If you think about the most popular person in Indian history, the first name that comes to mind is Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji was the most prominent figure in India's struggle for Independence. Many movies have been made on Gandhiji but none of them compares to the classic Lage Raho Munnabhai.
Lage Raho Munnabhai had a strong cultural impact and even though for a short term, was responsible for the resurrection of Bapu's philosophies, through a new term, Gandhigiri. It was the first movie to be shown at the United Nations and received a standing ovation. The film was a huge help in revoking the nation's interest in Mahatma's values. Gandhiji ideologies remained only in the books and people had forgotten to practice them. Munna bhai has a perfect mix of both humour and emotions. Whilst providing entertainment to the audience it also gives them the message of peace, love and forgiveness.
The movie was a sequel to the superhit Munnabhai MBBS and people were a bit skeptical about the sequel as they usually don't match up to the original. But this movie erased that fear among the audience. The chemistry between Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi was brilliant and they picked up from where they had left. Vidya Balan was excellent and looked very natural in the movie.
One has to wonder why there is such a dearth of movies on Gandhiji, the most memorable movie apart from Lage Raho... would have to be Gandhi, which was a hollywood movie and Bapu's role was portrayed by the british actor Ben Kingsley. Another movie on the Mahatma was Gandhi My Father, but it was based more on the relationship between Gandhiji and his son. The world has acknowledged that Bapu was a greatest messenger of peace and his birthday is celebrated as the World Peace Day. One surely hopes that in the coming time more filmmakers would make movies based on his ideas, values and philosophies so that the next generation does not forget about this great soul.
Go through the slides to check out what the critics had to say about the movie.
Subash K Jha (IANS)
Lage Raho Munnabhai goes a long way in creating an enduring and endearing parable on the importance of being earnest in a world of growing duplicity. The narrative is so unfailingly heartwarming and the characters so full of human kindness, you wait for the plot to be weighed down by excessive self-importance. The fall never happens. Lage Raho Munnabhai remains true to its characters till the end.
Nikhat Kazmi( Times Of India)
The unbridled humour of Munnabhai MBBS has been replaced by a Raj Kapoor-esque innocence and goodness. The trio of Sanjay, Arshad and Boman (this time, he's a scheming sardarji) re-work their magic. Of course, we wish the adorable Circuit had some more screen time and hadn't been underplayed in the sequel. But then, part two boasts winsom Vidya Balan who has a wow screen presence and might soon emerge as the new star on the marquee. Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra gives the great Indian family one more let's-go-goodwill-hunting entertainer, even as director Raju Hirani proves that sequels needn't have the been there-done that feel...
Rajeev Masand (IBN)
Without mincing words, let me say Munnabhai MBBS was a far more intelligent film, but Lage Raho Munnabhai is the real crowd-pleaser. That's not to say the new film isn't bright - because it is. Only, the intelligence this time has been used in crafting a non-stop entertainer.
It's rare to see a film that bounces between humour and sentiment so seamlessly. And it is rarer still to see characters become etched in the memory so enduringly that audiences become almost protective of them. It's testimony both to the quality of the writing and the performances, that Munna and Circuit have taken on a life of their own. Lage Raho Munnabhai is the ultimate in feel-good cinema that leaves you feeling like anything is possible.
Vinayak Chakroborty(Hindustan Times)
Like Munnabhai MBBS,Lage Raho...subtly drops a comment amid all the wild humour. Hirani takes his narrative to the realm of the metaphysical to impart his message this time - he renders a Gandhian spin to it. It's a most unusual tool to move the film forward, given the predominantly comic genre that the film belongs to. If it works, it's thanks to the filmmaker's clever downplaying of the idealism inherent. Without being preachy,Lage Raho...gently makes its own social statement.
Phelim O'Neill( The Guardian)
The film does not shy away from the fact that to follow Gandhi's path demands bravery and self-sacrifice. As western romantic comedies become more vapid and even stalkerish, this delivers a credible message of peace, while never forgetting to be magnificent entertainment.
Shastri Ramachandaran( The Tribune)
Gandhigiri, as it catches on in popularity, cannot escape being hijacked by those with a craving for power but the political skill to camouflage it as a passion for public good. That is a price Gandhigiri, too, like Gandhi's legacy, will have to pay in the long run. In the short term, the film is having a good run and everyone comes away feeling good. Chances are that some good will come out of it.