Nikkhil Advani opens up about the failure of Chandni Chowk to China: 'I just gave up'
Nikkhil Advani's Chandni Chowk To China, which released in 2009, turned out to be a major disappointment at the box office and critics were ruthless in their opinion about it. Now, more than a decade later, Nikkhil has opened up about what went wrong.
In a new interview, when asked about a creative compromise that he made in his career, he instantly recalled Chandni Chowk to China's name.
He told Film Companion, “Yes, it has to be the second half of Chandni Chowk to China. I thought the first half was great. So Mr Prayag Raj, who has written all the great Manmohan Desai films, and was 70 plus at the time, saw the film and called. He said the first half is so good and the interval scene was so brilliantly dramatic – Hojo has cut off Mithun Chakraborty’s head and has urinated on the hero. It felt like the hero is now going to rise, but the hero never rises. If the bad guy has urinated on the hero, the hero has to urinate on the villain. He said Jeevan spits on his shoe and he makes Pran clean it in Amar Akbar Anthony, and then Pran makes him do the same thing. That payback must happen.”
He further revealed “There were too many captains. Akshay and I were pulling the film in one direction, Ramesh Sippy in another, Rohan Sippy and Sridhar Raghavan in another. I just gave up after a point because because I realised I’m on the back foot. I had just made Saalam E Ishq. I was just grateful to have work and I thought my voice doesn’t matter.”
Chandni Chowk to China starred Akshay Kumar and Deepika Padukone. Nikkhil started his directorial career with the successful Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Kal Ho Naa Ho, produced under Karan Johar's banner. He then directed Salaam-E-Ishq, which received lukewarm response at the box office.