Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yeh Hai Dilli Meri Jaan?

I intentionally waited to watch Dilli 6. I like to get updates from friends and read reviews before I watch a movie. Most anecdotal observations I received from friends and family was that they hated the movie and it was no RDB (Rang De Basanti - Mehra's last release that had a huge youth cult following). I do want to remind my readers that while Mehra did come up with RDB which was fabulous he also made Aks which was a great concept but a cringe worthy movie.

Maybe because my expectations were low or maybe because hubby is in India and I was terribly bored I enjoyed the movie somewhat. There were huge loopholes, lot of cliched characters, Rahman's music beautiful otherwise did not look that great in the movie.

First the negatives - the movie had so many characters and delved on so many issues that after a while it was hard to focus on what was good about the movie. The feuding brothers, the caste system, of course the obligatory Hindu Muslim riots, the NRI who fixes most things, the young adult who wants to be an Indian Idol, the kids thrown in God knows why, the corrupt policeman and the politician trying to incite religious fervor. As if that wasn't enough Mehra also threw in an invisible monkey man that was harassing the neighborhood and became the enabler to move the story forward

And now the positives - The narration of the movie is from the NRI's point of view and that amused me immensely. Specially the scene where the MLA walks up on the stage while the Ram Leela is going on, the expressions of the characters on stage was priceless. The shots of Old Delhi looked beautiful. It was Delhi as I remember from my trips to India. You could almost feel the crowd, smell the food, touch the history and get absorbed by the city. I also liked how the movie used the backdrop of Navratri and Ram Leela to introduce the characters.

Most characters were perfectly cast. You did see some of Mr. Mehra's regulars - Atul Kulkarni, Divya Datta, Waheeda Rahman. Sonam as Bittu was very appealing. The girl has great screen presence. Abhishek was quite competent in his role. But I wish Mr. Mehra had kept Abhishek's role only as a narrator and not tried to inject him into solving the issues. Indians after all over the years have been coming up with solutions on their own while NRIs more often than not stand on the side lines.

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