Sunday, July 3, 2011

Delhi Belly: After-thoughts

The unconventional name of the movie which literally means diarrhea, first-of-its-kind songs - D K Bose and Penchar and given that it is an Aamir Khan (and UTV) Production gave an impression that Delhi Belly is going to be an unconventional movie. The starting scene showing very minute details of water running down the drain while the bucket is just a foot away, the cockroach (which almost occupied the full screen) eating stale pizza beneath the bed on which is slept a fat man whose depression between his bum cheeks becomes the focus of the camera person further reinforced my initial assumption. After watching the film, i must say, I wasn't right. Neither was I wrong.

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.


Nikki Kasiraju July 3, 2011 at 1:10 PM  

In brackets ( mostly cynicism).
Perhaps like the hanging end of every soap on TV which builds up anticipation.
The good part- No interpretation, No anticipation.
(Did you? :P)

Prashant Mehta July 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM  

Nikki ji

LOL. Yep. No Interpretation. No anticipation. In which case all movies would be good - even the shady ones (Wouldn't it?). ['Wouldn't it?' in brackets :-)]

Grammar Nazi July 4, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

The dialogues of the films, needless to say, are very contemporary and illicit quite a few bouts of laughter

1. Evoke or draw out (a response or fact) from someone by actions or questions: "their moves elicit exclamations of approval".
2. Draw forth (something that is latent or potential) into existence: "war elicits all that is bad in us".

Adjective: Forbidden by law, rules, or custom: "illicit drugs"; "illicit sex".

HUGE difference.

Prashant Mehta July 5, 2011 at 12:28 AM  

Grammar Nazi

Thanks for point the error out! Corrected it :)

Varsha July 13, 2011 at 7:10 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Varsha July 13, 2011 at 7:11 PM  

The movie is nothing extraordinary in terms of the plot, storyline. But it is the spontaneity of the film that I enjoyed. Like the "Yeh to tatti hain".. nothing funny about the tatti but the way the whole scene was..the whole theater was on the floor. Or the end "A bullet hit ...." Those are the kind of things you may not enjoy for a second viewing or even if someone were to narrate the story. But as a whole, the film I believe was better than average though not exactly 'great'

abhishek July 17, 2011 at 11:26 PM  

Saw a Movie after a long time which has something different in it.The 'It's Different' thing really suits the movie.....

Prashant Mehta July 22, 2011 at 8:16 PM  

Varsha ji

I agree. 'Timing' is very important in a humor. And Delhi Belly got it just right!

Abhishek ji

You know, i don't think the film was really different at its core. Only the treatment of the beaten-to-death subject was different,

Mithun July 23, 2011 at 3:51 PM  

I Agree with you prashant. Delhi Belly is not so intriguing as it was hyped. Take out the dialogues and some little details and it becomes similar to any flop film. I guess Amir Khan production n UTV collaboration did give it too much exposure.

Now coming to those languages and little details. Using slangs were before *Peep*-ed in films, "Tatti" and "muut" has not been shown in movies due to majority of people would not have liked it. Now the mindset of the viewers have been changed and sensor board has become wise. So disgusting farting noice from toilets dont ring a bell these days, rather people enjoy it. Hence Delhi Belly. Nothing else...

Prashant Mehta July 24, 2011 at 2:12 PM  

Mithun ji


Anita Duggal December 1, 2014 at 1:58 PM  

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