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"Munna Bhai MBBS"

"Munna Bhai MBBS"... a likeable don

LOOKS LIKE Sanjay Dutt loves to play variations of a don. "Vaastav", "Hum Kisise Kum Nahin" and now, "Munna Bhai... " In a first of sorts, Dutt Jr. shares screen space with Dutt Sr., who is back after a hiatus. Incidentally, the title role was initially offered to Shah Rukh Khan.

The story goes thus. Munna Bhai (Dutt Jr.) is a small-time don in Mumbai, who solves `problems' using fisticuffs and threats. He runs his `empire' with the help of Circuit (Arshad Warsi) in a dhobi ghat. All is fine till a telegram arrives... "Parents arriving by evening train'. The village dwelling parents (Sunil Dutt and Rohini Hattandgady) think their son is a doctor (that's what he's told them). So in a matter of hours, the dhobi ghat is transformed into a hospital and Munna and his goons don white coats or occupy beds, faking heart attacks at the drop of a hat!

All hell breaks loose when Sunil Dutt meets his friend Dr. Asthana (Boman Irani) and suggests his doctor-daughter Suman (Gracy Singh) marry Munna. The pretence is over and Sunil Dutt Sr. returns to the village, heartbroken.

Munna vows to become a real doctor and joins the college where Dr. Asthana is dean and Suman is a doctor. His unconventional methods of treatment (never mind that he's just a I year-student!) leave Asthana's blood pressure always on high. And more often than not, Asthana's laughter therapy proves futile (and makes the audience double up in laughter). The panacea for all problems, Munna believes, is the jadoo ki jhappi (a hug). Everybody, from the cleaner to a cancer patient, gets a hug from Munna, much to the chagrin of Dr. Asthana, who spends most of his time plotting Munna's dismissal.

Of course, Munna is in love with Suman, without realising that she's the daughter of Asthana (really odd considering that she works in the same hospital!). The story moves on... till one day, Munna puts an end to the charade when cancer patient (Jimmy Shergill) loses the battle.

"Munna Bhai... " produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, marks editor Rajkumar Hirani's directorial debut. The plot is threadbare and the situations, more often than not unbelievable. But that's Bollywood for you.

What makes the film worth watching is its light-hearted approach that's maintained throughout. The sentiments and emotions are there but they are not exaggerated. And yes, they do trigger the tear gland at times.

That Sunjay Dutt excels in comedy is evident in "Munna Bhai..." Speaking in the typical Mumbaiya lingo, and uttering lines such as "No tension, aapun hai naa" or "Kaat daloon kya" come naturally to him. And complementing him in every scene is Boman Irani. He keeps the audience in splits every time he laughs to control his temper. The rest of the cast just sails along.

The music by Anu Malik is disappointing while Binod Pradhan's camera is functional. The script is co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra.

If you are looking for something light, maybe you could try "Munna Bhai M.B.B.S." It's definitely paisa vasool!


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