Lage Raho Munnabhai
Funny, witty, emotional and inspiring is how one would describe Lage Raho Munnabhai. This is a touching film about values and morals but the difference lies in the way the story is told. It does not preach, but shows how age old teachings and values can be used even in today’s times and this is done through the main protagonist Munnabhai. Lage Raho Munnabhai is a sequel to Munnabhai M.B.B.S. The first part was a hilarious comedy and was a major success at the box-office. However LRM, the sequel is a film, which does not take off from the earlier one, though the main characters are the same, the film deals with an altogether different subject. LRM is a complete film, it has qualitative substance and the entire film has a balance of comedy, wit, romance, emotions and even drama. LRM is a film worth watching, as it is a different film that teaches and inspires one.
LRM has been produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani. Both the producer as well as the director need to be credited, the producer for backing a film which is motivational and qualitative and the director for executing a well developed film but nonetheless making the product commercially viable. The star cast includes Sanjay Dutt as Murli Prasad Sharma/Munnabhai the affable goon who makes a living kidnapping, using muscle power to illegally vacate land for greedy and unscrupulous builders etc, Arshad Warsi as Circuit the right-hand tapori aide of Munna. The film also stars Vidya Balan as Jhanvi the radio jockey, Boman Irani as Lucky Singh, Jimmy Shergill as Victor, Dia Mirza as Simran, Saurabh Shukla, Parikshit Sahani, Khulbhushan Kharbanda and Abhishek Bachchan in a special appearance. The music of the film has been composed by Shantanu Moitra and the story has been written by Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra.
Munna’s professional life is going great and his 'dadagiri' business is flourishing. However now he wants to concentrate on his personal life. Munna is smitten with Jhanvi’s voice, every morning he wakes up to her beautiful voice saying ‘Good Morning Mumbai’ on the radio. But now Munna wants to meet Jhanvi and he gets the opportunity when Jhanvi hosts a quiz contest. All Munna has to do is answer 10 questions and then he will get the opportunity to meet the love of his life. The topic of the quiz is on the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Circuit, who is always ready with advice or help for Munna, gets a few history professors to help Munna answer the questions correctly. Well with the help of Circuit and the history professors, Munna wins the contest and is now on his way to the studio to meet Jhanvi. He meets Jhanvi and she is everything that he wants in a woman, Jhanvi too finds Munna interesting. But there is one glitch, Munna lies to Jhanvi that he is a history professor.
Jhanvi’s grandfather runs an old age home for his friends as most of their families have abandoned them. Jhanvi’s life revolves around these old men and the old age home called ‘second innings home’. Jhanvi asks Munna to deliver a lecture on the ‘Great Mahatma’ to her grandpa and his friends at the aged home. Munna can’t refuse anything that the sweet Jhanvi asks of him and so he agrees to give a speech on Gandhiji. Now begins Munna’s problems, he is after all a 'bhai' a goon and has substantial information on breaking bones and beating up people but none whatsoever on Gandhiji. He consults his friend and adviser Circuit who in turn puts forth many suggestions but none that will work. Unfortunately now Munna is faced with only one choice and that is to read as much as he can on Gandhiji before delivering the speech. So he does just that and while he is reading books on Gandhiji day and night, an interesting event takes place. Munna actually comes face to face with the Mahatma.
Munnabhai the local goon of Mumbai now meets the man of ideals, principles and extremely high morals, what happens when these two meet forms the crux of the story. How does Munna change and adopt the age-old teachings of the Mahatma and use them in his daily life situations.
Director Rajkumar Hirani and producer Chopra have written an excellent story, the plot is filled with witty one liners which makes one break out into laughter, there are emotional sequences which manage to touch a chord, there’s loads of drama and most importantly at the end of the film one takes away a motivational message from the film. Hirani and Abhijit Joshi have adapted the screenplay in a well-defined manner and each scene has been depicted with clarity. Though the film’s message is serious and poignant, it has been delivered with a great dose of humour and sensitivity. Even the angle of introducing the historical element has been done well and with respect to the subject matter. The drama and emotional moments are not dragged on endlessly and the light and funny moments always follow. The best part about the comedy is that the writer and director have not used the usual slapstick comedy. The comic situations are built well and fit into the film like a glove. The comic lines and dialogues are witty, smart and funny.
The film at first begins in a slow manner and then picks up pace after a few scenes which is a bit of a disappointment for the audiences, as a lot of them expect the very first scene to begin with a comic scene. But the film takes off and completely manages to capture you attention within a short span. There are a few creative liberties that are used like Munna turning into a history professor overnight and his goon language, which is passed off by everyone. Also the love story between Jhanvi and Munna could have been better developed. Also the music by Shantanu Moitra is average, but most of the tracks in the film are situational.
There are some brilliant sequences, the comic sequence where Munna is answering the quiz questions with the help of the history professors, the emotional moment when Munna slaps Circuit and even the moment of drama when Munna is giving advise to Victor on the radio. The script is excellent and it is backed by a well-executed screenplay. Shantanu’s music though situational has some nice tracks like ‘Pal Pal Har Pal’ the romantic track and ‘Samjho Ho Hi Gaya’. Even Sanjay and Arshad’s rap performance is light and playful in the song ‘Aye Hua Kya’. The picturisations of the songs have been done well and have lots of colour and vibrancy in them. Cinematography by Muraleedharan C. K is done well. Dialogues by Hirani and Abhijit are brialliant, charming and witty. The film is taken a notch higher with the performances, which has everyone, right from the main lead to the character actors giving a good performance.
Sanjay Dutt excels as the Munnabhai character, he delivers his lines with extreme charm and wit and his blundering ways are simply adorable. His look is simple and pleasing. His performance is first-rate and whether it is his comic timing, emotional sequences or dramatic sequences he delivers with gusto and his performance is great. Arshad as Circuit is amazing in his performance and readily brings a smile to your lips with his quirky expressions and funny one-liners. Arshad’s comic timing is bang on target and he has given a splendid performance. Vidya Balan looks sweet and has the complete girl next door look. She may not have many sequences, but nonetheless she has given a highly efficient performance. Sanjay Dutt and Vidya share a comfortable screen presence and look good together on-screen.
Dilip Prabhavalkar as Gandhi has given an extremely efficient performance; he has delivered his lines in a very subtle but yet convincing manner. Jimmy Shergill as Victor has a small role but he is more than adequate in his performance. Dia Mirza as Simran is sweet and endearing. Boman Irani as Lucky Singh plays his role in a convincing manner and is good. Abhishek’s cameo has good star appeal and his one sequence is average. The six senior citizens are absolutely charming and give quite a performance, they are instantly likeable. Kulbhushan, Parikshit and Saurabh are average.
Lage Raho Munnabhai will definitely make a lasting impression on the minds of people from all classes and ages. A film that definitely must be watched for the great content, superb humour and brilliant performances. Lage Raho Munnabhai has qualitative content, with well-balanced doses of humour, emotion and drama and the performances are amazing. A film that definitely entertains and gives a social message to people from all walks of life. At the box-office the film will definitely get a favourable response.