I found the interview which Tashi (Imran Khan) took of Anusha Dandekar, who plays a 'pop star' in the film, amusing. Anusha's new songs lyrics are - 'I hate you (like I love you)' which she spells out as ' I hate you brackets like I love you'. This line reminded me of my drives through Jubilee Hills, Road No. 36 in Hyderabad. The road is lined with hoardings of advertisements of ADP. These ads, which have been there for more than two years, are very peculiar. The ads try to position the company as a company that employees love to work with. The tag line goes like - "We like to go to office of Monday. (Do you?)", "My mummy likes to go to office. (Do you?)." A quick disclaimer: I don't remember the exact verbatim of the ads. So please pardon any errors. But I hope you get the point. I am hinting at (Do you?) part of it. I always found the ads a little funny. I never understood the rationale of putting the 'Do you?" in brackets. I initially thought it was a typographical error but soon dismissed that argument after seeing it in hoardings after hoardings. I thought that there a lot of things I don't understand that this one of them. Tashi, the protagonist, by being sarcastic to Anusha on the '(like I love you)' enlightened me that there is a more evolved section of society who have interpreted the meaning of 'brackets' which I am yet to discover.
The narrative of the film is well paced. The dialogues of the films, needless to say, are very contemporary and elicit quite a few bouts of laughter. The music of the film is outstanding. Most of the songs play in the background and takes the story of the movie forward. Acting by each of the actors is awesome.
Coming back to the film: The title of the film is apt as 'Delhi Belly' is central to whole plot. Ntin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) eats unhygienic roadside tandoori chicken and get diarrhea. Because of Nitin's diarhea Arup (Vir Das) has to deliver the smuggled diamonds but mistakenly delivers the stool sample instead. This kicks-off the pakda-pakdi between the three friends and the goons and ends in a conventional happily-ever-after ending.
While enjoying these explicit dialogues, superb camera angles and amazing music, one tends to think where exactly is the story going. Having high expectations on this film, I was hoping that the stories would take a twist and become more engaging. But to my disappointment, the story turned out to be pretty mundane. The line from a song of this film aptly describes the plot - 'Sabun ki shakal mein, beta (plot) tu to nikla keval jhaag'.
Given that the story is so 80s, I was wondering why no such film got released then. Films mirror the society. Well, I am not saying that people in the yesteryear didn't use expletives. The film however represents who has the cash. Before liberalization/globalization, Indian middle class didn't have enough money to watch films. Majority of the people who had money to watch movies were in their thirties and went with their families and kids. So, the films of the 80s were targeted at the PSU employee, who though in his youth would have used vernacular expletives, still embraced traditional Indian values. India now has a growing upwardly mobile middle class who speaks expletive English and has disposable income. Delhi Belly is targeted at them. And if I were to predict, then only more movies with such 'local' language will be made. Indian cinema is at a transition phase and this film plays a significant role in it.
Overall, I have mixed views of the film. It is unconventional and outstanding in the narrative, music and camera. However, the plot of the film is very ordinary. The film reminds me of Angrez - good narrative and dialogues but ordinary storyline.Watch this film if you want to have a good time with friends. Don't watch it if you are expecting anything more than that.