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36 China Town

Akshaye Khanna, Shahid Kapur, Kareena Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Johnny Lever, Payal Rohatgi, Tanaz Currim, Upen Patel, Isha Koppikar and Priyanka Chopra (in special appearances)

india Updated: May 06, 2006 11:47 IST

The masters of thrillers are at it again. Director duo Abbas-Mustan is back to raise the suspense level with 36 China Town - a murder mystery. So, what’s new about it? Isn’t it natural that they will rely on their USP? Yes, but this time, they try out something 'different'.

Humour mixed with suspense is what 36 China Town is about. Does it work? Yes and no. Like a typical masala  film the directors have tried to blend many ingredients - thrill, music, romance (subtle in this case), great locales and humour. The problem is, there is one ingredient overpowering the others.

Shahid-Kareena chemistry doesn’t get much exposure barring a couple of songs and some comic situations. Which means, we have to wait for Chup Chup Ke and Milenge Milenge to see their real chemistry.

More than 85 per cent of the film only makes you laugh, laugh and laugh. Which makes you wonder, after a point, about whether you are watching a thriller or a comedy. The funny sequences also often stretch into serious situations. There’s nothing gripping about the film and to make matters worse, it ends abruptly.



Isha Koppikar plays the owner of a casino located at China Town (the film’s shot in Bangkok but the story’s set in Goa), who is killed one night. Cop Akshaye Khanna is brought in to unravel the mystery. He focuses on three couples - Raj-Priya (Shahid-Kareena), Natwar-Gracy (Paresh Rawal-Payal Rohatgi), KK-Ruby (Johnny Lever-Tanaz Currim) and the playboy Rocky played by Upen Patel.



Abbas-Mustan thrillers have had comic sequences in the past. In

Khiladi

it worked, in

Baadshah 

it didn’t, though it was a Shah Rukh Khan film. In

36 China Town

, it ultimately gets on your nerves.



The story (Shyam Goel) had potential, but the screenplay played spoilsport. The result: a dampener that does not live up to the hype. The much talked about Shahid-Kareena chemistry doesn’t get much exposure barring a couple of songs and some comic situations. Which means, we have to wait for

Chup Chup Ke

and

Milenge Milenge

to see their real chemistry.



However, Shahid’s comic timing is extraordinary. Akshaye impresses with his dignified presence and when you talk about the others, Paresh, Johnny, Payal and Tanaz — they deliver as expected. Special words for debutant actor Upen Patel, who is a natural actor. 



Himesh Reshammiya’s music is contemporary and the numbers

Aashiqui

and

24x7

are good. However, if you think he will bail the film out like he did in

Aksar

, you’re wrong. 

36 China Town

is an attempt wasted. And unfortunately, unlike their previous

Aitraaz,

the Subhash Ghai-Abbas-Mustan combination may not pull off a winner this time.