Chandni Chowk to China

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Chandni Chowk to China
Chandni Chowk to China.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Nikkhil Advani
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Rajat Arora
  • Shridhar Raghavan
Starring
Music by
CinematographyHimman Dhamija
Edited byAarif Shaikh
Production
companies
Ramesh Sippy Entertainment [1]
People Tree Entertainment [1]
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 16 January 2009 (2009-01-16)
Running time
154 minutes
CountryIndia
LanguageHindi

Mandarin Chinese

English
Budget800 million (US$11 million) [2]
Box office1.2 billion (US$17 million) [3]

Chandni Chowk to China (shortened to CC2C) is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language action comedy film [4] directed by Nikkhil Advani and stars Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone in the lead roles with Mithun Chakraborty and Hong Kong action cinema actor Gordon Liu among the co-stars. In addition to being shot in China, many parts of the film were shot in Bangkok, Thailand, [5] [6] although some of the China scenes were shot in sets in the Shanghai Film Studio. [6] 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.

Contents

Distributed in the U.S. and co-produced by Warner Bros., it is the third Bollywood movie made and distributed in partnership with a major Hollywood studio, following Sony's Saawariya (2007) and Walt Disney Pictures' animated feature Roadside Romeo (2008). [7] It is Warner Bros. Pictures' first Hindi film. [8] Released on 16 January 2009, it was the third highest-grossing film of the year at the Indian Box Office. [9]

Plot

Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) is a lowly vegetable cutter at a roadside food stall in the Chandni Chowk section of Delhi, who consults astrologers, tarot card readers, and fake fakirs despite his foster father Dada's (Mithun Chakraborty) exhortations. When two strangers from China claim him as a reincarnation of war hero 'Liu Shen' and take him to China, Sidhu, encouraged by trickster Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey), believes he will be feted as a hero, unaware of his own recruitment to assassinate the smuggler Hojo (Gordon Liu).

Sidhu travels to China with Chopstick. Along the way, he meets Sakhi (Deepika Padukone), the Indian-Chinese spokesmodel known as Ms. Tele Shoppers Media, or Ms. TSM, who also appears in China. Her twin sister Suzy, known as the femme fatale Meow Meow, works for Hojo, not knowing Hojo tried to kill her father, Inspector Chiang (Roger Yuan). Sidhu, through a series of accidents, initially eludes Hojo. However, Sidhu realises the truth about his identity. Devastated, Sidhu apologizes to Hojo. Just then, Dada shows up and starts beating Hojo's men, but Hojo kills dada, and Sidhu is exposed as a loser. Also, he is beaten and urinated on by Hojo. Injured and disgraced, Sidhu vows revenge. Three months later, Sidhu encounters an amnesiac vagrant, whom he later identifies to Sakhi as Inspector Chiang. Chiang later recovers his memory and trains Sidhu in kung fu. When Hojo again meets with Sidhu, Suzy injures Chiang; but upon seeing Sakhi, betrays Hojo. Sidhu fights Hojo in single combat, eventually using a modified vegetable-cutting technique to overpower him. After a huge fight, Sidhu finally kills Hojo. In the aftermath, Sidhu opens a vegetable stall in China but is recruited to fight for some African pygmies.

Cast

Production

The film, earlier known as Mera Naam Chin Chin Choo and also Made in China, [10] is written by Sridhar Raghavan.

Shooting began in January 2008 and included a schedule in China. [11]

Release

Box office reception

Chandni Chowk to China earned 330 million (US$4.6 million) in its opening weekend. [2] It went on to earn a total of 407 million (US$5.7 million) in India. [12] The film's total North American box office in the four weeks of running was $921,738, and total worldwide gross was $13,439,480. [13] The film was rated as a Flop . [12]

Critical reception

The film received mixed reviews. It received a 43% positive rating on the film-critics aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes based on 58 reviews with an average rating of 5.2 out of 10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A thin plot is disguised by high octane dancing and action in this Bollywood crossover comedy." [14] It has a 44 out of 100 score on Metacritic. [15] Claudia Puig of USA Today said, "This Indian/Chinese cinematic hybrid is likable and entertaining but overlong and occasionally hokey", and that star Akshay Kumar's "physical humor brings to mind Jim Carrey". [16] John Anderson of Variety wrote, "If Chandni Chowk to China were a person, it would need Valium", and found that "everything is fast and furious, hilarious, hysterical and frantic. Some of the sequences as are quite beautiful and, in the case of the dance numbers featuring Padukone, stunning. But it's the fight scenes as that truly take off". [17] Frank Lovece of Newsday wrote, "Less a Bollywood bonbon than a pan-Asian fusion dish, this combination of Indian musical and Chinese chopsocky is, nonetheless, delicious fun". [18]

Steven Rae of The Philadelphia Inquirer stated that, "Chandni Chowk is entertainingly goofy for about 30 minutes. And then, for the next two hours-plus, it's agony." [19] Scott Tobias of The Onion described the film as "crass, schizophrenic, culturally insensitive, horribly paced, and shameless in its pandering to the lowest common denominator", [20] while Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly said, "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 ". [21] Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune called the film "a massive and rather tiring showcase for Bollywood action hero Akshay Kumar". [22] Indian critic Taran Adarsh gave the movie 1.5/5 stars, calling it "a big, big, big letdown". [23] Rajeev Masand of IBN termed it a tiring watch, while praising Kumar's performance. [24]

The film has received one award nomination, with Deepika Padukone being nominated for Best Actress at the 3rd Asian Film Awards held in March 2009. [25]

Controversy

In Nepal there were protests against the film due to a passing claim that Buddha was born in India; Lumbini, which is the birthplace of Buddha, is located in Nepal.

Several shows were cancelled in Nepal due to the protests. [26] Protestors threatened to burn cinemas that screened the film, and racial slurs like "Dhoti" were hurled against Indians online. [26]

The protests continued for several days, despite the Nepali distributor deleting the piece of narration that mentioned Buddha in the copies of the film shown in Nepal. On 22 January Nepali cinemas stopped and banned screening Chandni Chowk to China. [27]

In the aftermath of the Nepal controversy, actor Shekhar Suman criticised the film with some derogatory and rude comments. He also stated the movie is an amateurish attempt by Nikhil Advani, terming it as a "worst" film. [28] Mostly, supporters of Kumar especially Nikhil Advani stated that it was a publicity stunt to bring Suman's son Adhyayan in limelight for release of his film Raaz: The Mystery Continues. Suman replied to the claim that it was not a publicity act and the latter apologized to Kumar for it. [29]

Music

Chandni Chowk to China
Soundtrack album by
Released2 December 2008
Recorded2008
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length37:43
Label T-Series
Producer Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
Shankar Ehsaan Loy chronology
Konchem Istam Konchem Kastam
(2008)
Chandni Chowk to China
(2008)
Luck by Chance
(2008)
Bappi Lahiri chronology
Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron
(2007)
Chandni Chowk to China
(2008)
My Love
(2009)
Kailasa chronology
Dasvidaniya
(2008)
Chandni Chowk to China
(2008)
Chaandan Mein
(2009)
Bohemia chronology
Chandni Chowk to China
(2008)

The music of Chandni Chowk to China was released on 2 December 2008. The album features composers as diverse as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Kailash-Paresh-Naresh, Bappi Lahiri-Bappa Lahiri and Bohemia.

Track-List
No.TitleLyricsMusicSinger(s)Length
1."S.I.D.H.U"Kailash Kher Kailasa Kailash Kher 5:04
2."Chandni Chowk To China" Rajat Arora Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Neeraj Shridhar, Anushka Manchanda, Shankar Mahadevan 4:26
3."India Se Aaya Tera Dost (Aap Ki Khatir)"Rajat Arora, Shaily Shailendra Bappi Lahiri Bappi Lahiri, Ravi K Tripathi6:29
4."Tera Naina"Rajat AroraShankar-Ehsaan-LoyShankar Mahadevan, Shreya Ghoshal 4:18
5."Chak Lein De"Kailash KherKailash Kher, Naresh, PareshKailash Kher4:25
6."Chandni Chowk To China (CC2C)"BohemiaBohemia Bohemia, Akshay Kumar 3:44
7."Chandni Chowk To China" (Remix)Rajat Arora Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Dj Amyth4:41
8."Chak Lein De" (Remix)Kailash KherKailash Kher, Naresh, PareshDj Amyth4:36
Total length:37:43

Reception

Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama.com rated it 3.5/5, claiming, "Chandni Chowk to China is clearly the next musical hit in the making." [30] [ failed verification ]

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References

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  7. Chhabra, Aseem, "From Bollywood to Chinatown: Warner Bros. teams with India for 'Chandni Chowk' martial-arts musical" Archived 22 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine , Film Journal International , 14 January 2009
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