Chandni Chowk to China Reviews
Chandni Chowk to China is the first Bollywood movie to be released in the U.S. in the wake of the Bollywood-inflected Slumdog Millionaire. Let's hope it's not the last.
Think of the title of this Bollywood/martial-arts mashup as a riff on North by Northwest. And like that preeminent American entertainment, CC2C is stylish, slick and full of fun.
Chandni Chowk isn't going to appeal to those not already entertained by Bollywood and kung-fu movie cliches. But it could turn the charismatic Kumar into a global star, making the prescribed happy ending even sweeter for Warner Bros.
Chandni has martial- arts montages and Bollywood song-and-dance numbers. As tacky as the latter are, they're the sweet -- and only? -- draw of the movie. They also give this slight comedy-adventure its epic and unearned length.
It will appeal to the large Indian audiences in North America and to Bollywood fans in general, who will come out wondering why this movie, of all movies, was chosen as Hollywood's first foray into commercial Indian cinema.
If Slumdog Millionaire's success has Hollywood thinking American audiences are ready for the authentic Indian movie experience, Chandni Chowk to China could quickly put the kibosh on that notion.
Chandi Chowk is fun but somewhat exhausting, with several elaborate production numbers, a bullet-proof umbrella that also serves as a parachute, a magical potato -- plus a running time just over 2 1/2 hours, which is short by Bollywood standards.
Like the cinematic equivalent of someone appearing on Mr. Blackwell's Ten Worst-Dressed list, the movie is a garish mix of conflicting styles and genres, cross-pollinating overproduced musical numbers, cheesy melodrama, and kung-fu.