This is a complex layered cinema with vignettes of multiple characters and their lives in episodic structure with the common thread of an NRI trying to fathom the good, bad and ugly of the traditional Indian cultural milieu.
Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan), born and brought up in USA returns to India along with his grandmother (Waheeda Rahman) to leave her at her ancestral home in Chandini Chowk of Delhi.
Being a stranger to the ways of living of ordinary Indians, Roshan gets slowly drawn into the lives of those dwelling in the Chowk. He encounters a host of people Uncle Ali Beg (Rishi Kapoor) and his first flame
Fatima (Tanvi Azmi), his warring uncles Madangopal (Om Puri) and Jai Gopal ( Pawan Malhotra), the basti cop Inspector Ranvijay (Vijay Raaz), Imarti Jalebi (Divya Dutta) an untouchable, Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) a wannabe Indian Idol, local moneylender (Prem Chopra) and a borrower Suresh (Cyrus Sahukar) who has an evil eye on the lender’s wife, communalist Baba (Akhilendra Mishra), Gobar (Atul Kulkarni ), Mamdu (Deepak Dobriyal),
Haji Sulamaan (K.K. Raina) a dove with clipped wings and a mysterious black monkey.
Roshan discovers his inner self through his face off with all these characters and falls in love with Bittu.
Abhishek Bachchan is perfunctory and Sonam Kapoor is ebullient. Rishi Kapoor, Prem Chopra and Om Puri give convincing performances. Atul Kulkarni and Vijay Raaz are pretty good. All other actors are adequate in their roles.
The story is a metaphor for an inner journey and discovering oneself while the screenplay is more or less exploratory with the kaleidoscopic vignettes of characters not narrated in a lenear format. This is an off-beat and out of the box film, but then any film that tries to provoke into people into thinking fails to entertain them. The direction and cinematography is good, but the narration is cluttered by too many characters.
AR Rahman’s music is a great relief but cannot complement the content or context of narration.
Delhi 6 is for those film buffs who would like to see multi-layered episodes and draw their own conclusions and give their own interpretation of the metaphors in the film like the Ram-Leela drama, dove with clipped wings and the musterious black momnkey along with the vignettes reflecting the multifarious ills and evils in Indian society.
Delhi 6 is not an entertainer but can be watched for different kind of craft in cinematic presentation for academic interest.
The Cast and Crew
Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Divya Dutta, Om Puri, Rishi Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Pawan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak, Tanvi Azmi, Vijay Raaz, Deepak Dobriyal, K K Raina and others
Lyrics: Prasoon Joshi, Vivinenne Pocha, Claire
Music: AR Rehman
Cinematography: Binod Pradhan
Action: Allan Amin
Editor: P S Bharathi
Dialogues: Prasoon Joshi
Screenplay: Rakesh Mehra, Prasoon Joshi, Kamlesh Pandey
Direction: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Producers: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra & Ronnie Screwvala
Banner: UTV Motion Pictures & Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
2 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar
1 poor 2 average 3 good 4 very good 5 excellent