Pick this Flick 12: Delhi 6, Kaala Bandar and the mirror  

Posted by Praveen in ,

The mirror in front of Delhi 6 audio cd cover

When I picked up the audio cd of Delhi 6 from a cd store here some weeks back, I saw myself staring at me from the cd cover. Yes, it had a big mirror attached to the front which made the cover real heavy. The minute I saw that mirror, I was sure Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra did have something real serious up his sleeve this time around too. And, when last week I missed watching this movie, I was bombarded with bad reviews from all around with only a few saying it to be worth a watch. I had given up hope on the movie but still didn't dare to miss it. And when I finished watching it this saturday night, I was left wondering whether I was actually reading and hearing the reviews about this movie. It was not that bad afterall. And I felt it to be something real good.

How many times have you looked into a mirror other than to put your makeup, set your hair or to just check if your face is presentable to the outside world? How many times have you looked into a mirror with the intention of seeing through the clothes and through the flesh to what is inside, the inside of your mind, your heart? I would bet most of us would answer, 'never'. This movie is for us who look into the mirror to see what we want to see and then turn a blind eye to what we are in reality. When you and your friend stand together and look into a mirror, you try to see what is right in you and what is wrong in him. The 'kaala bandhar' metaphor works brillaintly because Rakeysh used a real world occurence and blends it so well with the the message he wanted to convey. The real monkey man of Delhi which happened somewhere around 2001 is still an unsolved mystery. Nobody knows what it is, nobody has seen it in all its glory, but we have loads of stories and myths around it. People sometimes use the 'monkey man' to their own advantage which was shown beautifully in many scenes(remember cyrus running with his clothes from prem chopra's wife's bedroom?) and also in the ending para of the song. The last lines of 'Kala bandar' are 'bandar kala bandar, I beg you to stay' because life has become good for some after the kaala bandar myth started.

Then there are the numerous small characters who were all there to convey some point. Jelebi, the low caste gal who's famed for making 'mards' out of kids overnight and who is shunned as an untouchable by the so called high-castes, takes the cake for one of the best supporting characters in delhi 6. The scene where she cuts a strand of hair and gives it to Gobar(Atul Kulkarni) to present to others as Kaala bandar's hair shows that sometimes the untouchables can be more sensible that the 'touchables' who are fighting over nothing. We are also shown how a peacefully co-existing mixed community can be easily polarised by some petty issues coupled with stupid utterances from some yogi. The 'hamare paas proof hai' dialogue from Om Puri proves this point. Not to forget the character of Mamdu, the Hanuman worshipping muslim. The brothers who fights at the 2 sides of a wall reminded me of that old cement ad. The ladies' conversations through the single brick hole made for hilarious viewing. Especially the 'mother and board exam' dialogues. The electric circuit wala brother who bores everyone with his electric dialogues is one straight out of real life. The 2 kids wanting to be men somehow reminds us of those wild old days in school. The Ramleela blends so well with the narrative and comes into play at apt points in the plot. The lady political leader, though a bit cliched, is a good template on a modern day Indian politician.

The only complaint I've to Rakyesh is in the way he cut short most of the songs and placed some songs awkwardly in the screenplay. But I've to applaud him for the way 'dil gira dafatan' was shot. The way he blended the scenes from the streets of Delhi and New york was breath taking. You could see autorickshaws overtaking the yellow NY cabs. The shot where Abhishek watches Sonam's picture being painted and at the other side she watching his being painted is a masterclass. My favourite shot of the movie is at the start of the Maula song when the camera does an almost 360 degree turn and gives a breathtaking wide angle view of the praying thousands in front of the masjid. I really wish Rakeysh had given the same treatment to 'Rehna Tu' too. Masakali had some exquisite choreography. I just fell in love with Sonam in this song. Now, to Abhishek's performance. Nothing great there, just an ok performance which was satisfactorily convincing. He has the charisma to carry a film but sometimes his acting lags a bit. Waheeda Rahman was a perfect casting just as in RDB.

I am still wondering why the critics said this movie is crap, preachy and a waste of time. Agreed, there were too many references to the Kaala bandhar but I really do feel it all fit nicely with the intent of the film. Even the climax which was said to be 'horrible' didn't seem odd to me that I was left searching for the 'horrible' part. Only problem was that at some places the subtlety of the metaphors were lost but I guess that was intentional on the part of the director to make it more accessible to the common man you see on the streets of Delhi-6. All in all, its a film thats a worthy successor to RDB in that it shows a mini version of India in a Delhi street. India, with all its problems and negativities, is still a million times better than any other place. So, is Delhi 6. From today, am sure I will see something different when I look into the mirror.

PS-Pic from the net because my mob cam's not working from yesterday :(

your crusader Praveen

This entry was posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 at Monday, March 02, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

11 comments

Obviously the movie wasn't that bad but People had huge expectations after Rang De Basanti ..

The problem with the movie was it got all muddled up and put in things in the script which were not reqd...

Also the Great Music of Rehaman wasn't used/mixed properly into the movie ..

Leaving apart the unfathomable ending, which I think Mehra Sahab changed in the last minute to play to the gallery,
it was more of an Motorola Advertisement ..

2:33 AM

Excellent review! Top notch! :) Am yet to watch it, had planned with friends but the strike got canceled. :( To think I have met this great film maker, yet to seep in. One trip to CC and you'd know why he fell in love with the place, anyone who goes there leaves her heart behind! :)

11:42 AM

I absolutetly loved the movie ..and your review ..
Its really strange when people find mindless comedies (nothing against them) but write off a movie like Delhi 6 so easily ..

That scene from masjid showing people parying is my fav scene tooo .I gasped too loud at that moment ...and Ramleela scenes and very familair voice of old theatre artist (I dnt remember his name)...

I watched with a friend , who was fed of kala bandar during first half ..and yesterday while discussing he insisted that even I didn't like the movie , just that I am saying it .what the hell .. I like the movie becuse even after 10 days of watching it ..I still think about it ..it stayed with me , it made me think ...it made me look in the mirror

2:38 PM

I'll definitely watch Delhi 6..i never go by wht the critics say..

I think Rakeysh Mehra is a brilliant director..

8:31 PM

@SOM
I agree that Rahman's songs were not adequately used..
I dont understand y the ending is unfathomable.

@Tara
You are damn lucky to have met this guy in person...havnt gone to cc..now I wanna go..

@onthewingsofadream
its still a mystery y so many people wrote off this movie..
To think about a movie 10 days after watching it, tells us something about the content and quality of the movie..

@swats
good...never believe the critics:D

11:48 PM

@SOM
I agree that Rahman's songs were not adequately used..
I dont understand y the ending is unfathomable.

@Tara
You are damn lucky to have met this guy in person...havnt gone to cc..now I wanna go..

@onthewingsofadream
its still a mystery y so many people wrote off this movie..
To think about a movie 10 days after watching it, tells us something about the content and quality of the movie..

@swats
good...never believe the critics:D

11:48 PM

aviduthe pennungal iyaalude mobilum adichu potticha?

1:52 AM

the movie surely gives you a good message and has great cinematography as it is expected from all Mehra Sir's movies But

1) AB didn't need to dress like Kala Bandar to save his lady love ... for that specific ending the dream sequence ..and especially the end of the dream sequence (where AB is on the tower with Sonam wearing the Bandar suit) was pushed into the movie out of context. These things add only to the cinemas Artistic value but doesn't do any justice to the script of the movie .. which is its soul.

2) AB should have died in the end .. not tried to use his MOTOROLA to call his mom !! lolz .. what was ROM thinking ..?!!

2:17 AM

Whoa... Nice review boss. Ummm, I dont think I ll watch it. I hardly watch movies, you know tht... ;)

Peace.

8:21 PM

ofcourse the movie wasnt that bad,but not as good as rang de basanti.

9:00 AM

hmmm..
i dint like the movie much though, it was a one timer..
music is undoubtedly brilliant.. i love the genda phool number :D

the communism it teaches, it is well depicted.. not an entertainer, but yes a movie u dun want to quit in between :D

7:43 PM

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