Movie Review: Delhi Belly (Hindi/ English) 133

Shot on a meager budget, Aamir Khan would be laughing all the way to the bank as Delhi Belly seems all set to be ranked among this year’s most memorable films. Off-beat cinema doesn’t need much money to make and doesn’t have to be star-studded and it’s where success means bucks and failure doesn’t hurt much. Like the others of its kind, Delhi Belly too would work only in multiplexes and it’s only for adults.

Set in Delhi, Tashi (Imran Khan), Arun (Vir Das) & Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapur) are friends leading normal lives as a journalist, advertising illustrator and photographer respectively. They live in an abomination of a bachelor pad and dodge their landlord for rent. A package with unknown contents enters their lives as Sonia (Shenaz Treasurywala) who’s doing her friend a favor, asks fiancĂ© Tashi to make a delivery.

The package changes hands and what seems like a normal day is all set to go for a toss. Nitin gorges on roadside chicken which gives him a diarrhea and needs a stool test. Arun who takes on the delivery job mixes-up the parcel with Nitin’s stool sample. Meanwhile, Tashi is at a party with colleague Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan) and gets roughed up by her ex-husband. That’s not all and it’s about to get worse!

The wrong delivery angers the local smuggler (Vijay Raaz) who promptly chases down the protagonists who seem to have the Russian Matryoshka doll containing diamonds. In their tryst with goons, greedy jewelers, cops, a philandering landlord, bad romance et al they get their taste of Delhi’s underbelly. Result: a laughing audience.

Predominantly in ‘Hinglish, it has two versions. The English version I saw was loaded with swearwords which could have had more punch in Hindi. Also, it relies on shock-value for humor which puts it among the likes of ‘The Hangover’. This one though, has an abundance of bad-tummy acoustics. One may say it has nothing new, but one can’t deny that it is entertaining. But for sure, this is not for family viewing.

Delhi Belly doesn’t really have much of Delhi in it, barring an occasional shot showing the Delhi Metro. So, why is it called ‘Delhi Belly’? Is it because our characters have a brush with the city’s underbelly? Or was it all about Nitin’s troubled tummy?

Other contrived stuff includes the trio’s filthy accommodation. Considering that three of them who seem to be reasonably well employed, didn’t they find a better place to live in? Per se, a place like that can be more hazardous than street-food. The vehicles they use are unnecessarily made to look battered down or extremely old.

The songs have done their job in promoting Delhi Belly. While there is no character called DK Bose in the movie, ‘Bhaag DK Bose’ has been deviously inserted only to create a buzz. ‘Jaa Chudail’, ‘Nakadwale Disco, Udharwale Khisko’ are noteworthy as is Aamir Khan’s disco number ‘I hate you, like I love you’ towards the end.

But, let me warn you, Humor is relative and so is Delhi Belly’s likeability.

Rating 8/10: Shockingly comical