Posts Tagged ‘Dilli 6’

I have been warned by a friend not to reveal too much about the film in the review, so I will keep it brief. But at the outset, I must refer to my prediction in the form of a pre-release preview about Billu and Delhi 6. On February 8th, I had predicted that Billu will be kind of average and Delhi 6 will be a good film. Well, I had stuck my neck out and talked about 2.5/5.0 for Billu and 4.5/5.0 for Delhi 6.

From what I can see from official and unofficial reviews, I am not too much off the mark. And in my own book at least, I am quite on the dot with Delhi 6. Based on what I read about Billu, I have not felt it worth to go and see it!

I have already covered my tribute to Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and talked about the actual performances in Delhi 6 in earlier posts. So what else can I say without saying too much, about the film?

There is an amazing capture of old Delhi. The place, the people, the life there. The energy of the place. You can clearly feel the pulse of the place.

The song with the New York – Delhi mashup is a brilliant piece. That is the kind of genius stroke which for example, we saw in the ‘Woh Ladki Hain Kahan’ song in Dil Chahta Hain.

There are small shades of Swades, but not much. Although there is the NRI factor, its not been overused just to sell the film in the overseas markets.

Like Rang De Basanti, smart work has been done by mixing up history / mythology as mirrors / pathfinders for today, and especially as conscience calls for the characters in the film.

The climax is always the biggest challenge for any filmmaker. What is that fantastic ending that he must depict that audiences leave the theatre awestruck?! And many a filmmaker has fallen short at that pedestal. If the film has to be faulted, it is in this space, for Delhi 6 too. At the end, the climax is a bit hackneyed, and undos a lot of the good work done earlier.

Rest its money and time well spent, and I recommend it!

There, I have summarized it, without telling too much. Hope my friend approves 🙂

There are some great performers in Delhi 6 – on-screen and behind it too. Before sharing my impressions on the film itself, I thought I would touch upon these.

On screen, Abhishek has the longest role, of course. But there is nothing much to write about him and his role. I mean, he does a competent job, but no huge scenes, nothing fantastic, considering that he was the absolute and complete hero!

Sonam Kapoor had a small role. But she did that well. And also came out looking extremely pleasant on screen. I repeat myself when I say that she looks like the Juhi Chawla. Especially that effervescent smile of hers. So much like Juhi’s. I would love to see her in longer and meatier roles in future.

I noticed that Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra was born in the same year that I was born! I know a few people from our generation who have a Waheeda Rehman fixation. I don’t. But I know others who do. Perhaps Rakeysh has one too. Waheeda Rehman, for her age, puts in an extremely credible performance. She did that in Rang De Basanti too. I am sure she has maintained her health well, and she has put in hard work to execute the role.

Likewise, amongst the older folks who come for character roles every now and then, Rishi Kapoor is one who again manages to leave a mark, even in smaller roles. In Delhi 6, he has a very small role. And he does a good job of it again.

Three very talented actors make their presence felt in small essays here. Vijay Raaz (who can forget his Monsoon Weddings character?!), Divya Dutta and Atul Kulkarni. All of them have good characters written for them in Delhi 6, and perform well.

Om Puri, Supriya Pathak and others do a fair job.

Among the behind-the-scenes acts, there are 4 outstanding performers.

First of course, it’s the director, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra himself. I have paid a separate tribute to him. That he has also written the film makes for special mention. The heart of the film is in the writing. And more of it, when I cover the film itself. But suffice it to say that it is a great job of writing and direction that Mehra has done.

Then there is the cinematography of one of India’s best cinematographers, Binod Pradhan. Coming from the Vidhu Vinod Chopra stable, Binod has fabulous works like 1942 a Love Story, Mission Kashmir, Parinda, Devdas, Munnabhai MBBS, Rang De Basanti and others to his credit.

In Delhi 6 also, Binod leaves his magical touch. The camera panned across a nearly 360 degrees to capture the Friday prayers at the Jumma Masjid is breathtaking. Even the scenes capturing nightime life and lights in old Delhi are very well captured.

Then, there is lyricist Prasoon Joshi. Who comes up with some great lines once again. Considering his advertising industry exploits, he must rank as one of the most creative and talented persons in India. Period.

And of course, finally, you have to salute the master, A. R. Rahman. By tomorrow morning, he might have become an Oscar winner too (he has 3 nominations for Slumdog Millionaire, and the Oscars happen in about 12 hours from now). In Delhi 6, he delivers some great numbers.

The best and most hummable is Masakali. Check it out here:

My other two favorites are Rehna Tu and the title song, Delhi.. or Dilli.. whatever!

Rakeysh has managed to get some great performers together and they have delivered a fine result in terms of Delhi 6!!

I saw Dehli 6 today. And loved it. But more about it later.

I thought it fit first, to write a few words about the filmmaker, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. And I must add, if it was not already obvious, that I am a big admirer of this very talented director. I would believe that he is among the best that we have in Indian cinema today. And I am looking forward to many excellent films coming out of his repertoire over the years.

I presume I was one of the few people (lol) who had seen his first venture. It was called “Aks”. In fact, I remember that we had gone from our company, and several of us in a group, in fact. And all of them did not last through the film. Several left mid-way. Yeah, it was that kind of debut.

I had sat through the film. And while not really enjoying it much, I was certainly impressed with the subject chosen, the method of expression. Very bold, Very different.

In fact, it tackled an interesting subject – shades of Good and Bad within the self. And how one can manifest over another. To an extent, the theme carries forward in Delhi 6 too. In the form of the ‘black monkey’ metaphor.

So though Aks was no great success, I presume it got its fair share of critical acclaim.

Which got him going on his piece de resistance movie, Rang De Basanti. An excellent film for the times, it delivered its message in no uncertain terms. About the angst of the youth, about the restlessness that they face, and their clear thought about not wanting to take any more nonsense. The presentation was extremely creative. From the eyes of a foreigner who was here to make a film, and taking on idling youth to do her movie. And then even as she went over her story from the times of India’s freedom movement, the extent of juxtaposition of the story to current times, and to the lives of the actors, was the way the story got presented. Interspersed with great acting performances and excellent music (A. R. Rahman).

Rang De Basanti did create a stir beyond the film itself. Where people came out of theatres feeling good, they also carried the message forward, and the people’s voice against various unjust political wars, can be partially attributed to the impact made by the film.

RDB was a classic in that sense. Got Mehra a lot of acclaim and recognition, and finally he was taken to be a serious film maker. He won a host of awards for RDB.

But all through the fame and glory that he got, and the many TV appearances as a result, what came out from Mehra was a consistent humble message. Acknowledging Aamir Khan. Acknowledging Ronnie Screwala. And others. Maintaining a calm front that kept talking sanity, never letting success go into his head.

In fact, one program on TV really brought him out as a class act. He was on the Karan Johar show along with Rakesh Roshan, Raju Hirani and Kunal Kohli. Along with Karan Johar there, they made for some of the more successful directors in India. And in this interaction, the one voice that kept responding to many questions in the best way, was the voice of Rakeysh Mehra. In fact, that show kind of gave an impression that Rakeysh was the most thinking director from amongst them, Karan Johar was certainly the smartest, Raju Hirani had a good feel for the masses (maybe a good ad filmmaker’s trait), Rakesh Roshan was perhaps the best businessman, and Kunal Kohli was out of place there!

And now, Delhi 6. Another great work from Mehra. Some part of his style and his convictions carry on, I guess.

The part of the evil inside people, comes back from Aks.

The mixing of history / mythology to current story characters is done here again, as was done in Rang De Basanti. In this film, it’s the Ramayana and the black-monkey story (from Delhi folklore) that are mixed up to drive the film’s message across.

But more about the film in another post.

For now, I would just reiterate my admiration for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Really glad to have such great talent working together at the same time – Mehra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Farhan Akhtar, Raju Hirani, Madhur Bhandarkar, etc. Film enthusiasts like me never had it so good.. 🙂

While seeing Luck By Chance yesterday at the PVR Phoenix, there were two film trailers that I saw, Billu Barber and Dilli 6. The former releases next Friday. A Friday, the 13th release – wonder how that will affect its fortunes! The latter releases a week later on Feb 20th. A week’s gap is enough between two big releases, as really, the first 4-5 days are the defining days, to see if a movie succeeds or not.

Purely based on these previews, my call is that Billu Barber will be an average film and Dilli 6 will be another big winner.

Billu Barber comes from Shah Rukh Khan’s Red chillies entertainment. So the full force of the SRK publicity machinery is behind it. Also because of this reason, the film has been propped up (out of insecurity, I suspect) with a whole host of special appearances from stars.

When a film needs to do this, and then of course, give that little time and presence to these stars on the screen, it obviously deviates from the core story. Its a first indication to me that there isn’t enough core strength, and these props have become necessary to support the film. There is Irfan Khan, and he is an undoubted talent. So the film will rise and fall with him. The glamorous Lara Dutta has been ruralized to a village housewife. What a waste. None of the songs have stayed in my head. Priyadarshan, who loves to work with Akshay Kumar, Paresh Rawal and the kind, has been given charge of this film. Might be out of place, to an extent. So an early prediction on this film is that it will be average, perhaps disappoint considering the extent of expectations.

And then there is Dilli 6. From the absolutely awesome talent which is Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra. The one who made the classic, Rang De Basanti. And an interesting experiment Aks before that.

Well, Dilli 6 looked good in the trailer. A classic capture of old Delhi life. Amazing cinematography by the best in the business, Binod Pradhan. One scene of prayers at the Jama Masjid is absolutely breathtaking. Sonam Kapoor is actually looking good.. like an early days Juhi Chawla. Very pleasing to the eyes. The music by none other than the maestro, A R Rahman, is so much fun. Check out this song to sense the energy of the kind last seen, only in RDB, I guess. Abhishek can deliver with the right directors, as we have seen in Guru, Yuva, etc. I think Mehra would have also got the best from Abhi and this should be one good movie to see. Waiting for Feb 20th now.

Here are my preview rating for a change.. Billu Barber: 2.5/5.0, Dilli 6: 4.5/5.0.