Lage Raho Munnabhai
The friendly neighborhood goon is back. And this time, he has got the Father of the Nation with him. And what a combination it has turned out to be !
Three years back, when writer-director Rajkumar Hirani first came up with Munnabhai MBBS, it captured the imagination of a country and went on to spurn several clones. Last heard was that 20th Century Fox had acquired rights to make a Hollywood remake called Gangsta M.D..
Well, if you thought that the original Munnabhai was fun, the sequel is funnier, heart-warming and more lovable than ever. Hirani is back with a story that packs in more punches and has more laughs than the first one.
Technically speaking, this is not a 'sequel', since only the lead characters are repeated and the story is brand new as such. Well, so we have the good-at-heart goon Munnabhai alias Murali Prasad Sharma (Sanjay Dutt) and his lovable sidekick, Circuit alias Sarkeshwar (Arshad Warsi) managing 'business' as usual. This time round, Circuit is busy doing all the dirty work for the unscrupulous builder Lucky Singh (Boman Irani, in yet another flawless performance), as Munnabhai has fallen head-over-heels in love with radio jockey Jhanvi (Vidya Balan).
As he tunes into her daily show, Munnabhai gets to know about a special Gandhi Jayanti contest, the winner of which gets to be on the show with her. Enter Circuit with his pack of goons and bag of hilarious tricks to make sure that 'Bhai' gets to meet his 'Bhabhi'. And meet he does, but complications arise as she mistakes him for a history Professor and asks him to give a lecture on Gandhiji. At this point, even the ever-reliable Circuit runs out of ideas and directs Bhai to the Mahatma Gandhi library.
Munna then delves deep into the life and ideals of the Mahatma for three sleepless days and nights. Unfortunately or fortunately, alongwith all the knowledge on Gandhi, he also ends up having hallucinations about discussions with Gandhi. The result - Munna starts adopting the principles of satyagraha and non-violence in all of his activities with some hilarious and heartrending moments.
Meanwhile, Jhanvi runs an old-age home which lies on prime real estate being sought by Lucky Singh. How Munnabhai, Circuit and Jhanvi use the Gandhian principles of truth and nonviolence to fight the builder forms the crux of the story.
Writer-editor-director Rajkumar Hirani deserves more than a pat on the back for his fantastic efforts. He has succeeded in making a movie that ain't preachy at all, yet makes us think about Gandhian principles in modern society. And also, retains the same brand of humor that made Munnabhai fun to watch. Like its predecessor, Lage Raho Munnabhai also features simple tales from the day-to-day life of the common man and integrates it with the main plot effortlessly.
Arshad Warsi continues his scene-stealing act as the dedicated Man Friday, and is responsible for some of the funniest moments in the movie. Sanjay Dutt is plain effortless as the title character and Boman Irani steps up one notch from his doctor act in MBBS. Vidya Balan provides the spunk and the pearly whites that her role demands. Jimmy Sheirgill (one more guy to add an extra 'i' to his name), Dia Mirza and Saurabh Shukla excel in their little cameos.
The music by Shantanu Moitra deserves a special mention. The songs are just perfect fits with the storyline, and are quite pleasing and melodious too.
On the whole, if the first movie was plain funny, this one also ends up leaving you with a strong feel-good feeling. An appreciable effort by Rajkumar Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra. Hats off to you two !
Lage Raho Munnabhai (Unrated) 
Running Time: 130 minutes
Written, edited and directed by: Rajkumar Hirani
Music by: Shantanu Moitra
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Arshad Warsi, Boman Irani, Vidya Balan.