I should have been deeply moved by the inner sentiments of the movie that I just watched tonight. But instead, I walked out of the theater, not knowing quite how I should react. I think the narrative style of “Delhi 6” is what has made the movie work and not work at different levels.
I had read a couple of bad reviews about the movie before I watched it..and even though neither of the reviewers gave away the climax, they had condemned the same. I have to admit that the climax was not my biggest disappointment in the movie.
Here are some factors that I liked in the movie:
1) The gradual construction of what ultimately would become the central character of the movie – “Kala Bandhar”. I absolutely loved ROM’s style of doing this.
2) Multi character script – It is very difficult to create several small scenes bringing out the essence of most these characters and to be able to chain them in some meaningful way. Although ROM eventually failed in how he connected these scenes thus failing to create a complete movie, the scenes worked individually in most cases and helped the characters establish themselves on their own and make their connectivity with the audience. Ashutosh Gowariker is another Bollywood director who could do this, but credits to ROM for this.
3) Metaphors & Symbolisms – There have been some reviewers who thought these were too cheesy or too intellectual. But I loved them. Anytime, when the director does not underestimate the audience’s intelligence and does not overemphasize the story logic, the end result is always clean.
4) Of course AR Rahman. His BGM was scintillating to say the least. He is improving his ability to create a “sound” for every movie he makes and this one was a home run.
Now off to things I didn’t enjoy:
1) The whole Hindu-Muslim fight was too superficial to me. I think Mani Rathnam did a much better job in his movie…”Bombay” and this movie’s (Delhi 6’s) communal violence scenes didn’t make much impact.
2) The way ROM had used the songs. Although all the songs were used and most of the songs picturized were good, it felt as if there were stretches of time where the songs were placed pretty much back to back from one scene to the other.
3) Stringing the scenes together over a story line. ROM fell too short in this department. I am not sure if he got so caught up with his narrative that he didn’t realize this.
Now to the actors..
Abhishek had an easy role to play – His stereotypical NRI character was portrayed well nevertheless. But there was not a single scene that he carried on his shoulders and made us say “Wow”. Of course, it is unfair to compare RDB with this movie but this is another area, where ROM had the advantage in RDB. Sonam Kapoor played her part ok. Other than the lead characters, the rest of the cast played their parts extremely well. Special mention to Atul Kulkarni, Om Puri, Vijay Raaz, “Mamdu” and “Jalebi”!
The overall movie specially with the climax, to me, ended up being “Anbe Sivam” meeting “Bombay” in Chandni Chowk!