Film: Delhi 6
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Cast: Waheeda Rehman, Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Om Puri, Supriya Pathak, Vijay Raaz, Sheeba Chaddha, Cyrus Sahukar, Prem Chopra, Pawan Malhotra, Atul Kulkarni
After watching a film, you walk out of the cinema hall having a rather clear picture or none at all of what the film was about. Delhi 6 steals that very right from you, walking out you can’t exactly pin point what the film was about in the first hour and what it was in the next.
Delhi 6 begins as this beautiful and awe striking visual of a Delhi that perhaps we could only read or witness through those who lived there. It begins by taking us through the lives of the residents of Delhi 6 and the nitty-gritty’s of their lives.
Warring brothers, the close knit women, communal harmony, the bordering on dangerous glorification of religious conviction; the film in bits and pieces explores it all. It soon enough begins to moves focus into the life of U.S return, Indian at heart boy Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) and his involvement with the residents of Delhi 6.
Doing that, the film also manages to go into this other tangent of exploring wannabe Indian Idol and neighbor, Bittu’s life (Sonam Kapoor). An hour into these many stories and lives, with all but a banal reason the film moves into exploring the monkey man incidents that hit Delhi and soon enough communal tension. Quintessentially because there is a male actor and a female actor the film also has the love angle. Eventually in the end the film moves into this preachy overtone of good and bad and while all this happens you are expected to sit patiently.
After having finished watching the movie, you end up feeling tired having gone through so many lives and songs. The sad part in this is the fact that the lives you go through really have no memorable moments and the songs actually come at random only to hamper any moment that is there. The first half of the film is like one of those non-stop music Mp3 CD’s you can pick up with songs rolling one after another in shuffle mode. Songs in the film come and go at moments you don’t even expect and not that they do anything for the film; in fact they only make it more incoherent.
After the first half of the movie is done and you begin taking this dive into la-la land and from out of nowhere the film’s central plot is the monkey man and soon dives deeper with the monkey man as a metaphor for the bad in us.
The point one is trying to make here and can’t say it enough is the fact that Delhi 6 does try and explore some great aspects but the truth is the trite, sudden and short justifications it relies on, is difficult to digest. Somewhere down the line after looking like this beautiful and almost Malgudi days kind of setting the film finds the need to move ahead with explanations.
Sharp and witty dialogues are missing and all you are left remembering are punch words like "Burger Chaap". Somehow all you end up remembering in the film are a few scenes and not the entire film, scenes that in the larger scheme of things fit in and seem rather superfluous. Because there are so many characters in the film from many a bhabi’s to the roadside mithaiwala and cop, tracking characters and their roles seems like a task and because there are so many you end up visiting them in odd intervals of time once again breaking consistency.
As a film Delhi 6 is void of any involvement from you, you don’t cry, you don’t laugh, zilch. The film seems like more of a note and an oration than one meant to be an entertaining fare and the only question being raised is does spending a good amount of money to watch the film worth it? And one can’t force themselves to say yes.
Yes Delhi 6 looks superb, is edited with great slickness, the juxtaposition of images, references and scenes is good and has great songs that one will remember; but the truth also is the fact that it does not amalgamate into making this film you want to watch or should watch.
When it comes to the actors by far Waheeda Rehman does a brilliantly adorable act. Bachchan is convincing in the latter half of the movie and is rather icy in the first. Kapoor is the same and she completely redeems herself in the last ten-fifteen minutes of the film.
Everyone else in the film including Dutta and Kulkarni do a good job, they put up an act that is completely believable. The additional characters in the film are essentially who make the film. Special kudos to Chaddha and Raaz they both do a marvelous job, one of the finest performances seen in the film.
Watch Delhi 6 if you have the money and want to be treated to crisp visuals and a jigsaw puzzle for a story. One can’t get to recommend this film, it’s a bummer.