When you go to see an Abbas Mustan film you know for sure that there will be unexpected twists, some thrills, some comedy and stylish, upbeat song situations. Sometimes they disappoint, but for the most they keep you riveted to your seat, entertaining you in a way that they have mastered. The good news is that 36 China Town follows the pattern.
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.
As a murder mystery with clues and red herrings strewn all through its 140 odd minutes its topline vintage, as an entertainer its timepass. And when Akshaye Khanna makes an entrance at interval point as the inspector in charge of the case its paisa vasool.
The film opens with a Reshammiya song, and Upen Patel makes his (thankfully dubbed) debut. Immediately after the song the focus shifts towards 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.
Sonia [Isha Koppikar] is the owner of a casino in Goa. A successful entrepreneur, the only love in her life is her son. When the toddler suddenly goes missing, the lady is distraught and distressed. She offers a huge reward [Rs. 25 lacs] to anyone who can trace her son.
Raj [Shahid Kapoor] and Priya [Kareena Kapoor], two strangers from different backgrounds, accidentally spot the child and decide to split the reward money given by Sonia. But when they finally reach Sonia's mansion late at night, they find her murdered!
Raj and Priya panic and escape from the mansion. In the confusion that follows, Priya forgets her suitcase in the mansion. Soon, they are the chief suspects in the murder. The cop [Akshaye Khanna] realizes that this isn't an open-and-shut case, since a number of new suspects show up while the investigations are on.
36 CHINA TOWN is letdown by a sloppy script. In fact, one wonders how the supremely talented directors actually okayed such sub-standard writing in the first place. The biggest flaw is, without doubt, the climax of the film. The identity of the killer is such an anti-climax. Cinematography [Ravi Yadav] is wonderful. Dialogues [Anurag Prapanna] are poor. Editing [Hussain Burmawala] is slick. The edit of both the versions of 'Aashiqui Meri' track is commendable.
On the whole, 36 China Town is a stupid film, and an inexplicable production, it's mere merit being the fact that it's not grossly offensive.