Sandy’s review of Delhi 6

 

delhi-6-32 

 

Delhi heights and lows

Delhi 6

 

Director: Rakeysh Mehra

Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Waheeda Rahman, Om Puri, Rishi Kapoor, Divya Dutta, Deepak Dobriyal, Vijay Raaz, Pawan Malhotra among others

Showting At

: City Pride (Kothrud, Satara), Gold Big Cinemas, E-Square, Inox, Mangala, Rahul

 

 Much like his last Rang De Basanti, Rakeysh Mehra’s latest, Delhi 6 boasts of great many things that make you sit up and take note of it. For starters, there’s his trademark visual panache and his ability to build characters well. Not to add, a splendid music score by A R Rahman that is possibly right up there as one of his best works.

Yet, much like Rang De Baanti and Aks even, Mehra appears far too simplistic and confusing with his story, thereby making his concepts appear quite half-baked.

At least with Rang De Basanti (even with a very problematic ending), the anarchist resolution connected well with the youth, and tapped into their disenchantment with the political system in the country. Unfortunately, Delhi 6 has none of that urgency and takes up general issues like casteism, the Hindi-Muslim conflict, orthodoxy using Chandni Chowk as an archetype for India as a whole.

 

NRI Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) accompanies his ailing grandma (Waheeda Rahman) to Delhi 6, where she wants to spend the rest of her days amidst people and places she’s known. The film beautifully captures the smells and sights of the place and Roshan, as the unobtrusive visitor, captures it on his mobile. Mehra does a fine job with his ensemble cast and the setting is truly electrifying. There’s a constant vein of humour that runs in the film and that makes the movie eminently watchable, even if you’re conscious that the movie isn’t really going anywhere.

 Many of idiosyncrasies and even outright regressiveness that some of the characters exhibit becomes palatable solely due to presence of ‘outsider’ Roshan – whose reactions – raging from amusement to shock –is an easy character to relate for youngsters.

 It is the film’s key metaphor of the ‘Kala Bandar’ episode (the monkey man incident that caused intense fear in Delhi) that fails to make an impact. Apart from the fact that it’s old hat, Mehra has not been able to incorporate it well into the story. This results in the film pretty much falling apart in the second half, getting overly preachy and pointless.

Now, RDB itself wasn’t very focused story-telling, but it was still on course till the pre climax struck. Delhi 6 is more scattered, happy to linger on, offering mostly vignettes in the form of episodes of the Chandni chowk inhabitants and you’re happy to watch it (thanks to some brilliant performances) for a long time. But once the setting is grilled into you, there’s very little to look forward to in terms of story.

 Among the cast, Abhishek Bachchan does well, though a wee bit too understated and unremarkable as a character. Sonam is very good but she doesn’t have much to do here. In fact, her’s and Abhishek’s love story is hardly fleshed out. The rest of the cast comes up with outstanding performances.

In fact, the character actors and Rahman’s music should be your only reason to check out this otherwise underwhelming film.

 

Rating: **1/2

 

 

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22 Responses to “Sandy’s review of Delhi 6”

  1. The review leaves much too be desired as well. Underwhelming.

    My point is, why can an actor not act within parameters? Why does he have to overplay his act by being ‘remarkable’ as you put it.

    I’ll agree, though, that the film is not impactful, as this was the intent and the purpose. However, it’s immesely watchable.

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  2. ‘the ‘too’ needs to be ‘to’.

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  3. Thanks for review. Waiting to see the film this weekend.

    Sandy, now that you’ve seen what do you think of its BO prospects?

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  4. Thanks a lot.
    You really appear to be torn. You seem to like it but there are some major reservations. Pretty much in line with a lot of other reviewers.

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  5. Nice review Sandhya , so what do you think is going to happen to the movie?

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  6. Amitabh liked the movie and watched twice. He is on phone talk with Abhishek, ROM and Sonam in AajTak live.

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  7. nice review watching it this weekend….but inspite of reviews will go with huge expectations…bcoz i feel wen those lights goes off in cinema i trust mehra, rahman and kamlesh pandey to create magic

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  8. also will like to inform that mr kamlesh pandey the writer visited our college last week and had told us that if u go wit open mind and belief u will definitly like this D6 bcoz its quite different from regular bollywood fare..
    ( between he shocked by saying that abhi was first offered some role in RDB for his debut movie instead of samjhauta express though later he did refugee!!! but the whole family who sat thru script reading like script but only had one anxiety that abhi’s charactor shud not die in the movie!!!!v thus it was cancelled)
    later if aamir hadnt liked it he says rang de script wud had been dust for many more years as who’s who of industry didnt had guts tomake this movie….
    this increased my respect for aamir

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  9. between waiting for satyams review

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  10. Trying to stay away from reviews, but I discovered an added reason to see this film – supposedly UTV has tagged the “Kaminey” trailer onto this.

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  11. Not that I needed any extra reason. Am truly excited for this. Even before actually seeing the movie, there are enough pluses (Binod Pradhan’s gorgeous cinematography, Rahman’s stunning work) to make me think I won’t be disappointed by “straight narrative” (or lack thereof) issues here.

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  12. Thanks for the review Sandy.. good stuff..

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  13. Dilli 6 : “bade sheher ki ek galli mein basa hua hai nukkad…er dilli 6…”

    😉

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  14. Trying not to read many but had to read this one…thanks for sharing. Look forward to catch this this weekend

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  15. Apparantly the Kaminey trailor is full of the “F” word! Can’t wait to see that trailor.

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  16. If you are expecting a ‘story’, there is none. The film is about setting and characters, and that is just marvelous in the film. Which is why the first half appears so charming. Also as I mentioned in the review, there is a vein of humour that runs in the film and I must say Mehra has a fine flair for it. There are two kids in the film who I thought gave everyone else a run for their money…so natural and so awesome!

    It is when Mehra finally gets down to business that the film gets loud and preachy and even the characters he builds so well in the first half start to disentigrate in ways that completely takes you by surprise, because there is no inkling of it earlier.

    In all this, I think Rahman’s music is what makes Delhi 6 memorable. The first half has a song every five minutes and with any other soundtrack, it coupld have caused boredom (esp considering that Mehra is only emphasising the ‘setting’ in all these songs).

    But au contraire, every song lifts the film – as if giving Mehra one more chance.

    Abhishek Banchchan is Bollywood’s brave heart . No other actor would have become a ‘character’ of this kind and done it with complete sincerity. Even Aamir was a ‘character’ in RDB, but he wa flamboyant and noisy – playing to the gallary, so you didn’t miss a ‘hero’

    Both Mehra and Bachchan are happy to have Roshan as a bystander – observing the happenings around. But this very facet of the film is problematic in some ways because Roshan’s involvement reaches a peak suddenly. His attraction to Bittu is not clear, so that makes his motives ambigious.

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    • yup completely agree on abhi being braveheart…but I also thers no better option thn him…as aamir does his 1 movie..rest never do this kinda stuff..so alongwith braveheart he’s @ rightplace & righttime in bwood..!!
      & also I respect him for one thing that he brings more respect to BACHAN household with his choices ..then his contemporaries though it is by default to certain extent

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    • masterpraz Says:

      This superbly captureed my thoughts on the movie thus far..

      Like

  17. Kaminey Trailer. Looks good..

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  18. just awesomee….must watch tht wht i feel for ths movie…seems best ppl of d industry came together and made d best film.
    Sonam to wahida all hav done a fantastic job… rahman’s music is outstanding…

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  19. masterpraz Says:

    Mehra is superb with ensemble casts -tjhats for sure!

    He creates atmosphere, shows larger things happening around his central protagonist and gets a reaction. A pattern is emerging to an extent with his style of direction (be it AB in AKS, Aamir in RDB or Abhi in D6..they all have a “breakdown” moment)..All 3 brilliant in their own right…

    P.S: Still addicted to MAULA….replay on my ipod!

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  20. masterpraz Says:

    This is what i’ve written on a discussion via FB..i’ll now stop until the full review.

    “Stunning song, the movie can be summarized as a exercise in “How to create a community and then shatter it with a seed of doubt over something small and stupid”. You live together, next to someone, share your entire life with the people around you regardless of whether they’re Catholic, Hindi, Muslim or Buddhist, and in a moment of madness can pick up a knife against that very person. The same person who’s shop you ate at for 30+ years, the same person who babysits your kids….is a small speckle of doubt over something minor enough to shatter a life-time of relations? The thin line between religion and fanaticism…”!

    Like

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