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Director : Music : Starring :
Sunil Dutt, Sanjay Dutt, Gracy Singh, Boman Irani, Jimmy Sheirgill, Arshad Warsi, Rohini Hattangadi.
By Kshama Rao
Producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and debutant director Rajkumar Hirani's film Munnabhai MBBS is total value for money! And if Munnabhai had to ask us 'Bole to?' it simply means 'fultu timepass picture hai bhai!'
Murli Prasad Sharma aka Munnabhai (Sanjay Dutt) runs a small gang, which help businessmen and other sundry people to settle financial scores. Everything goes well for Munna, his chief ally Circuit (Arshad Warsi) and the others till Hari Prasad Sharma, Munna's righteous father (Sunil Dutt) makes his annual visit with his wife Parvati (Rohini Hattangadi). The façade of the gang breaks away transforming Munna and his cronies to unqualified doctors. The gullible parents have been made to believe their son who ran away from home at the age of 12 is now Dr Murli Prasad Sharma who runs a charitable hospital. Munna's lie would have never been caught if Hari Prasad hadn't bumped into old friend and doctor, Dr Asthana (Boman Irani). Both pals decide to marry off their respective children who are doctors. But the truth about Munna is revealed and Dr Asthana spills the beans to Hari Prasad. The hurt parents go back to their village while Munna now decides to become a doctor himself and beat Dr Asthana in his own game. Dr Suman aka Chinky (Gracy Singh) is by the way Dr Asthana's daughter.
The film is a tragic-comic tale of Munna's antics in the process of becoming a doctor and thereby laying bare the way the medical fraternity functions. Emotions play an important role in this film and while the first half is a laugh riot - primarily because of Munna, Circuit and Dr Asthana - the second half has some weepy moments. But the film with the original story by Hirani and co-written by Chopra works largely because it's a good, clean, entertaining film. The plot more or less stays on the track barring a few song sequences, which slow down the proceedings. Anu Malik's music is a letdown though everything else about the film is good enough.
Munnabhai MBBS was initially to be made with Shah Rukh Khan but now after we have seen the film with Sanjay Dutt in the lead role, we think nobody but Sanju could have made Munna - the bhai with a heart of gold - endearing and absolutely adorable in a way only he could. Complimenting his performance are two key actors - Boman Irani as Dr Asthana who is a hoot with his act of 'laughter therapy' and Arshad Warsi as Munna's trusted aide who can do anything for his bhai. With a remarkable comic timing, Warsi deserves good, meaty roles in future. Gracy Singh and Jimmy Sheirgill as the cancer patient too play their parts sincerely.
Last but not the least, Dutt Senior brings a certain dignity to his character and truly brings a lump in the throat in the climax when he hugs his errant son. Truly a Kodak moment!
All in all, Munnabhai MBBS is just the film the doctor prescribed for viewing pleasure!