Beset with the overwhelming task of making a worthy follow-up to his whopper of a directorial debut, the notoriously successful Munnabhai MBBS (2003), Rajkumar Hirani revisits the chaotic world of Bombay hustlers Munna and Circuit in Lage Raho Munna Bhai. With Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi reprising the roles of goons with the hearts of gold, Hirani needn't worry. Bolstered by sparkling dialogue and a heart-warming sentiment, Dutt and Warsi's endearing characters and charming comic performances, contribute to making Lage Raho Munna Bhai an exemplary successor.
With his business flourishing, life is good for Munna (Sanjay Dutt). Now though, he has love on his mind, and daily loses himself in the dulcet tones of Radio Jockey Jhanvi (Vidya Balan). Making good use of his dada-giri ways, Munna contrives a way of meeting Jhanvi, who is unwittingly led to believe that Munna is a Professor of History. In the process of rectifying this minor misunderstanding and winning his love, Munna comes face-to-face with a figure from the past.
"EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS FILM WORKS"
In reprising the roles of Munna and Circuit, Dutt and Warsi faithfully don the characters like a second skin and are ably supported by a capable cast, led most notably by Boman Irani, who proffers a characteristically effervescent performance as Munna's money-minded adversary, Lucky Singh. Everything about this film works: the inventive story-telling; the uplifting song sequences set amidst a theatrical landscape of circus clowns and dancing elephants; the sparkling comedy complemented by moments of tenderness and endearing innocence.
It's rare to see a film that bounces between humour and sentiment so seamlessly. And it is rarer still to see characters become etched in the memory so enduringly that audiences become almost protective of them. It's testimony both to the quality of the writing and the performances, that Munna and Circuit have taken on a life of their own. Lage Raho Munna Bhai is the ultimate in feel-good cinema that leaves you feeling like anything is possible.
In Hindi with English subtitles.