Saturday, October 30, 2010

Review: Delhi-6

DELHI-6 (2009)
Director: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Screenplay: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Prasoon Joshi, Kamlesh Pandey
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi  Kapoor
Plot: The NRI Roshan comes to India (more specific: Delhi) for the first time in his life, together with his grandmother. While everyone in the city is afraid of the "Kaala Bandar", a human large monkey that causes trouble ,Roshan learns a lot about his roots - and falls in love, too...

Reviewed the 12th of August 2010
"Who would voluntarily leave the streets of Delhi?", asks a famous indian poet, and is often citet in "Delhi-6".  At the beginning only by the supporting characters, later also by main character Roshan, as he recognizes his love to the city. It is a love-hate- relationship, that somehow - although on a smaller scale - rubs off on the audience. Even people like me, that have never been to India, or for that matter Delhi, can get a rather realistic view on life in the capital of India. The movie probably shows only a fraction of the different groups of population, but masters it wonderfully by portraying the seemingly stereotypical characters in a more of a "grey-zone" way. In some ways, the film resembles "Rang De Basanti" - it plays in Delhi, shows the problems of young Indians and the political turmoil in India. Nevertheless, there are small aberrations; the political aspect isn't as extreme, as in "RDB", and even though, it in the beginning, Roshan (Abhishek) and Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) seem to be the most important characters, the many (and often older) minor characters are very important for the film, and surprisingly profound, too. Particulary surprising is Divya Dutta, who usually is known for small and rather unimportant roles. Here, she plays a woman from the lowest caste, who has got a lot more in her brain, then some of the more distinguished persons. A similar (but male) character is played by Atul Kulkarni, who also contributes much to the film. Sonam Kapoor is unexpectedly better, than in "Saawariya", after which many (including me) had already almost given up their hope for her. She convinces as a young, rebelling representative of the Indian middle class, who's on the search for her identity and wants to be free, instead of submitting herself to a man. We can be curious, if Sonam will master a bigger role too - however, she's very good in this one. The leading character of the movie is played by Abhishek Bachchan, and there could not be found a better one for this part. Firstly, he speaks with a real American accent, contrarily to many other NRI-mimes. Furthermore, he plays his part calmly and naturally and doesn't steal too much attention from the smaller roles. He's passionate too - after a while, most of the characters recognize, how narrow-minded and oldfashioned they act. 
All of this is accompanied by a wonderfully modern and multifaceted soundtrack from the pen of India's favourite composer, A. R. Rahman. The songs match Delhi perfectly - thoroughly Indian, but also very new and creative. 
With "Delhi-6", Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra succeeds in making a modern portrait of India, a little similar to "Rang De Basanti", but also with many new aspects, that "RDB" didn't come up with. 

Rating: 8.3

    Thank you for reading my review,
    Mette M. K.

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