February 27, 2009 @ 1:03 pm
Finally, a Hindi film has had the courage to move away from a story telling mode and has ventured in to an idea of expression that was earlier confined to art houses and the dispersed theatre fountains of our country.
Delhi 6 is not your run-of-the-mill movie about a hero, heroine and a villain. Sure, there have been many movies in the recent past that were not about these three erstwhile pillars of Indian cinema. However, what distinguishes Delhi 6 from any of its contemporary peers is that it does not have much of a “story” to tell. There is no mission to go from point A to point B. In stead, it is a fabulous and delicate journey which the director agrees to make you a part of and leaves you before the destination is reached. Abhishek Bachchan is not a modern-angry-young-man or a lover of the finest order. He is a passive observer of the life and its travails in the labyrinthine passages of the locality addressed as Delhi 6. Waheeda Rehman is a blast from the past, letting the new generation know exactly why she was a super star in her days. And the same holds for Rishi Kapoor, who has done a phenomenal job of playing the perfect host to the son of his ex-love.
Most of the people I watched this movie with did not like it. They felt it was going no where and the ending was a drag. But the point they missed is that the movie did not want to “go” any where in the first place. It does not warrant you to wait for the next turn of the road, in stead it asks you to just look on either sides of the road and immerse yourself in the scenery. Understandably, this is difficult for us to do in these trying times of fast life and faster entertainment. We want stories to be fed to us so that we can move on to the next tast, content that we had taken our due break of entertainment.
Delhi 6 starts with Abhishek arriving from the United States to India with his grandmother. He meets the locality’s neighbors, shopkeepers and other people who make up the fabric of life in and around his grandmother’s ancestral home. In the backdrop, there is a Ram-Leela going on which has been very creatively infused into the movie. Then there is the case of the Monkey Man which had made headlines some years ago, and perhaps is still a mystery. Abhishek Bachchan is the mute spectator who sees a lot of wrongs happening around him, and your heart and mind urge him to go do the usual dishum-dishum and save the good people and, selfishly, make your day too. However, that does not happen here and you feel frustrated. But by keeping Abhishek’s role as passive as he is, the movie forces you to look inwards and address the demons yourself.
The movie has some brilliant and memorable scenes, especially the song which brings India to the streets of the United States (you’ve got to watch the movie to understand what I am talking about). The music by Rahman is top-notch and, I daresay, perhaps better than what he composed for Slumdog Millionaire.
I wouldn’t dwell further on the story of this movie, since the story is not really its selling point. If you like watching some beautiful images which are at the core of India and its way of life, if you like to watch how relationships unravel between complete strangers, if you like to see the usual in a more creative manner, then Delhi 6 is for you.
However, if all you want is a story (and not a cinematic experience) that you can feel satisfied about, then you could give this movie a miss.