- Title: INDIA: Gandhi meets gangster in Bollywood comedy sequel
- Date: 4th September 2006
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) VIDHU VINOD CHOPRA, PRODUCER OF "LAGE RAHO MUNNABHAI",SAYING: "It is quite different from the first film, the first film Munnabhai MBBS was set in a hospital, but this is a very different story. "Lage raho Munna bhai...it has no connection with the first film apart from the fact that it centers around the same characters of Munna and circuit, who featured in the first film. This is a new film."
- Embargoed: 19th September 2006 17:02
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVAAIMJMPZ7B3KZ5DX8J71P6LP9A
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: A rare Bollywood sequel to a blockbuster comedy about a lovable thug opens on Friday (September 01), reviving the pranks of the gangster who must dodge barbs from independence icon Mahatma Gandhi this time to win his ladylove.
One of the most-eagerly awaited films of the year, "Lage Raho Munnabhai" (Carry on Munnabhai), is the sequel to the 2003 super hit "Munnabhai MBBS," the story of a Mumbai mobster who pretends to be a doctor and for whom laughter is the only medicine.
But the producer of the movie claims that though it is a sequel it offers much more than the last movie and is different in many aspects.
"It is quite different from the first film, the first film Munnabhai MBBS was set in a hospital, but this is a very different story. "Lage raho Munna bhai...it has no connection with the first film apart from the fact that it centers around the same characters of Munna and circuit, who featured in the first film. This is a new film," said Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer of the movie.
In "Lage Raho ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ " Bollywood action hero Sanjay Dutt is recast as "Munnabhai," who spends his days by the radio because he is in love with one of the presenters.
The beautiful radio jockey is also smitten by Munnabhai's rustic charm, but there is a small problem - she thinks the gangster is a history professor.
The radio jockey is played by Vidya Balan, a relatively new actor, who has made a mark in the hearts of audience by her performance in "Parineeta" (2005).
She is excited about her role in the movie and as the movie is all set to be released, she is keeping her fingers crossed.
"I don't know about the butterflies, but maybe when I go in and watch everyone watching the film maybe I will have butterflies, but at the moment I am just very excited. I had seen the first film and enjoyed it a lot and I wished that I could be part of such a film, but I didn't know my wish would be fulfilled this way," said Vidya Balan, lead actress of the movie.
As Munnabhai, the illiterate, foul-mouthed goon, tries to sort out the problem, he comes face to face with a figure from history -- Indian independence movement leader Mahatma Gandhi.
The two wrestle over their philosophies while the mobster tries to woo his love.
The rib-tickling conversations between Munna and his loyal sidekick in the first film -- in typical Mumbai underworld lingo -- became hugely popular in India as well as neighboring Pakistan, where Indian films are banned but pirated videos are easily available.
Arshad Warsi, who plays the funny sidekick is happy with the role and feels that the chemistry between him and the led actor will be appreciated.
"I feel just like every successful screen pair has a recognition point, Munna and circuit have a unique recognition point. We are very special in our own way, and I'm sure when you ask this question to other people, you will cite our example. So I think we both rock. Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) and me are fine," said Warsi, actor from the movie.
The advance bookings for the film have been phenomenal and according to Sanjyay Dutt, the reason people are flocking in to see the movie is because every common man can relate to the main character Munnabhai, who despite being a gangster has a heart of gold.
"Munna bhai has honesty, Munna's non-corruption, Munna from his heart, Munna doesn't do anything wrong, Munna...he says sorry if he does anything wrong," said Sanjay Dutt, lead actor of the movie.
"Munnabhai MBBS" is being made into a Hollywood film called "Gangsta MD" starring Chris Tucker.
Sequels, more so of comedy films, are rare in Bollywood which churns out hundreds of stereotyped romances and revenge sagas every year, most of which sink without a trace at the box office.
But Bollywood analysts feel "Lage Raho ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ " seemed to have a success formula at hand.
Industry officials say the sequel could also ride a sympathy wave for Dutt, 47, who is one of 123 accused in the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai that killed 257 people.
A Mumbai court is due to deliver its judgment on September 12 in the case in which Dutt -- popular for playing gangster and the anti-hero -- is accused of conspiring with the bombers, illegally possessing arms and trying to destroy evidence.
Dutt, the son of respected actor-turned-politician Sunil Dutt who died last year, has said he is innocent.
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