There is no one called DK Bose in the film, but that doesn’t stop Delhi Belly from being added to our all-time fave list
Before Delhi Belly begins, you see the trailer of Ram Gopal Varma’s next film, Not a Love Story, with a punchline that reads: ‘A story from the heart but not for the fainthearted’. That better describes Delhi Belly! Sitting through all the ‘crap’ that happens onscreen is no joke – with close-ups of male bum cracks, excreta and farting sounds all through, plus swear words and simulated sex scenes.
Chocolate-boy Imran Khan has moved into a different league altogether, thanks to this one. He has now become a part of something that is speeding on its way to becoming a cult film. But the actor was correct in saying that “It’s a guys’ film, not for girls,” sexist as that may sound. Wonder how many girls can sit through the s*** and the swearing!
Roomies Tashi (Imran Khan), Arup (Vir Das) and Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapur) lead ordinary, mundane, middle-class lives in a tattered old Delhi room with a water problem. Tashi is a reporter (though his beat is not clear). Nitin is a photographer in the same publication. Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan) is the new reporter in the office. Arup is a cartoonist in an ad agency, frustrated with his art director.
Tashi is soon to be married to air-hostess Sonia (Shenaz Treasury), a girl from a rich family, but is confused about the match. A packet given to him by Sonia containing diamonds leads to all the problems and confusion, stirred into mayhem with greed, killings, broken relationships and a lot of s***, of course! And all this in turn leads to hilarious situations for the viewer.
Plots similar to Delhi Belly’s have been tried before. This one does remind you of Ek Chalis Ki Last Local or 99 in parts. But the screenplay is what will take it a long way further. And perfect casting – from the three protagonists to the landlord to the dance master neighbour – works wonders. But the pace of the story tends to slow it down in parts.
Delhi Belly cannot be dismissed as just any movie with expletives and over-the-top situations. It has some beautiful scenes straight out of ordinary life, or rather, taking place in the midst of ordinary life around: like when Tashi is hanging out of the car and kissing Menaka.
But more than Imran Khan, the ‘hero’, the film belongs to Kunaal Roy Kapur as Nitin, the ‘serial rapist’, and the ‘find’ in Delhi Belly. Poorna Jagannathan fits the part and shines as the ‘been there, done that and then become a frustrated married woman’ who is rumoured to be a lesbian. Shenaz Treasury is good too, but used largely to show off cleavage in close-ups that make no sense to the female viewer. Vijay Raaz stands out as the don in hot pursuit of his diamonds.
Don’t miss the end – no, not for the Aamir Khan item song, but to see where the diamonds end up. Classic! Delhi Belly in itself is such a good film that the item song was really not needed. But yes, it might be a selling point in smaller centres, where the film is being run in Hindi in a toned-down version.
That said, producer Aamir Khan has yet again surprised everyone with a more-than-satisfactory product. Every time he directs, produces or acts in a film, you come out happy from the theatre. And his films – Lagaan, Taare Zameen Par, Ghajini, 3 idiots, Peepli Live, Dhobi Ghat or Delhi Belly– not only break box-office records, but also break new ground in their genres. The secret Midas touch seems to be Aamir’s editing skill. And that, honestly, is no crock of s***!
Reviewed by Shweta Parande
**** Very good