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36 China Town36 China Town : Review
05th May 2006  22.30 IST
By Nikhil Kumar  

36 China Town is less of an edge-of-the-seat thriller and more of a medley of celluloid masalas intended to provide wholesome entertainment - songs, comedy, romance, murder, suspense et al. But the movie ends up neither here nor there. It neither thrills, nor it entertains.

Produced by Subhash Ghai and directed by Abbas-Mastan duo, '36 China Town' stars Shahid Kapur , Kareena Kapoor , Akshaye Khanna , newcomer Upen Patel , Payal Rohatgi , Isha Koppikar , Tanushree Dutta , Paresh Rawal and Johnny Lever.

The movie's story revolves around the murder of a high-profile woman. There are a number of usual suspects and there is a brainy cop who is hell bent to solve the mystery.

Sonia (Isha Koppikar) runs a casino in Goa. When her little son goes missing, she declares hefty reward money for anyone who finds her son and brings him back to her.

Raj (Shahid Kapur) and Priya (Kareena Kapoor), strangers to each other, find the little toddler and decide to split evenly the reward money between them.

But when they take the child to Sonia's bungalow, they find the lady murdered. In shock and panic, Raj and Priya flee the scene of crime but they forget behind a suitcase that straightaway links them to the murder.

The case is taken by inspector Akshay (Akshaye Khanna), who knows there is more to this murder than meets the eye at first.

As the inspector investigates, the list of usual suspects goes on increasing. Among the suspects are a playboy (Upen Patel) and two couples (Paresh Rawal-Payal Rohatgi and Johnny Lever-Tanaaz).

As the cop stumbles upon some crucial clues, he slowly zeroes down on the killer's identity and motive for murder.

Among the host of actors in 36 China Town, it is only Akshaye Khanna who makes a little impact. The actor keeps an inquisitive look in his eyes, maintains a stern demeanor and does his characteristic pursing of lips.

Shahid Kapur is cute and charming, but he merely ends up making faces in the name of acting. Kareena Kapoor enacts her part fine enough, but how one wishes the writers had etched a meatier character for her. In the name of meat, she is seen flaunting her cleavage in a song.

Paresh Rawal acquits himself despite some inane humour written for his character. Johnny Lever overacts. Upen Patel's dubbed performance is nothing to write home about. Payal Rohatgi's presence is merely that of a beauty doll and

The trouble with '36 China Town' is that the film's story keeps on veering off the track and into other sub-plots that seem to have been incorporated in the story just for the heck of providing all-round entertainment. The romantic track between Shahid and Kareena, their dream sequences, lacks the spark of two people in love (at least on the reel). The comedy track by Paresh Rawal and Johnny Lever is fine at times but an overemphasis on it (even in the second half) takes the story's grit away. The movie's anti-climax completes the list of disappointments.

36 China Town
Subhash Ghai
Shahid Kapur
Kareena Kapoor
Akshaye Khanna
Upen Patel
Payal Rohatgi
Isha Koppikar
Tanushree Dutta
Paresh Rawal

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