DELHI 6 MOVIE REVIEW

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The unique aspect of Delhi 6, by the director’s own admission, are the particular sights and sounds of the city. Preview, images and videos: All about Delhi-6 | Sonam Kapoor, the Masakali girl | Check out our special on Abhishek Bachchan This, for one, is not something that’ll excite the viewer who has already felt the city’s vibe and visited it in recent films – Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, Dev D and the like. Yes, this is Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s autobiographical vision, but it has lost that edge of being the first one to give us a penetrating darshan of the city. Next: a young American coming to local city, saying `awesome’ and observing from a distance, falling for the girl next door, getting embroiled in local issues despite himself was seen in Swades. It’s a cliche that most protagonists who visit their home country must inevitably follow in our movies. But Delhi 6 is not without fun and deeply etched characters. American citizen and a product of a Hindu father and Muslim mother, Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) agrees to drop his grandmother (Waheeda Rahman) to her home in Delhi where she has decided she wants to die. The story starts as he reaches the city, and surrounded by traffic and people all around, exclaims an overwhelmed “awesome”. Warm and gregarious neighbours welcome them, and Roshan likes the place immediately. That evening, at the Ramleela, he meets the Delhi-6’s people: his father’s childhood friend Ali Baig (Rishi Kapoor), Lalaji (Prem Chopra) who has just bought a young bride, a slimy young photographer who feeds off others’ dreams (Cyrus Shaukhar), and the two quarrelling brothers (Om Puri , Pawan Malhotra) who live side-by-side, the younger one better off than the other, and their wives (Supriya Pathak, Sheeba Chaddha) who pass mirchi pakodas to each other through a loose brick on the wall. Then there’s the `masakali’ Bittu Sharma (Sonam Kapoor), daughter of the older brother (Om Puri), who wants to be the next Indian Idol, but is too terrified of her short-fuse dad to confess. So, when her father is all set to fix up marriage, having paid gold coins to the groom’s father and promised an expensive car, she wonders if rat poison is the answer or running away. The love story flourishes as Roshan encourages Bittu to stand up to her inflexible family. Meanwhile the Kaala Bandar scare is full-throttle — the panic conveniently used by everyone (a young wife sleeping with her lover, hopes her older husband will believe that is was the Kaala Bandar who was in her bedroom), with each story getting more fantastical than the other. Mehra uses this aspect to bring out the issues about the city—where at one point, the locality is divided in deciding whether the Monkeyman is a Hindu or a Muslim. On a lighthearted note are moments where the traffic halts to make space for a cow giving birth, a holy man in saffron robes saying `Oh My God’, and the Dadi shopping (even bargaining) for her death. Again, in Ramleela (the `untouchable’ Jalebi, played by Divya Dutt, is made to sit separately) where there is a sermon against this practice, Gobar (Atul Kulkarni) looks at Roshan’s piercing glare guiltily saying, “Ramji to bhagwan hai, unhe sab allowed hai.” Mehra refuses to show only the lighter side of the city and delves into its sinister side by showing the power-abusing local cop played by Vijay Raaz (whom Roshan calls a public servant and is immediately slapped as the cop thought he was called a servant), the hatred simmering below the open-hearted sharing of food, and the refusal of letting daughters think beyond marriage. The picturisation of songs (and what songs!) is disappointing: one can visualise Genda Phool as a woman’s consortium singing together, and indeed you see the song when the wives are pounding chilies. Delhi 6 is again, expectedly, a melange of city’s slice-of-life shots. What surprises is the utterly romantic Rehna Tu, not picturised in a tender situation and Dil Gira Daftan pictured indulgingly. Roshan’s character is immediately likeable, though there is hardly any complexity and we are never questioning what to make of him. Abhishek Bachchan is utterly believable , though the same can’t be said about his spotty accent. Bittu is interesting, but you don’t warm up to her. We’ve seen too much of the sweet girl who loves chaat, jumps at jalebis and talks of her ambition with a , “mujhe apni pehchaan banana hai” dialogue. Sonam Kapoor is an earnest and effortless performer so she does make you like the character somewhat, despite the typical Delhi-girl recipe. The portrayal of Delhi and its people seems tad too loud: note the aarti where the men go almost berserk, singing tunelessly, till the electricity goes off silencing them. Towards the end, the film goes ballistic with sermons about nafrat and laalach; and you won’t believe this, a trip up in the skies where we see Amitabh Bachchan in an off-white shawl. Camerawork (Binod Pradhan, Rang De Basanti) matches the city’s dynamism and is as delightfully chaotic as its subject. Sound by Nakul Kamte is fantastic. Art Direction is marvelous. But the real star is the soul-stirring music by AR Rahman, lending the film its very essence. Delhi 6 is like a great song you want to like anxiously. But only, it’s distorted for being played decibels too loud.

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2 Responses to “DELHI 6 MOVIE REVIEW”

  1. Namrata Says:

    movie is dam cool.. a must watch… Rakeysh kept his promise of delivering good cinema… Rahman is simply too good. I just loved Delhi6 specially the song MASAKALI supercool picturization as well as msuic..Tnx ROM and Rahman…..u rockkk..

  2. Sanit V Says:

    Specially liked the picturization of Maula mere maula …its just awesome and the shot of Jama Masjid is breath taking. Dil Gira Dafatan has been picturised such as a mix of Newyork & Delhi comes alive on screen. Massakali has been shot very beautifully, and Sonam looks even more beautifutvl. 3 hrs of awesome experience…

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