Friday, July 01, 2011

Dehi Belly 

Shit Happens

If anyone was mystified about why characters in Bollywood films, who probably grew up in cities went to English medium schools and worked at jobs where Hindi would not normally be spoken, never spoke in English,  the best part of Abhinay Deo’s Aamir Khan-produced film Delhi Belly, is that people speak English or Hindi as required by the scenes.

The three leading men cuss and swear as young people do, and awful as it sounds, in a film for adults, maybe beeping out words that pop in normal conversations is strange.  The raunchy stuff should not be reaching kids, but the DK Bose song is and all over, so it’s not as if the filmmakers are particularly sensitive.

Quentin Tarantino would be pleased to know that somewhere in the world filmmakers are still following the style book he abandoned a while ago,  Deo just adds some spicy Delhi tadka to make the violence go down better (in one scene, a hapless Russian has a stick of dynamite… well, never mind, no way to put this politely).

The trigger of the wild ride the three guys Tashi (Imran Khan), Arup (Vir Das) and Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) go through is literally because of Delhi Belly--  a stool sample and a pack of diamonds are interchanged by a careless, hungover or sleep-deprived guy, and the next thing they know, a gangster (Vijay Raaz) is on their backs, and the roof of their decrepit tenement, is threatening to collapse any minute.  The female side includes a snobbish stewardess (Shenaz Treasury) and a brassy journalist (Poorna Jagannathan). Guess who gets the guy!

Delhi Belly is funny, fast-paced and well-shot, also derivative and vulgar (does anyone remember a hard-on scene in Indian cinema?).  It is aimed at the urban teenager, struggling to define ‘cool’ and from all accounts has hit the spot.  On the one hand Aamir Khan lectures the country on compassion for dyslexic kids and starving farmers, on the other he unleashes a loutish Delhi Belly on the country and turns up to shake his pelvis in the end.  Well, if money is made at the end of the day, social responsibility can be chucked into the bin.


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