small popcorn, and coke, and jumped at the first available seats in the third row from the top towards the middle so that we could get a clear view of the screen.

The movie started immediately, as we were behind schedule.

Wild Roller Coaster Ride
The movie started off brilliantly with the story of a mythical Chinese warrior Liu Sheng, who died defending his country against the invading tribes.

I must say the the vibrant sights and sounds of China made me want to pack my bags and get on the next plane to that place. That was until they showed the reincarnation of Liu Sheng  in the form of Akshay Kumar.

From the time Akshay entered the film, it was like a wild roller coaster ride.

The film was full of loud meaningless verbal tirades from Akshay Kumar, Mithun Da, and Ranvir Shorey as Chopstick (the confused Indo Chinese cocktail who tells people’s fortune).

Where’s the Story?
Well, this is yet another bizarre meets stupidity yarn along the lines of Singh is Kinng.

Sure, the film had some really funny moments, that are fast becoming Akshay Kumar, and Ranvir Shorey’s trademark ishtyle, but one can’t help but notice that for all the money Indian film makers spend on locations, stars, and special effects, they can’t manage to get good script writers.

This film, as well as most other Indian films are so dazzling, and full of star power that they can easily put any Hollywood film to shame, but when it comes to a story line or script, they are horribly antiquated.

Like in his last movie Singh is Kinng, Akshay Kumar plays an yokel in this movie too.

In Chandni Chowk to China, Akshay is cast in the role of a cook/vegetable cutter in a Chandni Chowk dhabha, who is forever playing the lottery, praying to Lord Ganesh and showing his hand to astrologers.

Thanks to the machinations of a Chinese fortuneteller, Akshay lands up in a Chinese village where the suffering people believe he’s the reincarnation of the long dead Liu Sheng come to help them against a local evil character called Hojo. The movie then takes some weird twists rivaling the winding Great Wall of China before an ende gut, alles gut ending.

It seems, at times, as if scenes were just stuffed into the film to reach the magic number of three hours; and half the theatre was walking out during a song sequence.

There are some glaring inconsistencies throughout the film, but you just have to overlook them. Just to give you an example, a person who was a police officer, who was roaming the streets as a mad man for 20 years, can’t just get to be inspector again, and start teaching Kung Fu.

But since I am such a nice guy, I am not going to give the whole story away.

Still, Akshay carries the whole movie on his shoulders and does justice to his role.

Deepika Padukone could be better. Frankly yaar, she did not impress.

The songs are perfect for the under-30s crowd or if you are into remix/pop. Most songs would make excellent tracks for the car or for DJs across the world.

Indiase aaya mera dost was a pretty comical spoof on the old Bombayse aya mera dost.

But I don’t see anybody rushing out to buy the CD.

Oh, yeah, the picturization of the songs were handled well.

In closing I would like to say that I would prefer a silly movie like this over a very carefully written, and directed Ghajini because the latter was a bit too gloomy for my liking, especially given the state of the economy.

I think people should watch movies that make them forget about their stresses, and worries instead of making them sit at the edge of their seats, but then again that is my opinion.

I hope you enjoy Chandni Chowk to China and not be disappointed by all its inconsistencies. – Sonny Chatrath

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13 Responses to "Chandni Chowk to China Review – Wild Ride"

  1. Skjoldbjærg   January 10, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    what an unSI-esque review!

    What happened to your server(s?) today.. Responds:


    Got fried.

  2. guruprasad.s   January 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Looks like another one of those insane movies, trying to pass itself off as a comedy cum action movie.
    It may be a familiar case of SI losing a few dollars to save several of its readers.

    Add the following movie to your wait-list:

    Waisa bhee hota hai Part 2 (released in 2003)

    Do not worry about the part 2 bit. Responds (via iPhone):

    Will do.

  3. the gora   January 10, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    “The film was full of loud meaningless verbal tirades from Akshay Kumar”
    “It seems, at times, as if scenes were just stuffed into the film to reach the magic number of three hours”

    Hmmm… Only one week until Mount SI erupts with molten lava and ash shooting all over Nikhil Advani!

    I quite enjoyed reading the line about the bitter half wanting to storm out before the show. Lots of things that marketing goofballs stage really piss the average person off, but no one notices because it’s staged so well and crafted to look perfect through a 30 second snippet on tv or the internet. No one knows unless they go through it personally. That was really crap of Deepika Padukone though, below freezing or not, the people came out for you. At least sign a few autographs. By reading and watching the video linked, at least Akshay had a little bit of class and appreciation for the people who either willingly or were forced to stand outside for him. Even if it was only a few token autographs, he signed them rather than just bolting for the door to get inside out of the cold.

  4. shadofax   January 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    show-off! responds via iPhone it seems. Responds via Phone

    There is a reason why we call you dickhead.

    Full response later.

    Watching Villu (intermission)

  5. shadofax   January 10, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    don’t call me that again.
    so, does it beep there when i comment here? shall i spam u with comments then?
    so, are you watching it by yourself? don’t you feel loser-ish watching a movie by yourself? i bet you buy two tickets, so it seems like you’re waiting for someone, don’t you?! Responds:

    i bet you buy two tickets, so it seems like you’re waiting for someone, don’t you?!

    Funny. 😉 (Although it’s expensive to try that for a Tamil movie with ticket prices ranging from $12-$25.)

    Occasionally, you do show some flickers of intelligence.

  6. asha.tampa   January 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Hey, SI, I saw a Spanish movie today, The Orphanage. Do watch it, it was fantastic, and please review it if you can! Responds:

    Will do.

    Recovering from the Villu spectacle.

    We loved Orphanage producer Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth.

  7. gk   January 12, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Akshay’s Golden Words : “This is Senseless.The People should realise that they should leave their brains at their home.This is an entertainer & only for them to enjoy .”

    Y can’t vijay be modest like akshay ? Responds:

    As we said in one of the earlier comments, the little kids in Slumdog Millionaire (chota Jamaal & his elder brother) are better actors than Vijay.

    The best way to describe Vijay in Villurombha waste.

  8. sumeshy   January 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Didn’t you know that Singh is King is a blatant copy too? Bazmee did not create 1 line on it. Its a copy of the movie “Mr. Canton and Lady Rose” by Jackie Chan. Check it out. Responds:

    Oh, God. You may be right.

    Thanks for the alert on SIK.

    Are Indian movie-makers so imagination-constrained that the bozos can’t think of a plot on their own..Guess if they do the outcome is Drona or Aegan. Either way, you lose.

  9. sumeshy   January 13, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Maybe CC2C is a copy too – I watch a lot of movies, I will let you know within the week 🙂

    As an aside, there are good writers/directors too and they are really doing their best to get to the top. For example, Sanjay Srinivas – his theater plays have won so much accolade but the commercialization of them did not win any support from bollywood as they wanted was latkas and jatkas. Responds:

    We’ll see if we can get Sanjay Srinivas’ films.

    Netflix has The Dressing Room but not God Lives in the Himalayas.

  10. Noble   January 15, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Search India team is out of mind..they think by scolding/writing badly about Indian movies they can gain popularity..instead it makes us to teach them a lesson…will reach you soon.

  11.   January 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Talking about copies, its prevalent in every”wood”. Its just that people should give credit to the origin. Hollywood horror movie makes remake Japanese horror movies ALL the time. But they give credit..

    Ring, Dark Water, Shutter, The Eye Everything they say its a remake and do it as a remake.

    There was a South Korean movie “Old boy” Trailer:

    Before Hollywood can pay and pounce on that idea it was released as Zinda in India with a watered down version of the story ( it was too controversial for sensitive Indian folks who have problems with actresses wearing mini’s to functions!). Sanjay Gupta says the idea suddenly occurred to him.. !!!!

    See Zinda trailer :

    Now you know how it occurred to him! He did not pay money for this great idea and released a fairly hit movie claiming it to be his own.

    How would we feel if Hollywood re-makes a original Indian movie like “Pushpak” (I hope its original) and
    wins Oscar/Academy/GG award for BEST ORIGINAL STORY and SCREENPLAY.

    I am OK with copying. Due to culture/language differences the common man can’t appreciate great movies of other countries and copying helps that. Just don’t pass it off as your own! Responds:

    We thought Zinda was average.

  12. sumeshy   January 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm


    I am not sure if God in the Himalayas has opened up in India yet. I will check though. Do review Dressing Room and let me know what you think. Responds:

    Will do.

  13. Malika S   January 16, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Chandni chowk to china is not a copy but the story line is somewhat like “Forbidden Kingdom”.

    But there is something else that I came across after watch the brazilian movie “City of God”. And the scene was “A man hitting a woman in the head with a huge hammer”. Sounds familiar? Ghajini!? Responds:

    The critics think that Chandni Chowk to China is crap.

    As we’ve said so many times, Ghajini is outright theft of Memento.

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