New on DVD: Chandni Chowk to China


Chinese martial arts films and Indian Bollywood films are often big productions with considerable built-in audiences. So does combining the two Asian styles create a super-movie?

Sidhu (Akshay Kumar) dreams of escaping his tedious life as a vegetable cutter at a roadside food stand in Chandni Chowk, one of the oldest and busiest markets in Delhi, India. When two men from China appear on his doorstep to inform Sidhu he is the reincarnation of a Chinese war hero, Sidhu sees a way out as well as fame and fortune. While travelling with the men to China, Sidhu falls in love with the captivating Sakhi (Deepika Padukone). But his true test comes when he must survive his fated battle Hojo (Gordon Liu), a vicious smuggler.

By incorporating a neighbouring country's narrative style, India finds a way of showcasing its own martial arts talent. While the story unfolds in India, it loosely follows the Bollywood template; there's some singing and the start of a love story. But once the plane lands in China, the singing stops and the classic battle of good versus evil begins.

Rather than embark on a serious journey of self-discovery and honourable battle, Chandni Chowk to China is more of a humorous romp in traditionally serious territory. Think razor-equipped bowler hat and "wax on, wax off" with a rolling pin.

The special features consist of eight additional scenes, which audiences can really do without – especially with a feature running time of two-and-a-half hours.

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