Suspense, comedy, dance, drama and action - director Nikhil Advani has packed it all in his forthcoming movie Chandni Chowk To China that releases on January 16.
The Akshay Kumar-Deepika Padukone starrer is already the talk of the town courtesy its huge promotional activities.
"Chandni Chowk... is a story about 'believing in yourself'. It's an old-fashioned Bollywood masala film in its entirety and I hope people enjoy the two-and-a-half hour spectacle," Advani told IANS over phone from Los Angeles in the US.
Co-produced by Ramesh Sippy Entertainment, People Tree Films and Hollwyood-based studio Warner Bros, Chandni Chowk... is about an Indian cook, Sidhu, played by Akshay, who goes to China and is mistaken for a martial arts expert.
Deepika, who plays Akshay's ladylove, will be seen in two different avatars.
Shot extensively across China and Bangkok, the film also stars yesteryears' disco sensation Mithun Chakraborty, Ranvir Shorey and renowned Chinese actor Gordon Liu, who marks his debut in Bollywood with the film.
The story goes like this:
Sidhu is the lowest on the social ladder, cutting vegetables at a roadside food stall in Chandni Chowk in Delhi. Sidhu longs to escape the drudgery of his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts by consulting astrologers, tarot readers, and even fake fakirs.
He believes in anything and everything except himself, despite his father figure Dada's (Mithun) best efforts. His redeeming moment arrives when two strangers from China claim him to be a reincarnation of a war hero and take him to their mystic land.
What follows next is a madcap journey from the by-lanes of Chandni Chowk in Delhi to Shanghai and the Great Wall of China, weaved in with rib-tickling gags, breathtaking stunts, spectacular locations and emotions.
The movie has garnered much media attention for its various firsts like it's the first Indian movie to be shot in China and the first to have more than 1,500 VFX shots. And last but not the least -- Warner Bros have bankrolled a Hindi film for the first time.
The film is also being touted as being based on Akshay's life. However, Advani slams the rumours.
"I would like to clarify that the film is not based on Akshay's life but it only has similarities with his life. Just like Akshay went to Bangkok from Chandni Chowk and worked there in a hotel, the character Sidhu is a cook from Chandni Chowk, who goes to China and is compelled to learn martial arts in order to meet his destiny," he said.
Chandni Chowk... boasts of a varied soundtrack by multiple composers like Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, Kailash Kher, Bappi and Bappa Lahiri.
The soundtrack also includes a rap song sung by Akshay and composed by Punjabi rapper Bohemia. It has already become a rage among youngsters.
Throwing light on the music scene for the film, the director informed: "We decided to have different music directors to have a different feel about the music of the film. Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy are old friends and they generally don't work with multiple music directors in a project, but I requested them and they agreed.
"Then we requested Bappi Lahiri to do a song and also roped in Kailash to lend a different pitch to the songs. Akshay also suggested that we do a rap song and recommended Bohemia and the response has been tremendous," the director said.
Being the first major release of the year, the film is being hugely promoted globally.
It is also the first Indian movie to have multiple international grand premieres in a row at Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and London respectively on Jan 7, 8, 9 and 10 followed by those in Dubai, Bangkok and Delhi.
Akshay had a stupendous record last year in the blockbuster Singh Is Kinng, which totted up a gross of around Rs.1.5 billion worldwide. It looks like the actor is all set to scorch the screens again with Chandni Chowk To China - his first release of the year.