Movie Review : Delhi 6
Rakyesh Mehra's penchant for finding the heart of gold or its core of darkness within the Indian ethos continues with his latest film, Delhi 6. This is more a montage of social and visually stimulating vignettes than the traditional straight narrative Bollywood delivers, despite its mostly linear plotline. It gets the message across, at first subtly, then finally resorting to using a hammer to ensure the audience that stayed till the last gets the point, as it were.
Recession-hit or just bored, Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) brings his ailing grandmother home to Delhi, Delhi 6, to be precise, to fulfil her desire to die in her ancestral home and not in the strange land of her immigrant children. He discovers facets of urban India apart from the booming newTowns, and she discovers that it is no place to die, having changed despite outward appearances. Yet, the old pathways still have a way of bonding antagonists that goes beyond recent ideologies. Tribal and animistic linkages make all the difference, and Indian idols are there to be broken.
There are other random characters, happenstances, some pretty good music, and media frenzy - pigeons fly, cows deliver, and the Taj is mostly empty - the recession, no doubt. The breaking news is that this is all commonplace in the chaotic maelstrom of Delhi-6, and India rising. The rising India, though, is beset by boogeymen, demon warriors, and monkeys. This is as it has always been, yet the film takes a Western slant to reach its climax - going for a scapegoat, a sacrificial lamb, whose executioner, stereotypically enough, is a Bollywood mainstay.
The more interesting tack of offering up Bittu to the ape, Fay Wray-like, is not taken, and the subversive themes of breaking caste barriers, loose and forward photographers, etc., are barely explored, instead subjecting us to an unending array of media placement that merely serves to illustrate that most news people just talk about the news, meta-news as it were.
The superlative actors mostly serve to render their characters well, not going further, and this is the film's greatest failing - that such fine characters/actors are wasted in the quest of making an ideological point that could have been delivered in the director's commentary. Once the point is hammered in, the characters fade away, leaving us with a mostly forgettable film.
Movie Review : Delhi 6
- » Published on February 22, 2009
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Author: Aaman Lamba
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