Sumedha Deo finds the recently-release Delhi Belly movie a cover version of Guy Ritchie's Snatch
Cast: Imran Khan, Shehnaz Treasurywala, Vir Das, Kunaal Roy Kapur
Director: Abhiney Deo
A bearded Russian, stolen diamonds and a whole lot of chasing – you’d be forgiven if you thought this was Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. Unfortunately that cult movie has been boiled, strained and repackaged as an Indian caper called Delhi Belly. And like all bad odes, it fails to deliver the same punch.
Tashi (Imran Khan), Arup (Vir Das) and Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) are three roomies sharing a flat in Delhi. The bachelor pad is sufficiently decorated with half-eaten food, a dartboard with Arup’s boss’s picture and a sputtering tap. Tashi works as a journalist whose beat is not quite defined (he chases actresses as well as dead gangsters) and Nitin is his photographer. Arup is an illustrator whose boss is quite a tyrant. Tashi’s air-stewardess girlfriend Sonia (Shehnaz Treasurywala) is approached by a Russian called Vladimir (who looks exactly like Boris “the Blade” from Snatch) at the airport and is asked to deliver a package to an address as a favour to a friend. She delegates the delivery to Tashi and that’s where the roller-caster ride begins.
We all know how such movies proceed. The package gets misplaced or stolen, the bad guys chase the heroes, all the characters somehow manage to entangle themselves in the scheme of things, somewhere the cops make an entry and it all ends in a massive climax.
There’s so many ways to make the ride interesting but Delhi Belly has a really flat script and does not require you to use as much of your brain as these capers usually demand. There’s no “no wait how did this happen?” moment that we’re so used to when watching Guy Ritchie’s or Quentin Tarantino’s flicks. The movie’s tagline is ‘shit happens’ and the makers have taken that quite literally. Faeces play as big a role as any of the three protagonists.
Of the cast, Vijay Raaz is superlative as the gangster and Kunal Roy Kapoor is perfect as the laugh riot. Imran Khan makes the most of the three expressions he’s capable of producing and Vir Das is just about okay. Newcomer Poorna Jagannathan looks like she wanted out of the movie halfway into filming but has agreed to finish it only because she was contract-bound. The script is ridden with loopholes (why does Sonia work in an airline in spite of living in a mansion? Why does Menaka agree to be part of a robbery in a jewellery store? Why doesn’t anybody call the cops in spite of a prolonged shoot-out in a hotel room?) and unnecessary expletives. Random sex scenes, farting sounds and Hindi swear words make you feel like this movie was intended for those 13-year-olds who’ve just had their first taste of the ‘adult world’ and can’t stop over-using them.
Watch it if you think hearing ‘chu****’ on screen is scandalous. And if you really want to know how that word is used, watch Satya.
Simran Luthra on the other hand gives it a thumbs up and declares Delhi Belly as a complete laugh riot.
Delhi Belly begins with a flight arriving at Delhi airport with an air-hostess's voice-over announcing "Hum asha karte hain ke aapki yatra sukhad rahi". The movie begins with a landing, but the audience doesn't know yet that the ride has just about begun.
A laugh riot and lighthearted suspense thriller, Delhi Belly has nothing that you've not seen before - a well-knit plot without any loose ends but predictable in the sense that you know the three male characters played by Imran Khan, Vir Das and Kunal Roy Kapoor will eventually get out of the shit (the film posters say Shit Happens). What distinguishes it from any other film from the same genre are the pace and the detailing.
Under the aegis of Aamir Khan, even slapstick farts and farcical ploys attain new heights. In fact Aamir's public disclaimer of the ashleel bhaasha used in the film can only have worked in its favour, especially in the Hindi version of the film, which got the loudest laughs when the profanities were in Hindi - the crasser the funnier. In English the same sounds rather refined and commonplace; less irreverent certainly. That is not to say that either of the two versions - Hindi or English are better or worse than each other.
What helps keep up the momentum of the film is that there is no interval - to have an interval perhaps would disrupt the near-perfect pace that the film gathers along the way. In a sense, Delhi Belly is the Indian Hangover without any need for an intoxicant as a catalyst for the craziness. Not a film for the prudes who would cringe at the language, and in that sense it is a film which looks at the huge Indian youth as its target audience. Coming from the prolific Aamir Khan Productions after Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, TZP and Peepli Live, this one is a treat for the youngsters. Not a mindless comedy in the style of Double Dhamaal, but one which reflects a certain Indian urban reality and aims at entertaining and nothing else!
If you are a fan of DK Bose, rest assured that you will be hooked to all the numbers from the film. Ram Sampath has struck gold with the music for DB. The songs have the quality of just being stuck in your head for hours. But perhaps the show-stealer is the Aamir-Anushka starrer "I hate you like I love you," which is very clearly a tribute to Mithun da and Bappi Lahiri. Mammujaan kind of almost stole nephew Imran's thunder with this one - as the last thing you see as you leave the theater is Aamir's brilliant screen presence, the return of disco music Disco Dancer style (with Aamir not looking like a caricature but quite a hottie himself) that stays with you, reminding one that it is thanks to him that Bollywood gets some of its amazing cinema.
Book your tickets today!
Bhaag bhaag DK Bose, DK Bose, DK Bose – jaa picture dekh ke aa!