Chandni Chowk To China represents Bollywoods first major foray into neighbouring China. The film has plenty of action, slapstick comedy and the standard tale of romance, and also takes advantage of the awesome landscapes that China has to offer.
The story is about Sidhu, a simpleton who is bored working in a Delhi market (the famous Chandni Chowk) and pines for a more exciting life. Sidhu is then tricked into believing he is the reincarnation of a great Chinese warrior who must return to help the people of an oppressed village. He sets off anticipating a great adventure but on arrival finds himself hunted by feared mobster Hojo (Gordon Liu). Sidhu eventually is forced to take up the challenge and, under the tutelage of a local Kung Fu master, trains for a showdown with Hojo at the end of the movie.
As this film has a heavy martial arts slant, Akshay Kumar is perfectly cast in the main role. In fact people will be interested to learn that parts of the story reflect Akshay Kumar's life - he started off as a cook in Chandni Chowk and then went to Bangkok to learn martial arts. He is also very funny during the first half hour reminding us just how under-rated he is in the comedy department. Deepika Padukone is the female lead and pulls off her role well. Gordon Liu, as ever, is very good value (though not as good as in Kill Bill vol.2).
The film certainly won't go down as a classic as the storyline isn't very endearing - a good case of style over substance. Much of the fighting is in the 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' mode, which requires major suspension of disbelief on the viewer's part; not a problem for Bollywood fans! However, the future should spawn many more Indo-China movies, which hopefully will mean something different and therefore appealing to a wider audience.