Made In China movie review: Rajkummar Rao’s film suffers performance issues
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Mouni Roy, Boman Irani
Director: Mikhil Musale
Made in China begins by explaining the meaning of ‘aphrodisiac’ – a food, drink or any other thing that stimulates sexual desire -- to the audience. The film picks up a taboo subject, and assumes it will strike a chord with the audience for that choice alone. It also hopes overthinking will help it get achieve kudos, it doesn’t.
A meandering product with sexual problems at its core, Rajkummar Rao, Mouni Roy and Boman Irani-starrer Made in China seems to be as confused about what it is supposed to be as the audience watching it. Director Mikhil Musale tries to combine drama with comedy but never manages to give us a pay-off.
Watch the trailer for Made In China:
Made in China has an enterprising Gujarati Raghuvir Mehta (Rajkummar) trying to make it as an entrepreneur. Despite a slew of failed attempts, Raghu is always up for the next opportunity that comes knocking. Desperate beyond belief, he visits China with cousin Devraaj (Sumeet Vyas), expecting that the foreign market might give him the much needed kick.
It’s here he bumps into a successful businessman Tanmay Shah (Paresh Rawal) and a local Chinese girl who give him the life-changing idea of selling ‘Magic Soup’ that helps boost male libido. Despite the risks involved and against his better judgment, Raghu sets up this underground venture with senior sexologist Dr. Vardhi (Boman Irani) as his mentor of sorts.
The film seems aimless in the first 40 minutes, and you can chalk it up to poor editing and a weak screenplay. A sluggish pace and meh jokes make you want to close your eyes and take a long nap. To prove those wrong who believe in the dictum ‘slow and steady wins the race’, Made in China can be Exhibit A.
While the script is lacklustre, some of the dialogues manage to stand out. Sample these: ‘Hamare desh mein sabse badi bheed hai, sex uski sabse badi need hai’,’We think of sex all the time but don’t say it’ and ‘hum kaam ke time sex ke baare mein sochte hain aur sex ke time pe kaam ke baare main’.
Another plus point of the film is the way director Mikhil Musale has interpreted his Gujarati characters, showing their business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. Keeping up with the Gujarati flavour, scenes where Rajkummar offers thepla to Paresh Rawal or when he mentions a singer at a bar as ‘China ki Falguni Pathak’ are executed well. The characters also ace the Gujarati accent, without it sounding fake like in many Hindi TV serials.
Performances are controlled and to a large extent, underplayed. Rajkummar as a middle-class family man with a wife, Rukmini (Mouni) and a son, Chintu, is a perfect casting call for he brings an effortless blend of simplicity and cunning. Though you don’t really get why that unibrow, which the actor says was inspired from the director, was added to his look. Mouni Roy as the prim and proper wife doesn’t bring much to the table. She’s there for a noticeable screen time but her weak dialogue delivery and not-so-impressive expressions leave no impact. There’s absolute zero chemistry between Rajkummar and Mouni as a married couple. Even that one song sequence where a sensuous sari-clad Mouni is trying to seduce her husband using Fifty Shades of Grey references falls flat.
The saving grace comes in the form of Boman, who once again proves his acting prowess with a strong grip on his character. The straight face he maintains while answering some of the most hilarious questions about sex is no mean feat. Especially that Q&A session related to sex problems during a PTA meeting is one of the very few highlights of the film.
There’s a whole lot of supporting actors including Paresh Rawal, Amyra Dastur, Sumeet Vyas, Abhishek Bannerjee and Gajraj Rao who do their bit to lift up the film.
After a tedious film, it is the climax that saves Made in China. While several questions remain unanswered, Boman brightens it up with some funny yet meaningful punches. Adding a paisa vasool song Odhani during the end credits is a wise move too.
To sum it up, Made in China is your typical Chinese product – it promises a lot but is low on performance. Watch it for Rajkummar and Boman’s terrific acting.
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