I asked my soul : what is Delhi?
She replied: The world is the soul and Delhi its life.
-Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib
A bit late in writing this post I suppose.:)
This post is not just about Dilli6 or even Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s skills as a director or A.R Rehman’s genius, though all of that is here too:)
A movie that each Dilliwallah will understand.
How can anyone not like the movie?
It is Dilli. From the heart and soul.
Rakesh Omprakash Mehra has paid a tribute to the city he loves.The one he and all of us, the ones who live here,have lived here infact, carry in our hearts.
Dilli6 could also easily have been about Luckhnow or Varanasi or Indore or Etawah or Lahore .
I was engrossed from the first frame itself.
I could remember my childhood vacations at Nani and Nanu’s home and Dadi and Dadu’s home.A different state mine was and yet the emotions were the same.
These conversations were the ones I too had heard as a kid. The women of the neighbourhood sat on the terrace chatting in the winter sun. Men too. The whole ‘Mohalla’ infact.:)
Just like this …
The scenes felt like I was revisiting family..my extended family.
You could jump from your terrace to a neighbour’s and have fun while doing it.:)
I read in a review somewhere that there are too many characters in the movie . That there is so much happening in each frame that its hard to know where to look.
Movies are not always about one family or one man/woman story are they?
How about a movie for all of us? The society? The one which we live in?
The one where a dozen different things DO happen simultaneously.And a dozen people are talking and creating a din?:D
The characters are whimsical and warm. A feeling of warmth enevelopes you as you watch the movie.
Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s attention to detail is mindboggling.
The way he connects the Ramlila to the story and the way the screenplay progresses is amazing in itself.
Tell me, when was the last time you saw such an ensemble cast and yet the director had successfully managed to capture each emotion just so?
Dilli and Chandni Chowk ,so synonymous with each other for so many people.
I could smell the Delhi air in each frame.
Dilli ki khushboo:)
There are beautifully shot vignettes that capture Delhi life in its myriad hues.
The lesson has been interwoven beautifully with the story.
A bit too obvious but I would take this obviousness (umm is there such a word?) over the ‘subtle’ cinema anyday.Or over the KJo cinema too:D
And yes,some of you might say that it sounds too preachy .:)
Frankly, I couldn’t see how or where it sounded preachy, but I would say this.
Sometimes the best messages are the ones which are the most simple to understand
Not by you and me. But by everyone who goes to watch a movie.The masses.
Read how brilliantly Rakesh has described the movie.(umm not ROM but the other Rakesh :D)
And how Dhiren or Hitchwriter has described it here . Dhiren is absolutely right about the intention of the movie.
As a filmmaker ROM is doing a wonderful job. He forces the movie going janta to think. When was the last time you were able to say that about a director? This is not a work of genius . It just is a good movie made from the heart.
And then another review here,Freespirit’s
She writes,”Seriously, this movie brings out all the hypocrisies we, as a people, still entertain. There is so much meaning in this movie yet most of us are blind to it, just as we are blind to our own faults. The mad fakir who goes around with a mirror clutched in his hand, asking everyone to take a look, is perhaps the wisest among all.”
Absolutely! I agree. How can one not find any meaning in this movie?
And read IHM’s review ,she writes beautifully and with an insight that’s rare ,”There is the way the women dance, I have seen women dance exactly like that. The movie made me want to call my mom.
And another girl waiting to get married, so her life can begin …
About women bonding not scheming against each other like in Ekta Kapoor serials …
The girl’s rebellion – not because there is a boy friend in the back ground but because she wants more from her life.
Delhi-6 is about everything we blog about. And then some more.
Gender discrimination Communalism. Politicians. Corrupt Policeman. Caste-ism. Sensationalising Media. Our hypocrisies. Our infrastructure. Our Traffic situation.
…and yet Delhi-6 does not judge us. The director is almost affectionate towards the people in Delhi-6 and their follies.
Delhi 6 is….
Bright coloured, earthy, ethnic prints, parandis, chunky silver armlets and bangles, roof tops, winter afternoons, Ramleela, jalebis, courage, youth, idealism, love, freshness.
Rang De Basanti
Bunty aur Bablee
And Vikram Seth’s ‘Suitable Boy’
What more can one say about this movie?
I am not saying it is a work of art or that a genius has made it. Or that it is extraordinary.
No….not at all.
The movie is ordinary.Seemingly ordinary characters going about their lives.Simple lessons in each frame. Simple living captured by Rakesh Mehra.
It’s been ages since I heard a conversation in a movie that was so simple and so normal. So ordinary.
The movie is ordinary and that is its beauty.That is where its strength lies.
The movie tells it like it is.
How many of us have not seen some of those things happening around us?
Or is it that we would rather escape with our daily dose of ‘Bollywood (I dislike that term) masala? One more ‘groovy’ song. One more ‘Dostana’. Or one more inane movie made with a budget that runs in crores and teaches zilch.
Cinema is the biggest ,most widespread medium. Why not use it to talk to people ? To educate them? To help them realize some things? As it is, very few directors are doing it. Why not give some encouragement to ROM?
If you think that it lags/drags in the second half or that it is too preachy or that Abhishek Bachchan is no great shakes or that Big B has made yet another unwanted appearance…well I would say you are right. Infact must be right.
But you see I am biased
When I saw the movie, I saw Dilli and its people. The ordinary folks who live side by side in narrow lanes with lack of bijli and paani.
Ordinary folks who step out of their homes to walk those twenty steps to their shops.
The bazaars that are full of raunak.
This is what Dilli is like.
I can vouch for it.
There are no fake emotions in Dilli6. No one goes over the top.No one hams.No one wears designer wear and thinks 24X7 about romancing someone. Or about how things are so bad in India. Or about going and bashing up a goonda single handedly. Or about a shaadi around which the whole movie revolves. Or about an India where ‘normal’ people have private helipads.
There are no ‘heroes’ and ‘heroines’ in this movie.
There are characters however.
Each one plays a part ever so subtly and so darn convincingly.
Jalebi played by Divya Dutta ,a woman who is treated as an untouchable because she is a jamaadaarni.
Gobar,played by Atul Kulkarni,the idiot,one who supposedly has no brains and yet has more heart than any of them.
The ‘ Gopal’ brothers.:)) I can only remember Madan Gopal’s name right now.:)
Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan)the NRI kid who returns to Chandni Chowk with his Daadi Annapurna,played by Waheeda Rehman. The one who says ‘jahaan ki mitti hai,wahin mil jaaye toh theek hai”
Roshan is a stranger to the ways of India, indeed to the chaos of Old Delhi itslef.And yet he fits in. Almost effortlessly.
There are so many characters.And they all are able to hold their own.And quite beautifully at that.
So well… I can’t say go and watch the movie.I am sure most of you have seen it
But I would say this. Thats sometimes some movies are meant to be watched from the heart.
Not from a perspective that seeks to look at each and every camera angle and every nuance like it’s a life and death situation.
That said, let me also say that I am very biased in my movie reviews (IF you can call them reviews )
I will never be able to write a professional review, so please read and decide according to your own judgement:))
Umm… also imagine if this had been an ode to Calcutta/Kolkata..:)(I love Calcutta more than Kolkata)….there would have been nostalgia and long sighs na? (Quirky Indian’s post reminded me of it:))So it is with us too, here in Dilli.
hmm …that was about the movie:)
What about Delhi?
More on that later:))Because the post was too long with my ode to Delhi:)
So had to edit it.:(
Arziyaan is so soul stirring. Listen to it. How can one remain untouched by this ode to Delhi’s sufi spirit? By that majestic , mesmerising view of so many souls …all bowing their heads in supplication?
I love this song simply because it carries a touch of home and family weddings for me..:)
(genda phool btw refers to how a marigold is beautiful to look at but has no fragrance as such, the word is intended as a humorous look at in laws:))
Also I had read that Bittuu (Sonam Kapoor) is Roshan’s cousin in the movie (Abhishek Bachchan). They are not cousins and her father refers to it in merely a conciliatory/sarcastic tone as in ,”Tumhaari behen ki shaadi ho rahi hai”..Thats it.