The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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36 China Town

Director: Abbas-Mustan

Cast: Akshaye Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapur, Johny Lever, Paresh Rawal, Tanaaz Lal, Payal Rohatgi, Upen Patel, (Tanushree Dutta)


YOU’VE HARDLY FINISHED tripping over three pairs of legs and got to your seat and you’ve already missed item girl Tanushree Dutta and her undulating song. By the time you’ve snatched the counterfoil back from the harried usher (single-screen theatre house full on a week day) and settled into your seat, you’ve missed half of the second, back-to-back number. It’s not only the house full hall going berserk (on what') with their wolf whistles and collective Big Os, the cellphones and Chunnu Betas adding their mite to the melee, with the cameraman and film cutter and graphics geek going tizzy on the screen too.

No wonder the film talks about a China Town in Goa. And the Goa in the film is actually Bangkok. A kind of inverted snobbery when the whole Bolly world is busy passing off Khandala as Canada and Matheran as Mauritius' The white-attired director duo Abbas-Mustan, with a thing for a thriller, also go over the top this time, throwing in typical murder mystery red herrings, loud comedy (Johny Lever, Paresh Rawal), and a real-life love pair (Shahid-Kareena) whose much-touted chemistry is not even enough physics, and nobody knows whether he’s watching a thrilling comedy or a funny thriller. Saving grace, and by far: cool cop Akshaye Khanna.

And then they throw in a chunky piece of beefcake aka Upen who is an Indian Patel with an English accent (but there’s someone with a Hindi accent dubbing for him) and whose apemouth would make Suniel Shetty look like Jugal Hansraj.

And, of course, you get hit (more often than does Google’s search machine) by Himesh Reshammiya’s nasal voice and assemblyline songs. The only thing they didn’t scramble up here is not let Himesh dub all the dialogues, too. Ooooooo! as he would start saying/singing.

Anil Grover

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