Business rating: 3.5/5 stars
Star cast: Imran Khan, Vir Das, Kunal Roy Kapur, Vijay Raaz, Shenaz Treasury, Poorna Jagannathan, Rahul Singh, Aamir Khan (in a special appearance).
What’s Good: The comic situations; the colourful language in the dialogues; the good performances; Aamir Khan’s special appearance; hit music.
What’s Bad: The routine script.
Verdict: Delhi Belly may not be universally appealing to all age groups but it will prove to be a hit with the youngsters.
Loo break: None at all.
Watch or not?: Watch it for the bold scenes, the foul language and the situational comedy. And if you don’t like any of that, keep away!
Spoiler alert! You may want to skip directly to the Script Analysis below.
Aamir Khan Productions’ Delhi Belly (A) is a comedy chase drama. Tashi (Imran Khan), Arup (Vir Das) and Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapur) are friends sharing a rented house in Delhi. Tashi is a journalist and his colleague is Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan) who is in the process of getting divorced from her husband (Rahul Singh). Nitin is a press photographer and Arup works in an advertising agency. Tashi’s girlfriend is Sonia (Shehnaz Treasury) and she works as an airhostess.
One day, Sonia gives Tashi a packet to be delivered at an address she gives him alongwith the packet. She is unaware that the packet contains very expensive diamonds and that she has been used as a carrier to smuggle them into the country for delivering to a don (Vijay Raaz). The person who wants the diamonds to be delivered to the don at the destination in Delhi is a foreigner who has travelled in the same aeroplane as Sonia. Not aware of the contents of the packet, Tashi casually asks Nitin to deliver it. But Nitin is suffering from Delhi belly (an upset stomach because of Delhi food and water) and he, therefore, asks Arup, equally casually, to deliver the packet and also to take his (Nitin’s) stool sample for testing at the pathological laboratory. As luck would have it, Arup delivers the diamonds (hidden in a wooden toy) at the laboratory, and the stool sample at the address of the don.
The don (Vijay Raaz) is flabbergasted when he gets the wrong packet. He reaches the hotel room of the foreigner who had smuggled the diamonds into the country, assuming that he was playing dirty with him. After a lot of drama in the hotel room, the identity of the real culprits – the three friends – is revealed. The don reaches them under the mistaken belief that they’ve pocketed his diamonds. Of course, leave alone pocketing the diamonds, the three friends aren’t even aware of their existence. Anyway, the don doesn’t believe them and he starts torturing Tashi and Arup, who are then at home, so that they can return the diamonds. As luck would have it, Nitin gets the diamonds just then, as the laboratory returns the toy to him when he goes there for medical assistance. On seeing the diamonds when Nitin returns home with them, the don is happy but he now wants to kill the three friends for fear that they would complain to the police about the smuggled diamonds.
The three friends escape from there and also take away the diamonds with them. They sell the expensive diamonds to a jeweller (Rajendra Sethi) for a fat sum of money but are soon informed that Sonia has been held captive by the don. The trio now has no choice but to go back to the jeweller to return the cash and get back the diamonds. However, the jeweller now asks for a much higher price for the same diamonds.
What happens thereafter? Do Tashi, Arup and Nitin succeed in getting back the diamonds? Are they able to save Sonia from the don? What happens to the don? Does Menaka return to her estranged husband? And where do the diamonds finally reach?
Delhi Belly Review – Script Analysis
Akshat Verma’s story is routine but it is his screenplay which makes it interesting and funny. The comedy quotient is so high that even the routine story gets a boost. Added to this is the colourful language used by the characters, which adds to the comedy. In fact, in no mainstream film in the past have so many four-letter words been passed by the censors. These swear words, uttered by the various characters with a lot of flourish, will be a major attraction for the youngsters because it is for the first time that so much foul language will be heard in a Hindi film. The older generation and the more orthodox audience may not approve of the language used and may, therefore, be put off (in some cases, completely!) by the film but on the other hand, the youth, the young-at-heart and the ones who use foul language in their day-to-day conversations would simply love the dialogues (Akshat Verma). Some dialogues, especially, are so bold and spoken in such colourful language that they will shock the Indian viewers. There are some embarrassingly bold scenes too which, again, will be loved by the youth and probably detested by a section of the audience.
On the minus side is the short length of the film which, for an audience used to longer films, can be a dampener. Having said that, it must be added that the pace of the drama is so fast that it doesn’t give the audience time to think. Also, a point to be noted is that the target audience for this film – the youth – is not too particular that the film should be lengthy. The absence of a novel story will also prove to be a negative factor and will limit the film’s appeal, to an extent.
Among the scenes which will bring the house down with laughter are the orange juice sequence; the scene in which the ceiling of the home of the three friends comes crashing down, bringing the dancing girls from the top floor down in the bargain through the hole in the ceiling; the scene showing the shocked honeymooning couple when it enters the hotel room and finds it occupied by Tashi and Menaka; the burqa sequence, especially the portion when the burqa-clad Arup, waiting outside the jeweller’s cabin, realises that the closed circuit television is showing the action taking place between the jeweller and his burqa-clad friends inside the cabin; and the kissing scene between the burqa-clad Tashi and Menaka.
Delhi Belly Review – Star Performances
Imran Khan acts ably and gives a good account of himself. Vir Das is splendid. His sense of timing is so brilliant that it’s a delight to watch him on the screen. Kunal Roy Kapur also gives a marvellous performance. His comic sense of timing is also remarkable. Vijay Raaz, as usual, gets into the skin of the character and leaves an indelible mark in the mind of the viewer. Shenaz Treasury does a fine job and enacts the role of the stylish airhostess with aplomb. Poorna Jagannathan makes a lovely debut and impresses in her maiden job. She doesn’t seem to be the traditional heroine material but is good in this role. Rahul Singh is very effective. Paresh Ganatra is as natural as natural can be. In the role of his police officer-brother, Sanjay Taneja stands his own. Pradeep Kabra is very cute as the don’s sidekick (the ‘londri’ man). Lushin Dubey does well in the role of Sonia’s stylish mother. Able support is lent by Rajendra Sethi, Raju Kher, Divya Bhatia (Tashi’s father), Shilpa Mehta (Tashi’s mother), Kim Bodnia (as the foreigner who smuggles the diamonds), Anusha Dandekar, Bugs Bhargava (as Arup’s boss) and master Vishesh Kaul. Aamir Khan adds great star value in a special appearance in a retro song-dance.
Delhi Belly Review – Direction & Music
Abhinay Deo’s direction is focussed and crisp. His handling of the comic scenes does justice to the script. Music (Ram Sampath) is a major plus point. The ‘Bhag D.K. Bose’ song is already a major hit and its double-meaning and controversial lyrics (Amitabh Bhattacharya) have only added to its appeal. The ‘Sweety Sweety’ (Munna Dhiman’s lyrics) and ‘I hate you like I love you’ (lyrics: Akshat Verma) songs are also very well-tuned. The ‘Jaa chudail’ song (lyrics: Amitabh Bhattacharya) is well-conceived. ‘Bedardi raja’ (Amitabh Bhattacharya) has melody and lilt.‘Nakadwale disco’ (xxx), a fun song, and ‘Tere siva’ (Munna Dhiman) are quite nice. The title track (penned by Ram Sampath and Chetan Shashital) is okay. Song picturisations are good. Aamir Khan’s retro dance will be loved by the audience. Ram Sampath’s background music score is pretty effective. Allan Amin’s action scenes are in keeping with the comic mood of the film. Jason West’s cinematography is superb. Shashank Tere’s art direction is lovely. Huzefa Lokhandwala’s editing is super-sharp.
Delhi Belly Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Delhi Belly is a laugh riot and will be lapped up by the youngsters in a very big way. One section of the audience would give the film the thumbs down but it will still make handsome profits, never mind its high cost (almost Rs. 32-33 crore). …..The film has been dubbed in Hindi too. The Hindi dubbing is fantastic. The business of the dubbed version will also be very good. There will be many who will watch both the versions just to experience the colourful language in Hindi and in English.