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February - March 2009



by Vijay Ralleigh

Emperor of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar, welcomes Shahenshah, Amitabh Bachchan, as Bollywood nobility reigns over London’s West End.

Bollywood bling and Chinese charm descended upon the Red Carpet at Empire Leicester Square, London last night, as Emperor of Indian cinema, Akshay Kumar, and his dazzling co-stars, Deepika Padukone and Roger Yuan, alongside Director, Nikhil Advani, stirred fan and media frenzy alike at the European Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Chandni Chowk to China. Adding to the movie mania, Shahenshah of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, joined Akshay on the Red Carpet, wowing the crowds as Bollywood nobility reigned over London’s West End.

The Red Carpet hosted an impressive guest list of international VIP’s and celebrities, before the stars of the film took centre stage before the full house, to welcome guests and introduce the film. Adding to the glamour and excitement of the evening, Bollywood veteran, Amitabh Bachchan, also addressed the audience and expressed gratitude for his personal invitation from Akshay Kumar, to join him at the event.

He said, “I have always enjoyed watching films here in London. I was on a personal visit here, when Akshay Kumar called me at 5am and invited me to watch the movie with him, and I kindly accepted. It is always a pleasure seeing any Akshay Kumar movie. I have watched him grow up, as a person, as well as an actor. I have witnessed his growth from an actor in a supporting role, standing in the background and unnoticed, to seeing him moving to the front and becoming one of the biggest actors today, because of his honesty, hard work and dedication. I’m sure we will all enjoy the movie immensely.”

The star-studded event was followed by an after-party at exclusive eaterie and celebrity hang out, Mint Leaf, Haymarket, indulging guests with a bespoke menu of Chandni Chowk to China cocktails and canapés. The party provided the perfect close to a hectic international premiere schedule that has seen the stars create Chandni Chowk to China frenzy as they descended upon Toronto, New York, LA and finally London, before the premiere in Mumbai.

Marking Warner Bros. Pictures’ first Bollywood production, Chandni Chowk to China follows one man’s journey from simple cook to kung fu fighter. Chandni Chowk to China is the first-ever Bollywood Kung Fu comedy, and fuses the enriched cultures of Asia’s biggest superpowers, China and India. The film takes you on an unforgettable journey through the historic alleys of Chandni Chowk to the grandeur of the Great Wall of China with bouts of laughter, breathtaking action, spectacular locations and heart-stirring emotions along the way.

Directed by Nikhil Advani (Kal Ho Na Ho) and starring international superstar and current reigning king of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar, with Deepika Padukone playing his romantic interest in the film, Chandni Chowk To China also stars Bollywood veteran Mithun Chakraborty and international stars Gordon Liu (Kill Bill Volume One and Two) and Roger Yuan (Batman Begins, Bulletproof Monk, Lethal Weapon 4). The film parallels Akshay Kumar’s own journey to Bollywood fame – Kumar worked in a restaurant as a cook before pursuing his passion for martial arts. Kung Fu lovers can also “eat” their heart out with stunts from veteran stunt director Huen Chiu Ku, whose credits include Oscar winner Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Matrix (2 and 3), The Forbidden Kingdom, Lethal Weapon 4 and The Mummy.

The film revolves around Sidhu (Akshay Kumar), a simple cook from Chandni Chowk who longs to escape his dreary existence and looks for shortcuts with astrologers, tarot readers and mystical magicians, believing in anything and everything except himself. His epic heroic journey begins when two strangers from China claim him to be a reincarnation of a war hero from the past and enlist him to come back with them to their village in China.

Sidhu dreams of the women, wine and princely existence that await him in foreign lands, thanks to a devious translator, a conman by the name of Chopstick (Ranvir Shorey). Little does he know that he is being taken to the promised land to take on the vicious smuggler Hojo (Gordon Liu) and help his new friends reclaim their village. So, blissfully Sidhu sets forth to China with Chopstick joining him as translator. Along his exciting and adventurous journey he meets Sakhi (Deepika Padukone), a model who has embarked on her own adventure to pay homage to the land of her birth, her dead father and twin. Deepika Padukone, better known for her dazzling performance in Om Shanti Om, portrays a dual role as Suzy, Sakhi’s long-lost twin.

Chandni Chowk to China was shot at locations including The Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City, as well as in Thailand and India. The film is set to push more than the boundaries of cinema by not only highlighting the influence of Indian culture around the globe but by fusing two of the world’s most enriched cultures on one cinematic canvas. With a worldwide audience for Bollywood reaching over 3 billion fans worldwide, Chandni Chowk To China is set to win over filmgoers both young and old, cineastes and critics alike, with its winning combination of the very best that international cinema has to offer.

‘Chandni Chowk to China’, Warner Bros. Pictures’ first Indian production, is released in cinemas worldwide on 16th January 2009.

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