Film: Delhii Heights
Director: Anand Kumar
Cast: Neha Dhupia, Jimmy Sherrgill, Simone Singh, Rohit Roy, Om Puri
For a film to hold its audience, it should have a story compelling enough to tell. Delhii Heights is nowhere near compelling, nor is it told well. Everything from the packaging to the acting in the film is dreadful.
The film has been produced by Sivaji Productions, whose last venture was the southern smash hit Chandramukhi. The concept of Delhii Heights is certainly nice, but the manner in which it is scripted and told is painful. The film begins with a voiceover introducing the story that is to follow. What’s amusing, however, is the level of boredom with which the narrator delivers his piece, sounding clean uninterested.
As for the film, it attempts to be a slice-of-life story, trying to fuse the existence of the residents of Delhii Heights, a plush building in Delhi. One of the stories is that of Suhana (Neha Dhupia) and Abhishek (Jimmy Sherrgill), a couple who find it hard to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. Both work in rival companies. Things go sour when Sherrgill realises he has lost a crucial account to his wife’s company.
On the other hand, there’s flirtatious Bobby (Rohit Roy) whose wife Saima (Simone Singh) hopes that her husband will mend his ways. Then there’s Timmy,an affectionate Sikh essayed by Om Puri, a father who comes to terms with his daughter getting married and lastly, there is the agonising story of Lucky (Vivek Shauq), a bookie who cannot seem to mend his ways, despite warnings from his friends, and finally finds the police on his door step.
The film is short, but couldn’t have been stretched any further. This itself speaks for the lack of a concrete storyline running across the film. It’s perhaps one of those films that sound novel in a bound script, but fail to create any magic on screen.
One expects a married couple to share a special comfort zone; the relationship between Dhupia and Sherrgill seems cold, uninteresting and overtly fake. A good film is one where the characters and the script can render some level of escapism or realism or make the viewer uncomfortable, shattering his comfort zone. Delhii Heights does nothing of that sort, which makes it one of those films sans a reason for viewing.
Of course, one must also add that the film’s editing is by far the shoddiest work ever seen, with scenes placed at random and cut even before the actor can finish his sentence. Actions and lines are edited, hoping to stick to the two hour deadline. The film also lacks sheen; as if the contrasting and brightness levels need constant adjustments. The sound levels too are improper, causing the music, which is the only nice part of the film, to fail miserably too.
Actors should also realise that at times, the presence or even the absence of a word, emotion or action can go a long way to make the character believable. Neha Dhupia evidently seems conscious of the camera at all times, and Rohit Roy manages to emote, but his body language falls far short of what’s required. In one scene, he is having a rather important conversation with his wife with his palm and wrist bandaged up. But Roy evidently suffers no pain, he gesticulates, bends his arms and even supports Sherrgill with his injured hand!
Jimmy Sherrgill and Simone Singh manage to put up a fair performance. Om Puri plays his role to the T. In the scene where he is bidding adieu to his daughter, his hands trembling and eyes welled up, he manages to touch a chord with the viewer.
A film need not necessarily have a point or message, but it most definitely needs a good story. Delhii Heights might just do some business for want of big budget releases this week. Also, there is no definite market or target for this film, increasing its chances of revenues from a diverse though scattered audience.
Overall, however, Delhii Heights is a washout. Go for it, only if you have absolutely nothing else to do!