Lage Raho Munnabhai – a film review
If you seen and liked the old Munnabhai MBBS, then you’ll like Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s new version. I say version because it’s not really a continuation of the first, not a sequel nor a prequel. Although the two main characters Munna (Sanjay Dutt) and Circuit (Arshad Warsi) remain the bhai’s they were, the rest of the characters are brand new. Boman Irani, who is repeated in this movie, plays Lucky the Sardarji, an entirely different character. And there is no mention of Munna’s adventures in the first movie…
Bole to, Lage Rao is funny, simple to understand and meant for the masses and for people like me! The humour has nothing high brow about it, but I have to confess that it made me smile, grin, giggle and laugh out loud. The humour is situational, in the dialogues, and ofcourse – in the dialogue delivery.
Like Munnabhai number 1, Munnabhai number 2 has an undertone of seriousness, a kind of preachy tone. It goes down one’s throat only because it comes wrapped up in comedy. If the first movie was about love and compassion, this one is about non-violence. A comedy with lessons on non-violence? Gandhian principles? Patriotism? Yeah. You might even find your skin prickle when you hear the Vande Mataram song. And you might find yourself wondering why the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi have been forgotton in today’s modern times.
The story is slightly corny, but never mind. That’s exactly why it’s funny, the comedy lying in the ridiculousness of the situations that Munna finds himself in.
Our Munna comes on the screen as an ardent lover of a girl called Jahnavi (Vidya Balan) a radio veejay (hints of Salaam Namaste). He has fallen in love with her voice and to impress her he has to pretend to be Murli the Professor. Therein start a series of hilarious adventures, one which reminds you faintly of a college scene in Munnabhai Number One.
There are dark undercurrents. Lucky the rich and bad builder (Boman Irani), has hired Munna and his goondas to get a house vacated…and as the fates would have it, this is the very house where Munna’s Jahnavi lives. And hear this – she lives in it with her old father who has turned it into a mini old age home! Some heart-wrenching scenes here, but no time to cry as the movie tears on ahead at a decent clip, thanks to the decent editing.
Munna now has a very sticky situation on his hands, and there is also a lurking fear that Jahnavi will find out that he’s just a common goonda. Guess who comes to his aid? Hold your breath – it’s Gandhiji! Hints of the supernatural here.
The music – pal, pal, pal– is a haunting tune, and it sort of reminds me of an old English song I heard long ago. Ofcourse I could be wrong, because I cannot remember which song exactly… the Hai re Hai Munnabhai song is not bad either.
All in all a well edited film, a very good first half, and good acting from all the four main characters – Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi , Boman Irani and Vidya Balan. Vidya Balan doesn’t have much of a chance to demonstrate her talent, like she had in Parineeta. It’s Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi and Boman Irani who dominate the movie. And it’s Arshad Warsi who takes the cake! His expressions, antics and dialogue delivery are liable to give you a stitch in the stomach.
So if you want some time-pass, then Lage Rao is the movie to go to. At the worst, you might ridicule it or wonder at yourself for enjoying it, but one thing you won’t do, and that’s go home with a head-ache.