Made in China: A boring dramedy

Film: Made in China

Cast: Rajkumar Rao, Mouni Roy, Boman Irani, Amyra Dastur, Paresh Rawal, Gajraj Rao, Manoj Joshi, Sumeet Vyas

Director: Mikhil Musale

Rating: * *

A rather hard-working, though effectively drab and unrelenting dramedy, this film by the National Award winning ‘Wrong side Raju’ director Mikhil Musale, fails to strike the right chord in its efforts to mine comedy from a Gujarat flavoured, aspirational concoction. Raghuvir Mehta aka Raghu (Rajkumar Rao), married to sassy Rukmini (Mouni Roy), has tried out several businesses before sticking to carpet selling (unsuccessful at that). Rukmini, though supportive, is pretty much fed-up of their hand-to-mouth existence.

The daily drudgery of living in debt is getting to her. Raghu’s father wants him to go to China with his cousin Devraj (Sumeet Vyas) and find fertile ideas to do business with, in India. One such idea, an ayurvedic aphrodisiac, an instant soup powder mix, causes the death of a Chinese envoy. This leads to an investigation which opens up the backstory. Gajraj Singh as a motivational entrepreneurship Coach Abhay Chopra. Paresh Rawal as the Gujrati businessman in China who gets Raghu to do a stand-in, Boman Irani as the Ayurvedic Doctor Vardi, hand-in-glove with Raghu’s new business, add complications into that mix.

The story fails to take-off basically. The first half plods on with contrivance dominating the plotting while the second half fails to fill-in-the-yawning gaps in story heralded by the first. While the film begins with the suspicious death of the Chinese envoy and the subsequent narrative follows the investigation, you never really get a clear picture as to what the film hopes to convey. The treatment is unyielding, helming by Musale fails to vivify the experience and the hard-working performances by the talented cast only manage to underline the lack of gravitas, humour and timing in this telling. The redolent pace, lack of tension and the over-ambitious scripting takes the stuffing out of this mickey – making it a dull and wearisome experience altogether. Despite its Gujarati leanings, this one fails to make business sense.