By Subhash K. Jha, Indo-Asian News Service
Film: "Lage Raho Munnabhai"; Starring:" Sanjay Dutt,
Arshad Warsi, Vidya Balan, Boman Irani, Diya Mirza, Jimmy Shergil;
Director: Raj Kumar Hirani; Rating: *** 1/2
It's all a chemical 'locha' (aberration). Munnabhai meets Mahatma
Gandhi and they get along like a house on fire. The prophetic leader
from the past has a blast as he tells Munna (Sanjay Dutt) how to deal
with an avaricious builder (Boman Irani) and other problems in
It looks like Circuit (Arshad Warsi) has competition this time. Even
as he remains fiercely loyal to his mentor Munna, the latter shifts his
attention to the lovely Radio Jockey Jahanvi and Mahatma Gandhi. The
father of the nation keeps appearing in Munna's daytime reverie to
advise the benign gangster on love, life and other vagaries of being
Munna and Circuit, arguably cinema's most adorable and roguish
reformists since Laurel and Hardy, go about the business of generating
humour out of the pathos of human conditions. The sequences, all
fiercely path breaking, have us in splits.
Watch the love-lorn Munnabhai answer a Gandhian quiz on a phone-in
radio quiz with the help of kidnapped professors... it's one of the
most comically animated sequences seen in movies of the new
To look at "Lage Raho Munnabhai" as a 'serious comedy' is to
seriously undermine the motivations and impact of the series.
Playing the street-smart ruffians with cool hearts, Sanjay Dutt and
Arshad Warsi bring a chirpy enchantment to their roles. Their parts
have hefty hearts, but there's more. There's also innocence and a
desire to make the world a better place.
Although some of the music and jokes are derived from the first
film, this time Hirani takes the duo further down the road of
moralistic mirth to create what can easily be deemed the most
significant satire in Indian cinema since "Munnabhai MBBS".
Munna and Mahatma Gandhi make an interesting combination. While
outwardly the two seem as disparate in time and personality as Sanjay
Dutt and his father Sunil Dutt, both are in essence all heart and no
The Munna-Mahatma dialogues sparkle with satirical wisdom, thanks in
no small part to Dutt and Dilip Prabhavalkar (who plays Gandhiji with
tongue-in-cheek conviction). The dialogues by Hirani and Abhijeet Joshi
constantly probe the moral and social system of the nation without
getting hysterical on homilies.
The film makes light of national issues without trivialising the
cult of conscience.
"Lage Raho Munnabhai" is a parable on love and companionship.
Whether it's Munnabhai's bonding with his faithful companion Circuit,
or Munna courting his ladylove (Vidya Balan) and Gandhism, the
narrative dodges false notes by remaining sincere to the
Every actor gets a chance to be special in this enriching take on
non-violent protests. Sanjay Dutt proves yet again that he has shaped
into a fine performer who can mingle poignancy with satire the way Raj
Kapoor did in films like "Shri 420" and "Awara", or like Sunil Dutt did
in "Milan" and "Meherbaan".
But Warsi manages to steal some scenes from Dutt... That's how
effective he is! Surely he's one of the finest young actors today.
Vidya Balan is gloriously glamorous and likeable though she could
have toned down those expressions of coyness.
However, some emotional moments, like those between Jimmy Shergil
and his screen-father Parikshit Sahni or the flamboyant wedding finale
starring Diya Mirza, do not have the impact one thought they would.
Though a wee short of tears, "Lage Raho Munnabhai" goes a long way
in creating an endearing parable on the importance of being earnest in
a world of growing duplicity.
The narrative is so heart-warming and the characters so full of
human kindness, that you wait for the plot to be weighed down by
The fall never happens. "Lage Raho Munnabhai" remains true to its
characters till the end.
One of Munna's favourite words is 'daring'. It must also be Raj
Kumar Hirani's favourite as he dares to dream of Gandhian peace in a
world of extravagant cynicism and rancour.
When the aggressive Munna turns his other cheek, you actually wonder
if Gandhian values still have a place in our hearts.
They most certainly do have a place in Hirani's art.
Bollywood.com Rating: 3
Be the first to send in your own reviews! Comment below!