Although I had a poor impression of Delhi-6 after seeing all the trailers and interviews that preceded it, when my friends called me up for a movie date, call it peer pressure or whatever, I ended up going for it.
Here’s the review.
Delhi-6 is a story of a young Indo-American boy Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) half-hindu and half-muslim, who comes to India for the first time, to drop his ailing grandmother. She wants to retire and spend the last leg of her life back home. In America, having lead a very western lifestyle Roshan is not familiar with India. He gets sucked into the lives of the people in the neighborhood and falls in love with the beautiful Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) who is looking for identity and expression and wants to break free from the typical Indian social structure. However, this story is not just a love story between the main lead pair…it is also a love story of the people for Delhi.
It is really difficult for me to sort out my impressions about the movie. On the one hand, it is a beautifully shot movie, with superb acting, as well as a very strong message. However, the pace of the movie is extremely slow (the director takes almost till intermission to set the stage and introduce the characters). In addition, we had no idea about where the story is going at all. The first half of the movie was just based on conversations between random groups of characters – the significance of which, you realize only much later.
The movie picks up steam in the second half, and we finally realize … Aha ! this is a movie about Hindu-Muslim intolerance. And then things move pretty rapidly to the fairly predictable climax.
The one thing that I really appreciate in this movie is the way Rakeysh Mehra uses symbolism in the form of the “black monkey” and the “Ram Leela” to send out a message about religious intolerance. This method of dealing with a rather controversial issue is something novel and interesting to me.
Another aspect of the movie I liked was even the most monotonous / random moments of the movie were somehow tied up skilfully by the director. At times, during the movie, I was wondering why on earth was he shooting this…only to realize later on the importance of the scene.
My final impression … this would have been a really good movie minus some Ramayana scenes, some of the songs, and the final unnecessary Amitabh Bachchan guest appearance – now, it is just a good attempt at movie-making.
Still worth watching, provided you walk into the cinema hall with a certain mindset, prepared to enjoy the atmosphere without the story.
Btw, I came to know today that there was an actual “black monkey” furore in Delhi a few years back. I tried googling for news about it, but was unable to find it. However, knowing this just adds more to my appreciation of the movie.