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Delhi Belly (2011) - Hindi Movie Review

Delhi Belly (2011) - Hindi Movie Review

Cast :
  • Imran Khan as Tashi Dorjee Lhatoo
  • Kunaal Roy Kapur as Nitin Beri
  • Vir Das as Arup
  • Poorna Jagannathan as Menaka
  • Shenaz Treasurywala as Sonia
  • Vijay Raaz as somyajulu (gangster)
  • Paresh Ganatra as Manish Chand Jain
  • Raju Kher as Zubin Mehra
  • Rahul Singh as Rajeev Khanna
  • Rahul Pendkalkar as Prateek Jain
  • Pradeep Kabra as Brajesh
  • Lushin Dubey as Sonia's Mother
  • Rajendra Sethi as the Jeweller
  • Shilpa Mehta as Tashi's Mother
  • Anusha Dandekar as VJ Soniya
  • Aamir Khan as Disco Fighter (Special Appearance)
  • Sona Mohapatra as Stage Singer (Cameo in the song 'Bedardi Raja')
  • Kim Bodnia as Vladimir
  • Bugs Bhargava as Swapan Bannerjee
  • Mansee Desshmukh as Ritu Kohli
  • Zafar Karachiwala as Vivek Uniyal
  • Ramesh Kannaa as Mr. Kohli
  • Ashraf Ul Haq as Tito
Directed by : Abhinay Deo
Produced by : Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao, Ronnie Screwvala, Jim Furgele
Story by : Akshat Verma
Singers : Keerthi Sagathia, Shazneen Arethna, Sona Mohapatra, Aamir Khan, Ram Sampath, Tarannum Mallik, Chetan Shashital, Suraj Jagan
Lyricist : Amitabh Bhattacharya, Munna Dhiman, Ram Sampath, Akshat Verma, Chetan Shashital
Music by : Ram Sampath
Cinematography : Jason West
Editing by : Huzefa Lokhandwala
Distributed by : Aamir Khan Productions, UTV Motion Pictures

Director Abhinay Deo and producer Aamir Khan’s gleeful experiment in "Hangover"-caliber humor Indian-style delivers the laughs, and young stars.

UNION CITY, Calif. -- Its theme song, “Bhaag Bhaag DK Bose,” has already become a rebellious anthem for young Indians giddy about the expletive hidden in its lyrics.

And the first three minutes of Delhi Belly make it clear that this is not a family film: Viewers bothered by butt cracks, the F-word, simulated cunnilingus and rude behavior in burqas are advised to spend their rupees elsewhere.

But director Abhinay Deo and producer Aamir Khan’s gleeful experiment in Hangover-caliber humor delivers the laughs, and its young stars, including Khan’s nephew, A-lister Imran Khan, rise to the challenge.

The film, which is in English with a bit of subtitled Hindi dialogue, has already become a sensation in India. Now its appeal to open-minded audiences in the diaspora — and to curious viewers anywhere ready for a film that shows India in an irreverent post-Slumdoglight — seems assured.

The highjinks start when a Russian criminal gives Sonia (Shenaz Treasury of One Life to Live), a comely air hostess, a packet of contraband for her to courier. Sonia asks her boyfriend, journalist Tashi (Khan), to deliver it, but sight unseen, the lazy Tashi hands it off to his roommate Arup (Vir Das, in a sparkling comic performance), who in turn carelessly passes it along to another roommate, Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapoor).

On the way to make the delivery, the pudgy Nitin is distracted by a streetside tandoori chicken stand of dubious hygienic standards; his ensuing Delhi belly unleashes a domino effect of misunderstandings and mistaken identities — the characters soon learn that it’s unwise to mix up one’s stool sample with a million-dollar packet of black market diamonds.

Delhi Belly’s supporting cast sparkles in smaller roles, especially Vijay Raaz as an exasperated crime boss surrounded by incompetents and New York-based actress Poorna Jagannathan as Tashi’s problematically sexy coworker.

Akshat Verma’s script is peppered with one-liners bound to become buzzwords: At the sight of a tiny Santro mini car, one character observes: “When a donkey %$#@s a rickshaw, this is what you get.”

But the script is also grounded in the realities of life in New and Old Delhi: running water that works for just two hours a day, infuriating traffic snarls, a dowry, overcrowded living conditions and the difficulty in finding a nice place to take a poo.

Where actor-turned-producer Aamir Khan’s previous two high profile releases, Peepli [Live] and Dhobi Ghat, seemed self-consciously targeted at film festivals or foreign audiences, Delhi Bellyis pure Indian. Producer (and screen superstar) Khan’s only misstep is in a comic cameo song at the end of the film: he overstays his welcome, when a momentary glimpse would have had more impact.

The soundtrack by Ram Sampath is top-notch, especially in the way he uses the hit “DK Bose” song and other Indian rock pieces to fuel the action, and cinematographer Jason West aptly captures the chaos.

By the end of the film, the bad guys (and girls) have all gone down in flames, while the good guy gets the girl. Happily, that’s one convention from Indian cinema that’s here to stay.

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