»   »   » <i>Lage Raho Munna Bhai</i>: A Soul Searching Comedy

<i>Lage Raho Munna Bhai</i>: A Soul Searching Comedy

By: Arya Aiyappan
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
A sequel as interesting and as elating as the original is a shocker to reckon with in the Bollywood tinsel world. Lage Raho Munna Bhai proving the critics wrong accounts for wholesome family entertainment. Munnabhai MBBS had raised a wave of laughter across the country and its sequel Lage Raho Munna Bhai probing a step further has ably lived up to the expectations people formed in their minds.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra's novel venture Munnabhai MBBS left the audience ripping their sides apart with pure laughter, simple comedy. As a wholesome entertainer it had all the vital ingredients that go into a successful recipe. Munnabhai (Sanjay Dutt) and Circuit (Arshad Warsi) common household names make a comeback with the audience plunging into a laughter pool again. Chopra's screenplay aptly moulded by Rajkumar Hirani takes the audience down the memory lane bringing back reminiscences of Gandhian era.

In the present day hip-hop computer era when 'non-violence' and 'satyagraha' have becomes reminiscences of a bygone era, Hirani's sensitive rendering of Gandhism is noteworthy. The film revolves around the virtues and values Gandhiji propagated through the narrative, without waning into didactic preaching. A germinal idea accounts for the skeleton of the entire film binding together all the links of the film. Gandhian era is evoked in the 21st century through the film, whereby technology and Gandhism go hand in hand.

Munna's hallucinations and successive conversations with Gandhi are viable when put into the fictive world of imagination where sense and sensibility hardly go hand-in-hand. Without bordering into the hardcore realms of consciousness and logical psychoanalysis Hirani weaves the narrative to incorporate the Gandhian ideology within the main plot coupling it with humour, romance and sensitivity.

The film has all the ingredients that go into the making of a complete entertainer - Munna's love for Jhanvi (Vidya Balan), the pristine friendship between Munna and Circuit, the negative traits visible in the garb of cheeky humour of Lucky Singh (Boman Irani), the ever watchful eye of Gandhi (Dilip Prabhavalkar), the poignant rendering of the aged and their craving for love, recognition and understanding. With a truly apt subtitle Munnabhai 2nd Innings the second turn of hilarious rendezvous with Munna and his party proves to be a stiff competitor to the first.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai with the same star cast except for the freshness breezed by Vidya Balan is the most befitting sequel for Munna bhai MBBS. Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani and a host of other actors who have essayed their respective roles in the first part sustain the audience' interest to the last. The setting with pure Indian flavour and rooted in the Indian soil gives the Gandhian virtues a perfect backing. The soft and subtle music scores, so does the background sound gain ground along with the simple framing of shots and the lighting effects for rendering a halo for Gandhi who has ventured to help Murali Prasad Sharma aka Munna in the 21st century.

Lage Raho Munna Bhai is a perfect paradigm for a cinema where all the elements gel well to render the sequel as good as the original maybe one step ahead.

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