Have you ever seen anything where the whole is way lower than the parts? I saw one such creation last night – Delhi 6. It was such a big disappointment to watch it. It just seemed as if from start to finish it went from one idea to another.
These parts should have been its strengths but instead these in totality became their weaknesses:
Philosophical sarcasm: “Kala Bandar” was a brilliant idea to convey the idea of communal hatred that people have had in India. The way it was used to create a news story – with the way media goes beserk and over board was also hillarious in itself. The thought and the concept was brilliant! But its execution was utterly disjointed and uselessly done. Simillarly, the way that beggar was used – who kept showing the mirror along with speaking out those verses – was also in the similar vein. Great philosophical concept but again the execution and the detailing of the character was badly done. It was as if someone thought of a great idea but the one who was writing the story didn’t know how to do a good job of it or was simply lazy.
Contrasting Symbolism: The idea of secular peace and community feeling and what creates the issues was a great idea. Using contrasts in such depictions also help a great deal. But there was an overdoze of the “positive” to “negative” symbolism. What the director and the story-writer wanted to show was true at a very broad level (global level) but in a community, such things don’t happen right away.
Symbolism as a means of story telling is an art. I believe people like V. Shantaram, Guru Dutt and Raj Kapoor were the best exponent of this art. It takes a great director to pull such things off. Rakeysh Om Prakash, in my estimation, is not in that league as yet. I think the only guy who is in that “League of Greatness” is Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
Storytelling Clarity:I really didn’t understand some of the cogs in the entire story. There was such a proliferation of characters and with such great actors including one of yesteryear favorite – Supriya Pathak. Now, what was she doing in there? For God’s sake – what was the use of having such an actress without using her skills? She is not meant to be a “prop”! But that is precisely how she was used. And the story of Bittu’s (Sonam Kapoor) elder sister was another mystery! And the bevy of old and middle aged ladies in the family were again not clearly “introduced” or detailed out. That was a great turn off for me.
If you watch the great movies like Sholay, Mughal-e-Azam or Pyaasa, you remember each and every character. The reason why Sholay is said to be the greatest movie made in Indian Cinema is because every character was memorable! No matter how small the role or insignificant the actor, the lines of even the flunkies of the villain became unforgettable! That is the hall mark of a great movie. But the good movies do a decent job of that. Delhi 6 failed on that account miserably.
The one positive was Music. AR Rehman got the Oscar because of a rather mediocre song by his standards. So, if one needs to understand his genius – listen to the songs here. A UP folk, to a bhajan, to a Sufi song to a soulful number in “Rehna Tu” to the trendy Delhi 6… and finally the most popular “Masakkali” by Mohit Chauhan of Silk Route! Its a music album to wait for years! In fact if you listen to the Bhajans in Lagaan and in Delhi 6, you know why AR Rehman is such a great composer.
Btw, did you watch the movie? What do you think of this movie?
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