Delhi 6 Review— This Masakali Fails to Take Off!

mrinkenti3A couple of days before the release of the film my close friend called to ask if I was planning on watching “masakali” this weekend. This was followed by an email from BookMyShow.com advertising, again, “Masakali” as this weekend’s release. Had it not been for A R Rahman’s Masakali number, there would not have been any buzz for this film being headed by names like Abhishek Bachchan and Sonam Kapoor.  Delhi 6 has it’s concept and music in place, but it’s treatment ties it down and just does not take off and by the time it finishes you are unable to identify with what happened.

delhi6_poster1Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) volunteers (when his dad categorically refuses to go back to India) to take his ailing grand mother to Old Delhi as she wishes to breathe her last in the place where she has her roots. Roshan, an NRI who has never been to India, in his first trip to India as a fully blown grown up guy with a Motorola camera phone arrives to explore his roots and explode at what he goes through. Roshan is now part of a multicultural community in the lanes of Chandni Chowk, Delhi 6, that practice their religions, rituals, eat jalebi, and are trying to crack the mystry of kaala bander or Monkey Man. Roshan’s family is split between the two brothers whose house is separated by a wall with one replaceable brick so that the ladies can talk. Then there is Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) who is desperate to get an identity of her own and has pinned her hopes on Indian Idol show to make this middle class nothing to something. There are several characters in the film and too much of time is wasted on their ridiculous over-actions. In regular intervals we see Ram Leelas, the Monkey Man episodes and public reactions to it, little bit of Bittu and little of Roshan and you’re really tired of it all by the end of the first half.

Slowly, the monkey man episode begins to add political color bringing to the fore Hindu-Muslim tensions. In the meantime, out of no where, we are thrust upon the fact that Roshan is in love with India and Bittu and to bring upon unity among this once close knit community, Roshan dresses up as the Monkey Man and ends up getting beaten, thrashed and shot! Yes, he dies briefly and then God, Amitabh Bachchan eating jalebis decides that he got a raw deal from folks in Delhi sends him back! The film becomes ridiculous in it’s efforts to make you love the characters and the plot. When Sonam Kapoor begins to cry loudly on seeing Abhishek shot, the entire theater erupted in laughter; this is how the audience connected with this film.The film tries too hard (and is confused as how) to show the spiritual and multicultural fabric of India. Take for example, the scene where a cow is delivering and the entire city traffic there comes to standstill to witness this sacred event; good sequence, but it is spoilt with the way Roshan is made to react to this episode.

There is no story to tell. Rakeyesh Omprakash Mehra gives it the kind of treatment (minus the spookiness) we saw in M. Night Shyamalan’s later films like Village, Lady in the Water, Happening etc. all of which led to his downfall. The director takes an unexplained phenomenon (the kaala bandar episode here) and uses it to reflect upon the people around it with a message about humans and community. To this Mr. Mehra adds some lovely songs, wants us to believe there was a love story that was never there between Bittu and Roshan, and some messages about the still prevailing caste system (like Swades, the classic gem) and some India Blues (like Nagesh Kukunoor’s all-time cult classic Hyderabad Blues). The result of this cocktail: ridiculous and boring. At one point, you get tired of seeing the ram leelas and the kaala bander episodes and just wish the film either moved on or ended.

Abhishek Bachchan proves again that he is Iron Leg of Bollywood; another solo-hero project of his delhi6_poster2flops. He just can’t deliver and it becomes even more pathetic when the script is boring. His accent is artificial and you just can’t connect with him or his character. He is better off doing films and roles like Dostana or must accompany his wife on her international tours. Sonam Kapoor tries to be overly expressive and sadly for her there is no role. Waheeda Rahman and Rishi Kapoor (who btw really needs to reduce as he is looking sick and obeese) are wasted. The best performances come from all and sundry like Pawan Malhotra and Om Puri as the two not-getting-along-well brothers, the hot ‘untouchable’ garbage cleaner  (Divya Dutta) whom everybody from the little kids to the inspector are hitting on, Vijay Raaz is too good as Inspector Ranvijay, Atul Kulkarni as Gobar who always chooses two one rupee coins rather than one 10 rupee note, and the guy who sells jalebi and later shoots Abhishek dressed as the kaala bander. ARR’s music is superb, but unfortunable no song other than Masakali is played out completely; what a waste.

The other day while at a mall I was watching on NDTV, Abhishek, Sonam, and Mehra interacting with people in Chandi Chowk discussing about the film. No amount of publicity can save this really stupid and boring film (it angers me to see people using the overly zealous media (which has nothing better to do than to cover such silly disucssions) to promote a silly and senseless film). The only word I could hear coming out of Ramakrishna Glitterati after Sunday’s matinee show was (not masakali ) “bakwas”. Whats even more bakwas is Amitabh Bachchan’s comment today in the newspaper comparing Delhi 6 and Slumdog Millionaire as he continues to belittle the latter. Honestly, the old man should just relax at home now.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Two Thumbs Down! Don’t fall for the desinger poster and stylish movie title. The film should actually have been named Kaala Bandar.

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5 Comments »

  1. Namrata said

    i differ to ur view.. cause for me movie is damn cool.. a must watch… Rakeysh kept his promise of delivering good cinema… Rehman is simply too good. I just loved Delhi6 specially the song MASAKALI supercool picturization as well as msuic..Tnx ROM and Rahman…..u rockkk..

  2. I do agree with the views the movie though good in places was a letdown

  3. Narayan Rao Deshpande said

    HINDU-MUSLIM PROBLEM : is ” The ” core problem of South-East Asia. Once pushed under the carpet., it disappears momentarily…only to burst in the face. Hindu-Muslim question must be addressed 24×7… especially since RSS has corrupted the Hindu Mind (1928 to-date). These 80 years… 24×7 thru literature, media., songs, hate-speech, riots… the Hindu Mind has been conditioned (dipped) to hate muslims 24×7…. and enjoy seeing them in pain. This is turning Hindus into sub-humans… infact Kala Bandars. That is the real danger to India… the country.. the Hindu Religion… Save India .. the “Idea of India” which is more beautiful than the land itself… from the clutches of RSS/BJP/VHP/Shiv Sena demons. They are basically criminals of humanity… and must be tried for Genocide. When Narendra Modi / Babu Bajrangi become the symbols of Brand Hindutva (not Hinduism)., then it is doomed. The hate rocket will burst… infact an implosion… Jai Ho.

  4. Humpi said

    Ahem… where shall i start about Delhi-6. It was boring and annoying enough to literally give me a headache for the i donno how many (not less for sure) hours. It was a typical example of fraudery cos it was the biggest waste of my money. If it wasnt for my boyfriend, I would hav left the theatre after sonam kapoor takes of kala bandar’s (abhishek’s) bandar mask in a romantic song.
    My boyfriend, i must clarify, was not feeding on the apparent beautiful meaning of the movie, he rather enjoyed laughing at it. The movie had no focus. It made no sense. It was a big torture on a precious sunday. Anyone who’s considering watching this movie (if they havent, luckily, made the mistake yet) please take some asprins with you and a puke bag.

  5. nxghosting said

    this is very fantastic movie reviews i agree with his

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