Saturday, April 06, 2019

F is for From Chandni Chowk to China

I have a vague memory of not being able to force myself to finish watching the 2009 movie From Chandni Chowk to China, but I've been told that I did myself a favour.

This is how Wikipedia describes the movie — "The film revolves around a vegetable cutter from Chandni Chowk in Delhi who finds himself on an adventure in China after the residents of an oppressed village deem him to be the reincarnation of a slain Chinese revolutionary." Fortunately for me, I remember nothing much of the movie but I imagine it to be a racist version of Kung Fu Panda.

The movie's title song shows several hapless Asian guys at the back, led by a braid-flaunting Akshay Kumar.

The lyrics go something like this:

From Chandni Chowk to China
Jaane kaun hoon samajh aaye na

Doesn't Akshay Kumar's enthu dancing remind you of his moves from Bholi bhaali ladki? If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're too young for this post.

How is slipping on a banana peel still a thing in movies? How?!

Enter Deepika. She's supposed to be Indian-Chinese. With an evil twin sister. Called Meow Meow.

Her lyrics go like this:

From Chandni Chowk to China
Dekha kabhi hai tuney aaina?

Ranvir Shorey plays a conman. Called Chopstick.

Were they really supposed to throw three of those things at him, or was it a mistake and they just decided it was not worth a retake?

Now I understand why cheongsams have such deep slits. These moves wouldn't be possible otherwise.

Just when you think you know what the song is all about...

... they introduce time travel!

(To be fair, this is all part of a dream sequence. One man's dream is full junta's nightmare.)

Now some interesting trivia: This was Warner Bros. Pictures' first Hindi film. It was the third highest-grossing film of the year at the Indian Box Office. Wow.

Now let's read some reviews of the film by non-Indians:

The Philadelphia Inquirer - "Chandni Chowk is entertainingly goofy for about 30 minutes. And then, for the next two hours-plus, it's agony."
The Onion - "crass, schizophrenic, culturally insensitive, horribly paced, and shameless in its pandering to the lowest common denominator"
Entertainment Weekly - "This galumphing elephant of a chopsocky revenge-of-the-nerd quasi-musical lacks the lyrical choreographic beauty that has marked such stateside Bollywood releases as the gorgeous Lagaan". (OMG did Shashi Tharoor write this??)

Dekh lo.


Charan Deep Singh said...

Yes this was the time when Deepika didn't know how to act. I liked only one scene in the film...

Chengiz said...

I have this movie on vcd lol. I dont remember much other than it was a total disaster, not a single laugh.