Saturday, February 21, 2009

Delhi 6 - Movie review!

Basti hai mastaano ki dilli dilli.
Gali hai deewaano ki dilli 6!

Having read a terribly negative review of the movie that appeared non-biased, I was disappointed! I love the songs of this movie. Their melody is refreshing and they grew on me almost instantly. I had to watch this movie simply because of the songs... I chucked the negative review aside and roped in a few buddies to go and watch the movie. They too were hyped up about the movie! "This is a sequel to RDB" said one of my friends. "Oh is it... I didn't know that" I replied with a smile. "Well, not exactly a sequel, but its made by the same director on similar lines". "Oh, I see. then it must be a good movie." "Yes. It has got 4 stars. I checked the review". I exchange looks with my other friend - we had read a bad review of the movie before booking the tickets. It was merely a 2 star bad review. Little did any of my friends know about the absolute negative review that I had read of dilli-6.

There are 3 reviews that can be written on this movie depending on the target audience.
1. A review for the entertainment seeker.
2. A review for someone expecting a repeat of RDB from the movie.
3. A review for someone wanting to watch a sensible movie.
Dilli-6 has something in it for all 3 class of cinema goers.

Let me say something positive by reiterating that I absolutely love the Masakali song! Its fun, light, flirty, deep and it makes u want to listen to it over and over after u finish hearing it and still feels fresh! I love the dilli-6 song too... Its contemporary and yet it has a rustic feel to it. Since I'm a fan of fusion music, I love that song :D Well, that and its melodious too.

"I cant wait to watch Sonam Kapoor" Said my friend. "Is this her 1st movie?" I ask innocently. With his expression changing from happiness to one of utter indignation coupled with severe disdain for me, there is a complete transformation in the face of my friend "She was also in Saawaria no! She looked so nice in that movie". Faking a loss of memory to avoid more wrath I reply "Oh, so that was her in that movie?" (To self - I have no clue about Saawaria except that I was warned to stay away from the movie) :-)

To get back to the review of dilli 6 - The entertainment seeker will like this movie because the purpose of this genre of movie goer is to "take light" while watching the movie. This breed is not in the hall to watch cinema as an art form. Their primary reason for coming to the hall is to accompany a friend to the movie, to stay in tune with the latest "happening" movie for a water cooler discussion at work, or to simply kill time! For them the purpose is served because as long as the movie makes some sense, does not take too much resources of the brain and the movie is "good". This genre is easily impressed because they have very low expectations from movies as compared to a movie aficionado - our 2nd category of viewer. For the 1st category of viewers, the 1st half of the movie is a good watch. The 2nd half may not be quite as enjoyable, coz they might find it to be too preachy.

The movie aficionado has exceedingly high standards. For them, its not about money spent on a movie - for them its about wanting to see something creative on the screen each time they go to the cinema hall. They will judge the director and will expect the director's current work to surpass the previous ones every time. They want dilli-6 to be better than RDB! This genre should like the 2nd half of the movie as it seek to bring about transformation and asks the audience to shed prejudices! The effort to bring the story together is genuine and the aficionado will appreciate it.

The 3rd category of audience wants to see a sensible movie thats light hearted. A movie that does not have too many subplots brewing. A movie where songs are shown in their entirety and are not just renegaded to being a mere background score. A movie where the hero-heroine will meet, fall in love, be torn apart and after several setbacks, some fight scenes and a headache later, the hero will reunite with the heroine and everyone feels good in the end! This genre wants the movie to be at least 10-11 reels long and not just be of 8 reels! This genre wants the movie to be simple and long and sensible and light and fun with numerous complete songs being shown in the movie. They expect the movie to cater to their complete emotional range so that they get full bang for their buck - total paisa vasool hona chaiye! Sadly, for this category Dilli-6 is only 8 reels long :D

"Yaar, they didn't show the complete songs in the movie!" complained the Sonam fan. "The movies these days are made like this only" replied another friend. "If they show complete songs in the movie, how will the music channels survive?" I added. "point hai!" said the fan, but not to be deterred, he found a solution "Looks like I have to go to YouTube. I know the aim is to try to pack as many shows as possible in the multiplexes to maximise profit, but still, there should not be so much cost cutting!".

What works for the movie is -
The hype!
It is being released on a long weekend in India.
It is being released at a time when it has no competition from any other movie.
The music album of the movie is already a huge hit (at least 40% of the BO collections can be attributed to this fact!)

On the acting side - Rishi Kapoor was very good and so was Waheeda Rehman! They are acting stalwarts and they felt like they were just being themselves in the movie. That being said, I felt the entire cast had been hand picked for the movie! I loved every character in the movie and the actors have have got into the skin of their characters and they take you TO dilli-6!

Then why the disappointment in the movie?
For me , the lead pair of AB and SK fail to act well! Now, let me say that I was never a fan of AB's acting except in Guru, where I give most of the credit to the director for making AB act well. As I am kinda biased against him, I'll stop commenting on his acting skills - or the lack thereof.

Sonam Kapoor! I had so much expectations from her. Sadly, all the good acting parts of her were already seen in the movie trailer by me. Without running her down, let me sum this up quickly thru the words of my friend (who is smitten by her and is a huge fan) - In one scene Sonam is supposed to let out a wail - When she did that, my friend retorted "Oh God!" as if she had puked on him while he was trying to kiss her! (That was entirely his reaction and by quoting that, I can get away by not saying anything negative about Sonam). Personally for me, a side character played by Divya Dutta was much more impressive than SK in the lead role. Am saying this after I completely loved SK in the songs (even in the short version shown in the movie) and think that she is delightful on screen, but a little too skinny for my taste (personal gripe)!
Together, the pair of AB and SK do manage to look cute together, but then anyone can do that for 10 minutes in a 2-2.5 hr movie! No points for that in my book!

Apart from the lead pair's sub-par acting, I feel that the movie was a let down (primarily) because of the complexly interwoven threads of sub-plots that were supposed to culminate in a grand final product that will blow away the audience. The intent was to make a wonderfully woven cashmere cloth with a beautiful design on it. You can see the effort (to weave this cloth) in the movie and you want to appreciate it. Alas, the final result is a glaring pattern on a roughshod cloth that jars the skin and the eyeballs (well, almost).

Summing up!
You want to say that the movie is good because of the effort put into it, but you cannot and you wind up saying "What is that?". Yet, the movie manages to strike a chord amongst all the chaos portrayed on screen - at least it did it with me - but only after my brain was fried and re-fried and short-circuited with water several times! (Those who have watched the movie will know what I mean!). At times I felt like I was watching a new version of the hit TV serial "Nukkad".
The friend who belongs to the 3rd genre of movie goers said, "I think Rakeysh got some good songs written and then he threw some story in between them." "Lets go home and watch RDB once again to wash away the taste of this movie from our mind" added the SK fan (although my guess is he went straight to youtube to find the complete song videos of dilli-6)

All that being said - its not a bad movie! Just one that it leaves the audience hungry, but not for the same dish! If you are confused after the review, don't worry - AB was more confused than you - He even cries in the movie and says "Daadi, bahot confusion hai - kuch samaj mein nahi aa raha!".

Yeh Delhi hai mere yaar, bas ishq mohabbat pyaar... Prasoon Joshi ROCKS!!
If the critics of Slum dog Millionaire were aghast with what was shown in SDM, then Dilli-6 should be a blasphemy (in some parts)!


Vee said...

I liked all the characters except the lead and as rightly said, they looked hand picked.. And everyone as expected gave good performances, but performances alone cannot make a movie work.

Btw, most of the time I could not understand what AB spoke.. First I though fault with the theater speaker but then I picked what rest of them said but him. The guy is a director actor and I guess only Mani's actor.. Yuva and Guru!!!

Divya for me was delight.

artveda said...

Balanced review.

Here is a funny mashup video.
Laurel and Hardy dancing to Masakali from Delhi 6:

Smita said...

I guess I fall in the 3rd category...

When I came out of the theater I wanted to say I liked the movie but I couldn't. I was however sure that I didn't dislike it as well & unfortunately I don't know what didn't work for me. I had gone in with zero expectations. I want to lay the blame on the fact that I missed begining ke 10 mins but then I know I am wrong...

I liked SK (though she was rarely there) found AB kind of ok (unfortunately I couldn't comprehend his english) and loved each character specially Atul Kulkarni....

At places more than one I felt yes these things do happen but the fact is movie failed to touch my heart...It felt like a modern art with too many a things there; sadly all jumbled up...disappointing!!!!

Excellent review...

PS: The songs are truly excellent, Masakalli is my all time fav but I felt "Rehna Tu" was too romantic a song to be wasted the way it was wasted.

avdi said...

Your review reflects your confusion. But you hit the nail on the head when you say its like a full screen Nukkad.

I havent seen it yet, but have been getting mixed reviews.

eye-in-sty-in said...

@ Vee,

ur right on buddy! the ensemble acts so well, they almost run over the lead pair who was not able to carry the story forward for various reasons.

The exceedingly negative review I read had mentioned that ABs accent kepe coming in and out in the movie. Perhaps he only used it with his granny with whom he was used to speaking in an accent. For conversation with the Indians, he was speaking without an accent because he was used to speaking that way. I think he just cannot act. I remember hearing a comment outside the hall about ABs acting "His acting was similar to how he acted in a movie called RUN".

The mural-ish song was ridiculous! Perhaps taken from Saawariya? When AB died, I wanted to tell someone - I hope they dont take the bullet out like in Matrix.

thanks for commenting.

eye-in-sty-in said...

@ artveda

Welcome to my writings. The video was a riot :D Thanks for sharing and for commenting.

eye-in-sty-in said...

@ Smita,

You were late for the movie? Yo answer ur quention on if u missed anything or not - This movie was such that if u walked in at any time in the movie, you could still follow what was going on in the movie. Its like watching a series of flashback of a tv serial in quick succession. In other words, you didnt miss much :D

Vee could not compherend his english as well. But I did not have a problem understanding it. Now only if he was given something intelligent to say and if he said it nicely!

You nailed it when you say "modern art". That is a very nice way of putting it. Apt, because the effort was to be seen. It was not a half hearted attempt at movie making.

I only was interested in watching the 2 songs I mentioned in the movie. I found SK cute when the red lipstick was spread across her mouth. She looked like a joker, but still cute.

Thanks for commenting.

eye-in-sty-in said...

@ Ava,

Thanks. Like Rakeysh, I made a genuine attempt to portray confusion. Thanks for validating that it could be seen in the review. I have to live by the current title of my blog, you see :-)

It is one of the movies that you want to see because it promises to be different and when you watch it, you feel confusion.

Let me look into the crystal ball and say - I have a feeling you will end up watching it.

Thanks for commenting.

Vee said...

No Einstein, I meant I could not comprehend his words be it English or Hindi, unlike Smita.. she at least understood his Hindi...

Btw, One thing I wanted to ask.. why categories..

When it comes to Cinema, its either good or bad.. works or doesn't.. Why justify it based on viewers. Any good cinema will be loved by all the categories u mentioned.

Vee said...


Thanks for that lovely video. As, Einstein said, it was absolute riot. Loved it.

Varun said...

Cool review!. Ram leela was boring for me. If he wanted to show us the entire ram leela he should have made a Ramayan and not Delhi-6. SK looked awesome in whatever lil time she was on screen. Kala bandar and AB baby were stupid.

couchpapaya said...

u know the thing that gets me excited nowadays is that more directors are experimenting and there are more of these movies that are different enough to be interesting .... i dont mind sitting through them just for that reason even if they are complete wash-outs at the end. this one feels like one such and i wld much rather sit for this than singh is king for example :) ... i think i'll watch!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Vee, maybe like me, even ur allergic to AB... that wd explain the selective filtering of his voice .... lol

The categories were made bcoz 1) I wanted to be a lil creative. 2) The categories were decided based on the company around me.

I dont completely agree that good cinema will be loved by all the categories mentioned. A random guy sitting next to me in the hall found the movie to be good. So did a colleague in office. This was not a good movie by my (and ur) standards.

eye-in-sty-in said...


The movie was made from an ABCD's POV. But ur right... many of the metaphors used in the movie failed to click well with the audience. Which was more drag? Kala bandar or AB's baby?

Thanks for the comliment on the revu. Glad u liked reading it.

eye-in-sty-in said...


I agree completely with the experimentation part. This is why I said "the effort was genuine and the movie manages to strike a chord amongst all the chaos portrayed on screen - at least it did it with me". It was also a reason why I went to see this movie in the theater despite AB's presence. If we want different cinema, we shd support it. Go for it! But pls post ur revu.

Warning: A colleague who we knew was going for the movie was not warned. He cursed us later on :D

Intense said...

That review clearly took me back to your SpikeGuard days! The same easy going style, the descriptive way in which you write, the juxtaposing of the audience around you and the movie itself - it's all there.

Now about the movie: I would stand by the conclusion I reached after reading Vee's review - I should probably watch this at home, unaffected by knee-jerk or knowing reactions (read applause or hoots) of a theatre audience. Considering my schedule nowadays I wonder when this auspicious event would occur. But that's another story... :D

Shayari said...

Well written!!

Yet to watch the movie.Thanks to many not so encouraging reviews;)

Completely agree with the effort the director has taken to create fine music. Specially loved the 'Genda phool' song :) Needless to say Masakkali became an instant favorite.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Intense,

I'm glad u enjoyed the flow and the writings... Those days were great weren't they? Actually, they have not yet gone... We have a whole bunch of ppl from 'those' days who are active on this blog and these individuals now have their own blogs too...

You're right - the movie is worth a dekko when u watch it as per ur own convenience.... Had I known it wd be what it turned out to be, I wd not have gone out of my way to watch it.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Shayari,

As I told Intense, catch it if things work out, but dont fret if ur not able to coz u wont miss much!

The music was a hit coz of AR Rehman! He is so consistent in delivering hits! The genda phool song was nicely picturised too. Each of the aunties in the song had a unique personality.

Thanks for commenting.

Mama - Mia said...

copy pasting a comment i wriote on another post!


why people are panning it is beyond me! i went with my pa-in-law and both of us were wiping our tears thruout! :) in a good way!

totally loved it! and i dont understand the need to compare it with RDB. the former spoke about rebellion, this one about acceptance. that one spoke aboutneed to change the environment and system, this one the change from within! that one was in the face patriotic, this one oh so subtle.

i think it was a fantastic movie!

i guess people just love movie that move in a singular flow. most might not even have got the juxtaposition of kala banadar reports and ram leela.

i hope it gets its due recognition! :)

and i dont care what category i fall under! :) for me a movie is as good or as bad depending on did it interest me enough and did it touch a chord somewhere in my heart! this one did the later! :)

and yes the music rocks!



Anonymous said...

Finally, a review that addressed every doubt, question, worry I had in mind about the movie. Especially when everyone I knew was cursing it. Shall come back after I watch the movie.

Btw, there are 4 movies that I managed to watch in the past week.

Marley and me = cute.

What just happened = Dry, sarcarstic, funny.

Burn after reading = What just happened?!

Boy in striped pyjamas = A nice attempt to make a classic, ends up hamming.

Bedazzled said...

i kept nodding so much when i was reading u r review .. Guess i am a combination of 1 and 3 .. and i was so bored most of the time that i was actly waiting for the movie to get over ..Loved the smaller chrecters like the muslim guy, the jalebi shop guy and of courseWaheeda and Rishi.. so much of talent wasted !! .. the story was horse-assed.. basically bull !!.. and AB was ok , SK was cute but her mannerisms were forced .. like a song where she walks with a small kid ..she wriggles her hip more than necessary that makes u wonder whether thats all her charecter is all about ..

eye-in-sty-in said...


I did say the movie was a genuine attempt... I even have a line saying that inspite of everything, it clicks! But like modern art, you have to take a step back and blur ur eyes to 'see' the story. However, it was portrayed to be something else and the hype prolly worked against it.

Am glad u enjoyed it. Thanks for commenting.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi J,

welcome to my writings. If ur movie enjoyment gets affected by reading reviews, I hope my critical one will enhance ur experience and like Abha, you too enjoy the movie!

Of the 4 u saw, I just wanna watch Marley n Me coz it has that funny gooft actor whose name I forget right now! The one with the odd shaped nose!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi B,

lol... as good as the attempt was, the movie was indeed boring in certain parts and in the other parts, it makes u feel "whats going on"!

I'm glad u mention the hip-shake! This was the character... A typical HEP-COOL wannabe! I say this bcoz that part of her character was further showcased by bad dancing in the photo studio. But I can say that for a 2 film old actress, she did alright! Much better than the other Kapoor girls!

eye-in-sty-in said...

Abha, I forgot to say Hi to you.... so Hi Abha!

Also wanted to address something in my comment to you. I know I say in the review that the hype works for the movie and in the comment I say that ii works against the movie. Let me explain the blatant contradiction - The Hype works for the movie in the initial opening collection, which I expect to be good (have not checked the numbers). But when people go with an expectation, they also get disappointed - hence the plethora of negative reviews!

A classic example of positive hype is Slumdog in US! It opened in top 10 no where near the top and then steadily rose up as word of mouth started helping the movie. Only in Dilli-6's case, its doing the opposite.

Vidooshak said...

"Lets go home and watch RDB once again to wash away the taste of this movie from our mind"

That sums up what I felt about the movie. In my opinion, the movie should be renamed "Blue Balls" for the DVD release. It builds up the excitement, the atmosphere, the tension and the conflict so beautifully through 75% of the movie and then... that's it. Nothing happens. The last 20 minutes or so seem like some other movie got spliced into this reel.

Not just the monkey business, even the motivation of otherwise nice characters to suddenly turn unreasonably evil was not developed. Just because the conclusion of Delhi-6 is ambiguous, it does not become "high brow" cinema. RDB also had a weak conclusion, but at least the remaining movie LED to that conclusion. In Delhi-6, you were just left hanging-- aching for more!! :-)

Agree on the beautiful songs, the brilliant acting and the feel-good 1st half. Thanks for visiting my blog. You have a great one, I am linking to you now.

eye-in-sty-in said...

Hi Vidooshak,

Welcome to my blog. D6 was like a piece of cake that was baked with a lot of anticipation for the whole day that turned out to be tasteless. After RDB and D6, can we conclude that the director is not one to finish up nicely!