Review - Delhi Belly: Ye hai youngistan meri jaan

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

It's hip to be abusive, and it's as cool to be liberal about sex as it is to be about farts. And that's exactly what Delhi Belly is - hip. It might not have umpteen cool ways to turn the camera, but it is right up there with Gen X in its slang and attitude. In its way, Delhi Belly is Dil Chahta Hai for a generation that's 10 years younger - where women might also enjoy a guy film as much as the guy next to her, laughing his guts out. Oh yeah, and don't take your parents for this one.

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Wogma Review

Delhi Belly picks its genre and sticks to it. It's as if a generation is standing up to say, "Call us pulp or dark, crass or gross. This is how we are - take it or leave it." He/she could be the common youth on the street, sitting beside you in a theater, a new age director or a producer gracing you with an appearance in the end credits. The three roommates are representatives of a young, urban India who are trying to break the shackles binding them to what was considered a "normal" life. They, along with their friends, are the latest breed of graduates - not necessarily from art, science or commerce - from alternate fields, like media and hospitality. And there is this other thing that happens to them - shit.

They deal with it. By hook or by crook, they see their way through it. They are far from sophisticated, because they care a damn. In fact, they have no qualms about driving you to nausea. But they take care of themselves.

Recently we have seen a whole lot of films in this genre. Where a bunch of innocent people (mere bystanders, even) get into trouble unawares, and destiny somehow puts the puzzle of 3-5 parallel stories together. Delhi Belly has that skin but from within its unpretentious. It has no inhibitions whatsoever, be it toilet humor, obscenities, violence, vulgarity or sex.

I loved its focus on making its audience laugh using their language. I most certainly missed a few jokes because loud laughter, from a previous line, didn’t' die in time. Delhi Belly doesn't try to act smart by saying, "Try, and figure me out if you can" Or "keep pace with me if you can". Keeps it simple (please admire my restraint), it does.

The flip side of course, is that the characters don't get too much attention. In keeping the story simple, the characters are one-dimensional. The performances though come to the characters' rescue. They are so brilliant that I didn't have to think about how one was acting or overacting or not. In fact, Vijay Raaz and his gang are caricatured and seem a little out-of-place and yet, they pass by without causing irritation. Well, I guess it's because they are led by Vijay Raaz, after all.

Well, a movie that can nail it all would've been a different movie, right? For example, how I wish they'd avoided a couple of extraneous sub-plots. Anyway, the way it is, there's so much going on in the background music, the props and the dialogue that it becomes a bit overwhelming.

Delhi Belly makes no over-imposing statements, no grand messages. (That's a change from the typical Aamir Khan product.) It's just one young film. It was fun watching it with my favorite people - the 600+ filmaniacs who not only show up but also whistle and hoot at 8.15 AM. Let's just say like every dabangg has its audience, every Delhi Belly does too. And there must be a lucky bunch whose tastes include both.

Ps. Oh yeah, I told you right? I'd recommend you keep your parents away from this one. That you liked Delhi Belly, by itself might be a bit of a cultural shock to them. Which also means if you are conservative in your taste in films, you should stay away.

Confession: I goofed-up. I watched the English version. I have a feeling the real deal is in Hindi. I'll try to catch up with the Hindi version and update you on what works better.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Lots and lots and lots
  • Language: No chance left to use profanity.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: No nudity, but lip-locks. A blow jobs and erection is implied. And more.
  • Concept: Shit happens
  • General Look and Feel: Stylish yet real

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 4
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 4
  • Music Director: 4
  • Lyrics: 4

Delhi Belly - Movie Details

Delhi Belly - Trailer

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Comments (17)

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Arjit:

I watched the Hindi version, and it was mad. Yes, mad is the keyword, I believe. The dialogues? Killer. Specially when you watch this one in Hindi.

"Which also means if you are conservative in your taste in films, you should stay away. " - True that.

I am looking forward for the English version, now, though. ;)

meetu:

Oh come on @Vishal, that's giving it a little too much credit, no? I'd just watch it for what it is, because it is enjoyable even so.

@Arjit we should exchange notes after we are done watching the other version :D

guddu:

WHAT I SHOULD DO.....GO FOR THE DESI VERSION OR THE ENGLISH VERSION............WHICH ONE IS THE ORIGINAL....?

meetu:

Don't know yet Guddu. I hope to see the Hindi version tonight.

Rahul:

From what I have heard, the Desi Version is "toned-down" so as to be in sync with the "desi audience". So you did watch the right version.

IdeaSmith:

I saw the Hindi version, Meetu. Didn't even know there were two versions till the guy at the counter sniffed & said, "Yeh Hindi pikchar hain, madam" and my friends hooted at my high-maintenenceness. To come back, I thought it would be more real that way. But a number of the dialogues felt weaker because they were literal translations. For example, the scene where a girl is asked if she'll wait, in Hindi, she says, "Main dekhti hoon." which sounds neither as cool nor as decisive as "I'll see."

I entirely agreed with your review.

meetu:

@Rahul @Idea ohh...this is really confusing. Why would Aamir Khan do this? A film set in the belly of Delhi is English? I went for the supposedly Hindi version (marked as Hindi on bookmyshow) and it turned out to be English (AND had an interval!)

@Idea Thanks!

@someone_talked_of10 really? you didn't like the lead actors? I loved them. :D

guddu:

Hey Meetu i watched the desi version and i do felt the same way as you.The movie was stretching too much for it's explicit content although the plot was moving smoothly.It was good to a extent but not as i expected.what really this movie lacks is the equal ratio of morality to it's adulterous theme.Well it's not necessary as it is negligible but i think the writer went to far without checking predominately .

Amodini:

Agree with your review. I thought it average. A little slow actually - it could have used some tightening. Vijay Raaz was superb, Imran could use some acting classes.

meetu:

@Amodini really? i thought Imran was pretty good. I was pretty happy with the length and generally the screenplay too.

@Vishal oh well, sh*t happens...

Mansi:

Nice elaborate review, meetu...
While the performances were good, i thought the film wasnt as great as it was made out to be by the media...
here's what i thought -
http://eatpraylovemovies.blogspot.com/2011/07/delhi-belly-2011.html

meetu:

Thanks Mansi. I think that would be the average reaction of everyone who saw it after the first weekend. People who go to watch films after they've heard a lot of good reviews about it, are likely to like it a little less. There's a research paper in there somewhere.

meetu:

@Iqbal it is a tough one, isn't it? Accept language the way it is used in daily life, or not. I'm not saying the language used by you or me, it is they way these characters in the film would use it.

meetu:

Mohit, you are the third person who has asked for it since I stopped writing it (due to lack of time and energy after having watched and reviewed two movies in a day). I'm going to try reviving it from this week onwards. :D

sujith:

funny time pass movie.songs are good too...

Parajit likes Hindi Movies:

The movie was ok, not really as good as hyped.People just live novelty and when novelty comes with vulgarity they like it even more! Did they really have to use the "T*tt*" word so much ? Trying hard to make everyone laugh

meetu:

@Sachin my deal was this - like in real-life, i filter out the profanity, i don't give them any more or less weight than regular words. I don't say, it doesn't bother me, but i try my best to not let it bother me. Toilet humor and stuff - i agree with you completely. "Pyar ka Punchnama" had its share of abusive language too.

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