Delhi 6 Movie review..

February 20, 2009

. That’s because the story is set around the monkey-man episode that made headlines in Delhi some years back and Mehra surely wasn’t a child then. The treatment of the film, however, gets childishly corny at places. Of course do not expect a thriller treatment with the monkey-man chapter. Rather, Delhi-6 thematically apes the banner’s (UTV) own Swades (2004) and remains a social drama all through. So you have the purported protagonist Roshan Mehra (Abhishek Bachchan) coming to India, though this time not to fetch his nanny, but to get his granny (Waheeda Rehman) to Delhi gullies where she wants to spend the final phase of her life. In the bylanes of Chandni Chowk in old Delhi, Roshan is introduced to customs, conventions and relations alien to him. Meanwhile panic spreads in Delhi as news of random attacks by a mysterious creature titled monkey-man makes headlines. Muddled up between the liking for his land and ladylove Bittu (Sonam Kapoor), the movie progresses as monkey-man gives ways to discuss social and political issues like the Hindu-Muslim and upper-lower class divide. The movie makes an interesting start as it introduces multiple characters and gets into multi-track storytelling. But soon the characters and the tracks start jumbling up, giving way for continuity lapses in the multi-dimensional narrative. It’s surprising that the same multi-layered storytelling that Rakeysh Mehra exploited brilliantly in Rang De Basanti , intermittently handicaps the narration in Delhi-6 . Midways the movie, it’s still difficult to comprehend what’s the central lead of the story amongst Roshan’s love for Bittu, Bittu’s quest for Indian Idol independence, grandma’s loyalty towards motherland or a family feud (Om Puri – Pawan Malhotra sibling rivalry). Unfortunately even the monkey-man track doesn’t help connecting the individual installments and rather works only on peripheral level. However, it resolves all above conflicts in a single-stroke climax, in addition to an Ayodhya-Babri Masjid kind of issue it incites towards the end. The core theme bears a striking resemblance with Swades which is augmented by the theatrical Ram Leela episodes and the cast-and-class concerns it tackles. But while Ashutosh Gowariker had a direct approach of facing the issues of India in Swades , Mehra handles it indirectly using the monkey-man metaphor. While the screenplay remains cheerful in the first half, it doesn’t escape the preachy trappings in the climax. Some smart gems in the screenplay include the scene where a cow is delivering amidst jam-packed main road traffic and being worshipped by every passerby. And an abstract-cum-artistic sequence from the same screenplay includes an Indo-American fusion fantasy song ‘ Dil Gira Dafatan ’ which confuses in conveying its concept. There isn’t any conspicuous chemistry between the lead pair of Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor. And Amitabh’s intangible appearance in the last scene was absolutely avoidable. The art direction decently recreates the Delhi set in Rajasthan studio but is confined to four lanes at the Chandni Chowk crossroads. Binod Pradhan employs disturbing camera movements while Vaibhavi Merchant adds grace to Masakali movements. Rahman’s soulful music lacks a befitting body though. From its eclectic cast, it’s startling to see that the supposed lead players Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor have very shallow characterizations and thereby weak screen-presence as well. With his existing image, it’s difficult to visualize Abhishek Bachchan as a NRI. It never comes across in his accent, attitude or outlook. Sonam Kapoor’s immature act isn’t impressive.


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