February 22, 2009

Dilli Dilwalon Ki

There are movies that make you think, there are movies that make you wish that you were in it, there are movies that make you wish that you weren’t born to watch such disasters in the name of cinema. And then there are movies that make you wonder why the director did not put in a little more effort? These typically become the movies that will be tagged in the future as “Also ran.”

Delhi 6 is perhaps the classic example of this genre.

Barring the last 10 minutes of the movie where the protagonist becomes the ultimate Bollywood hero, reunites the world, comes back from the dead and also gets the girl, the movie is fantastic. Well, fantastic maybe a little bit over the top but it definitely is good. If you love roaming around cities and if you love exploring the roads less travelled, this movie is perhaps for you. For here, you’ll get a taste of what Delhi is all about. And when I say Delhi, it’s not the Southern parts of our Nation’s Capital. Rather, it is the heart of the old city, the Delhi that  speaks direct dil se.

This is another ABCD (American Born Confused Desi) bringing his ailing grandmother back to her country story. So things are predictable. We know he’ll fall in love with the people, the place and of course the girl. The movie is about the ‘how’. The people are real in this movie. If you watch it carefully, you might even smell the faint drift from the Parathewali Galli.

There have been better journeys of self discovery, Swades for example. But watching this movie made me realize how the Indian woman is changing. Everyday in the course of my work I come across stories of this change. In the movie, Sonam Kapoor portrayed the duality and therefore the complexity of the modern Indian woman beautifully. Very few people have been able to impress me consecutively over two movies. She does, and does it with élan.

I sometimes wonder why we all can’t be heroes? And then I realize that only does who dare to stand up for what they believe in. Not people who are happy with their day to day existence.

When people tell me about the spirit of Mumbai and how it turns back after every setback, I like to respond saying that Mumbai has no other choice. It has to bounce back, if it needs to send money to the villages of UP and Bihar. Rishi Kapoor says the same thing to AB’s Baby. “We do not have money in our purse, so we try to make do with happiness. We do not have space in our houses, so we claim to have a large heart.”

Watch the movie. But be prepared to feel, bored, restless and maybe disappointed with the ‘flimi ishtyle’ ending. That’s a price you should be willing to pay to spend a couple of hours soaking in the beauty of Delhi 6.


Sweta Nandagiri said...

There had to be a mention of how much you like Sonam Kapoor even if it was put in a very subtle way!!

Anonymous said...

hey! try and watch "antaheen" if its running in mumbai....nice bengali movie after a long time!

Anonymous said...

banjo... i dont really agree.. i dint like Delhi6...n trust me, i went in with very little expectations.. i loved the characters, they were really sweet n lovable.. but too unreal... i don't thnk we would really get them in Delhi-6,people who would get emotional watching ram leela ... the movie bored me too...sonam looked pretty, but i saw that much of her in the trailers itself... for Indian idol, she did not need to shoot those videos... silly stuff really...

n what the hell was mehra thinking when he ruined that nice song 'rehne tu' (i thought that was a romantic number, for god's sake why was it picturised on rishi n abhi.. n that too twice)... all of a sudden there is an interval...suddenly one morning, he realizes in that song that he loves all the things and people around him...n monkey man!!! i couldn't believe that was happening...the lesser i say the better...there was a subtle message about communal harmony blah blah which made some sense... but the movie was no way close to sending a message... nor did it leave me with a good feeling on a Saturday evening...

i am guessing you are moved by poetic handling of the story (or lack of it), but i really wish i had a drink or two before i went in... Cheers!

Hemanth Kumar said...

Wonderful post Banjo! I liked the movie, especially the characters and how people drag in religion and God into everything!...:). If only they hadn't shoved in the Heaven Part...if Only he indeed had died..the movie would have been more satisfying...:)...Here's what I think of the movie...


Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Swets - arre no subtlety required. Now is time for declarations :D

@ Anon 1 - Will try. Guess, I need my share of nice Bengali movies.

@ Anon 2 - Maybe it was not Indian Idol, maybe it was one of those numerous TV dance shows. What you should realize is that India is no longer apprehensive about demanding her moments of glory. And yes, I have seen unscrupulous shopkeepers shed real tears after listening to Hanuman Chalisa. That's the India for me. Complex yet simple.

@Hemanth - Neither can you discount God nor religion anywhere in India. It seems all pervasive.