“Belonging to the same genre as The Hangover and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Delhi Belly is the ultimate culture shock for Indian audiences. It is a raucous, boisterous, potty-mouthed caper featuring the antics of three hapless young men”
I do not necessarily agree. Delhi Belly is a new age film but I wouldn’t go as far as categorizing it as a cult in its genre. Before we get onto pondering why Delhi Belly has achieved the kind of status it has, let’s quickly go over the things for which it may not have. The Story – simply a mix up between two packets. Packet A) containing diamonds, to be delivered to a goon. Packet B) containing stool samples, to be delivered to a pathology lab. Needless to say if all went the way it was supposed to, we wouldn’t have had a film.
Tashi’s [Imran Khan] girlfriend Sonia [Shenaz Treasury] hands over a package to him with an address for delivery. Tashi then delegates the delivery to his flatmate Nitin [Kunal Roy Kapur], who in turn, due to a bad case of Delhi Belly hands over the delivery to their third roommate Arup [Vir Das] along with an additional package of his stools, to be dropped off at the lab for testing.
The whole fiasco kicks off when a deadly crime syndicate Vijay Raaz, lays out the velvet, to test the diamonds delivered, but all that pours out on the table are the non digested elements from the insides of Nitin’s digestive tract. Not one to take shit lying down (literally) the goon feels cheated and sets out to get back what is his. It’s not long before, the unsuspecting and innocent Tashi, Sonia, Nitin and Arup all find themselves running on pins and needles.
That’s how simple the story is. What gives this film its edge is the airtight editing, screenplay and witty dialogues. Some people are intrigued over the verbal expletives randomly used to fill out sentences, but they are obviously people who’ve not hung around their neighborhood long enough. When dialogues are given the same treatment in Hindi, they’re justified as adaptations from Othello (Omkara), but a cuss word in English is dissected, resurrected only to be dissected again. I agree Imran Khan’s ‘stand up’ act or the reference to blow jobs and oral pleasure may have left a few gabs open, but the scenes are more brave than cringe worthy.
My mother, may still consider taking me home and feeding me, but not before giving me the look, if during road rage I hung out of the car screaming ‘Chutiye’ at an Auto-waala, but if my choice of words were to be ‘Fuck You!’ in a calm non-hostile fashion and from within the confinement of my car, to a fellow honker, I’d probably have to park on the side and reason out with her as to where did she go wrong with her upbringing!
Let’s get over it, I say. Cuss words are not that big a deal. They’re as harmless when spoken in Hindi, maybe a little less crass. No, I wouldn’t encourage that kind of vocabulary at my child’s scrabble party, but I also wouldn’t be naïve enough to give a film far more importance than it deserves only because of it.
I’d call it a young film, not a youth film. It’s funny though it’s not a comedy. I would also think it’s a film well saved. They say inspite of being ready two and a half years ago, Aamir Khan wasn’t happy with the final product. After rediting, reshooting some of the bits and adding item songs, the film has definetly turned out worthwhile.
To be able to tell a simple story, simply, with no layers, and still keep the audience involved is an act that has been well performed by Delhi Belly. I thoroughly enjoyed the film while watching it, but it’s probably not one of the names that will pop up, in my list of films for any scene shot so beautifully that will imprint the mind for times to come.
Coming back to the songs, Delhi Belly’s track list is like a box of candy, each one as desirable. I’d classify all the songs as items numbers - super hits with no actual relevance to the story:)
Ram Sampath’s music has brought him the distinction that ‘Love Ka The End’ failed him at. Whether it’s fiery lyrics screaming bhaag bhaag DK Bose or ‘Pencher’ in a sir Saigal hangover, whether it’s the playfull yet nonsensical Switty teri need mera greed, or the Kill bill inspired Ja Chudel, each one is distinctly crafted into the background. I Hate you (Like I Love you) stars Aamir, I would have loved this song even if it was designed for the deaf, my favourite moment is “hai current marti hai” and the two and a half steps that follow. Aamir khan as Disco Fighter is not disappointing but Imran Khan in his rock star avatar is surprisingly impressive, so my vote goes to Jr khan.
So, if you are not the weak gutted, then Delhi Belly is a must watch.