If there's one significant line that is worth keeping in mind at the end of a draining re-run of tormenting and heavily clichéd themes-filthy rich guy, simple town girl, impossible love, fill-in characters, overdose of drama, Hindu-Muslim clashes in a small neighbourhood- it is "How can a monkey be a Hindu or a Muslim?". And the irony is that just right there even a neutral's view of the Hindu-Muslim conundrum is converted into a drab chestnut. And one wonders whether it is eventual boredom that will lead to the end of the problem as even mutual hatred joins the list of clichés. At least in movies.
A rich young man plans to ensure a smooth return for his grandmother to her family home in the crowded streets of vintage Delhi. He becomes a part of the neighbourhood to such an extent that he is no longer just the admired-from-a-distance, sweet NRI with a crooked Western accent. He falls in love (you don't know when it happens, how it happens and why it happens), meddles in the personal lives of a few orthodox well-wishers and ends up being beaten to death, like a man who dares to mess with the rigidity of conservatism would. But he does come back alive, of course.
Rakeysh Mehra's previous efforts have been way better than what he has brought out for the cinegoer this time around. Mehra's intrinsic focus on how he will patch raw beads into a beautiful necklace lose pace as early as the beginning of the movie. A typically chaotic introduction to innumerable characters, who then keep popping in and out of the screen at unexpected times and an effort to stitch together the culture beauty of Purani Dilli for the audiences leads to a jamboree of confusion that one just cant comprehend. Rakeysh Mehra probably observed the average Delhi life, made a checklist and somehow infused every point from that list into a package. Plot - doesn't matter. Sense - who cares. Audience - bewildered.
In the middle of it all, you are taught how to slap with resounding acoustics, how to change channels from the TV remote without using your hands, how to jump from one building to another in a congested neighbourhood like a fleet-footed chipmunk chasing a banana-filled truck, how to see through a monkey's eyes and how to be insane about Indian Idol. The starcast gives a thoroughly average performance. Nobody in particular stands out. Except Sonam Kapoor's natural Chandni Chowk ki chhorri looks.
The music is impressive, but that is the least one can expect from a man who has just bagged two Oscars for some rather ordinary work in Slumdog Millionaire. A R Rahman's work in D-6 however is truly worth savouring, as are Prasoon Joshi's lyrics. But the movie is very disappointing. In an effort to build a cultural beauty and to demonstrate how long-drawn communal conflicts can be erased by projecting a common enemy, Mr. Mehra misses the point, the plot and gives us a rather average Bollywood flick. The dots just dont connect.
[Image courtesy: Showhype]
Sidenote: Congratulations to A R Rahman and Resul Pookutty for their phenomenal wins at the 81st Academy Awards.
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