Update to post (December 27, 2006): First, a warm hello to everyone who came here via India FM. Second, please ignore the word "sequel" in this post and mentally replace it with "next installment of the fantastic adventures of Munna and Circuit." After I wrote this, the comments people sent me prompted me to consider more thoroughly whether Lage Raho Munna Bhai was a sequel or an installment in a serial, and now that I've thought about it further, I'll go with the latter.
To get them out of the way first, the two things that really bugged me in this movie:
1) What the hell happened to his family for the sequel? I'm so confused.
Was there an explanation for this 180 in Lage Raho Munna Bhai that I don't remember? Like a quick exchange at the beginning, with Circuit saying "Yaar, it's a real bummer your family was all killed in that fiery autorickshaw crash" and Munna says "Yeah dude, but I'm over it, now that I'm back in the mobster game." I'm almost willing to chalk this up to insuffient subtitling, but the subtitles in LRMB were superb.
2) Double standard alert! Double standard alert! Heaven forbid a fine, ethical character like Munna Bhai even think about dating a woman who dances like this
when it is common knowledge that all women like that are good for is whoring out to shy, upstanding young men so they don't die without having a sexual encounter.
I am so unbelievably sick of that crap. I almost turned off the movie here I was so worked up about the completely two-faced-ness, especially when the "dancer" is brought in to carry out, for Zaheer, the exact philosophy that fake-pretend Chinki has expressed (basically "live it up"). This movie is full of lovely sentiments and models of behavior; this sneaky slap to women really stood out to me. There are some other dubious actions, too -
the ends can justify the means
and cheat if you have to
- but those I can forgive because Munna is transitioning out of his old ways and is trying to take care of things effectively, and unfortunately these are the ways he knows how.
Alright. The rest of it was good fun, as everyone on the planet has already pointed out. Here are some of my favorite of the film's many, many good life lessons.
Thank people. Recognize everyone as an individual.
Americans are not the only ignorant tourists. But it's good to encounter ignorant tourists sometimes, because then you can trick them into doing (or buying) ridiculous things. Plus you can call them funny names based on their own culture.
Question authority, especially on behalf of those who have no voice.
Forgiveness is good. Accept apologies when they are heart-felt.
The human touch is restorative.
Be humble when you're in over your head.
Look out for the little ones.
Cherish your friends.
Accessorize! Match your phone to your bling when possible.
And, of course, when life calls for a song, hop to it!