Lage Raho Munnabhai was a sequel to the popular Munnabhai MBBS that was directed by Raj Kumar Hirani and produced by Vidhu Vinod Chopra. The sequel also had Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi in the lead roles. In the sequel, Sanjay Dutt plays a goon, who starts meeting the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and is inspired to practice the latter’s principles of truth and Satyagraha (Non violence) to solve the problems of common people!
Lage Raho Munnabhai had Vidya Balan as the female lead and Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Dia Mirza, Jimmy Shergill and many others in supporting roles. Abhishek Bachchan was also seen in a cameo in the film. The film was received both critical and commercial success.
The film was a box office success and was declared a Blockbuster after it collected an estimated 119 Cr (US$23.74 million) worldwide. Lage Raho Munna Bhai was the third highest grossing Bollywood film of 2006, earning an estimated 95 Cr (US$18.95 million) gross in India alone. Its total worldwide lifetime gross is 145.57 Cr (US$29.04 million).
Some interesting facts about the film are:
1. It received four National Film Awards.
2. Lage Raho Munna Bhai was the first Hindi film to be shown at the United Nations.
3. It was screened before a packed house of mostly French students who “clapped till the credits were finished” during the Tous Les Cinema du Monde section of the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
4. The Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, praised the film, stating that it “captures Bapu’s message about the power of truth and humanism.”
5. Vidya Balan’s character of a radio jockey was inspired by real life radio jockey – Mallishka, who was a popular RJ with the now defunct Win 94.3 FM channel in Mumbai.
6. The original script was based on lawyers, but director Hirani was not happy with the script and worked for two years to get it right.
7. Vidya Balan’s opening line for her radio show, “Gooooooood Moooooooorninnnng Mumbai!”, was similar to Robin Williams’ opening for his radio show (“Gooooooooood morning, Vietnaaaaaaaaammm!”) in the 1987 film Good Morning, Vietnam.
8. The sequel was initially known as Munnabhai Meets Mahatma Gandhi and was later retitled Munnabhai 2nd Innings before being given its current name.
9. Warsi admits that he had “forgotten” the character of Circuit and had to watch the DVD of Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. three times before being able to film the scene in the correct way. Sanjay Dutt (“Munna Bhai”) also confessed that he had to watch the first film eight to nine times in order to recapture the “persona” of Munna Bhai
10. Boman Irani prepared for the role of Lucky Singh by spending time with Sardarjis (male Sikhs) in auto spare parts shops to research his role