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Delhi-6

Movie poster of Delhi-6.
Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Written by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Prasoon Joshi
Kamlesh Pandey
Starring Abhishek Bachchan
Sonam Kapoor
Waheeda Rahman
Om Puri
Rishi Kapoor
Divya Dutta
Prem Chopra
Atul Kulkarni
Deepak Dobriyal
Cyrus Sahukar
Amitabh Bachchan
Music by A.R. Rahman
Cinematography Binod Pradhan
Editing by P S Bharthi
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release date(s) 2009-02-20
Running time 138 minutes
Country  India
Language Hindi
Gross revenue US$ 13,125,579 (worldwide)[1]

Delhi-6 (Hindi: दिल्ली 6) is a Hindi film by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra; starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Om Puri, Waheeda Rahman, Rishi Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Deepak Dobriyal and Divya Dutta.[2] The movie is reportedly based on Mehra's growing up years in Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi.[3] It is Mehra's third movie after Aks and Rang De Basanti. The movie released on 20 February 2009 to a strong box office collection but faced generally mixed reception from critics.

Contents

Plot summary

Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) accompanies his dying grandmother Annapurna (Waheeda Rahman) to their ancestral property in crowded Delhi. Roshan is initially stunned by the mad rush of various neighbors: Ali Baig (Rishi Kapoor) the renaissance man, feuding brothers Madangopal (Om Puri) and Jaigopal (Pavan Malhotra), their wives and families, Mamdu (Deepak Dobriyal) the halwai, Gobar (Atul Kulkarni) the simpleton, Sethji and many others. However, Roshan eventually warms to the place and wholeheartedly embraces the sense of community in it. He accompanies his grandmother to the Ramleelas, hangs out at Mamdu's sweet stall, plays with the children, and gradually becomes steeped in the culture of the place.

Roshan is also slowly exposed to some sobering realities. When Annapurna faints (due to fluctuating blood sugar levels) and they scramble to get her to a hospital, he finds the roads choked by traffic because of an impromptu ceremony around a cow in labor; he is further surprised when his grandmother, despite her stupor, stumbles forth to seek the blessings of a sacred cow; and he is astounded when the local police seem to encourage the practice. Roshan begins to understand the feuds and social issues in the community. Madangopal's sister Rama (Aditi Rao Hydari) is unwed (at an age when spinsterhood is a significant social no-no) and Jaigopal's electrical business is going nowhere. The lecherous old local money lender Lala Bhairam (Prem Chopra) is married to a young girl who, in turn, is having an affair with a young photo-studio hand Suresh (Cyrus Sahukar). Suresh is a double timer who is also pursuing Madangopal's daughter Bittu (Sonam Kapoor). Bittu secretly wants out of the stuck-in-time Old Delhi; she secretly prepares to audition for a popular reality show Indian Idol in the hope that she will win her way to Mumbai. Roshan comes to appreciate Ali Baig's cosmopolitan tastes and is surprised to learn that Ali Baig fancied his mother many years ago, and has since never married. And Roshan comes to empathize with the lower-caste trash collector girl Jalebi (Divya Dutta) who must endure untouchability at social functions except for when some of the brutish locals seek company. Roshan also crosses paths with the loutish inspector Ranvijay who blithely stretches his authorities to manhandle the locals, and becomes acquainted with the local assembly-woman who displays political power at every opportunity.

In the meantime, the news media is all abuzz with tales of a fearsome terror known only as the "Kala Bandar (The Black Monkey)". This miscreant (never shown clearly in the film) attacks people, steals various articles and has also caused the death of a few innocent people. (These deaths are mostly accidental, as in the example of a pregnant housewife who was supposedly startled by a silhouette and fell down a flight of stairs or the example of an unfortunate man who was briefly zapped by a live electric wire.) Nonetheless, the local news picks up on every move by the kala bandar and loudly blares about all his exploits. Jaigopal, the self-proclaimed electronics genius, theorizes that the kala bandar likely has an electrical circuit (to zap his victims) and may be electrocuted by water; this rumor is quickly propagated through the locality.

The film takes several turns. After some initial friction, Roshan and Bittu warm to each other. Roshan intervenes when Bittu is about to receive a prospective suitor arranged by Madangopal. He echoes Bittu's desire to pursue other dreams; this drives the suitor away and brings Madangopal's wrath upon him. He gradually begins to fall in love with Bittu, but is confused when Bittu expresses her affections for Suresh (she believes he will support her dreams). Around this time, the kala bandar attacks Old Delhi. The simple-minded locals bring in a tantrik Shani baba to exorcize the demonic influence of the kala bandar. After an extended havan ceremony, the tantrik baba indicates that the local mosque, built over the ruins of a temple that was demolished for the purpose, is the provocation for the evil soul of the kala bandar. This promptly stokes animosity in the otherwise harmonious Hindu-Muslim community. After the initial peaceful demonstrations (by rallies and angry meetings), various mobs go on rampage and tear up some of the local streets.Mamdu sets fire to the tree temple. Roshan attempts to make peace, but is rebuffed because of his mixed religious parentage. The locals ultimately settle on the fact that the kala bandar is hiding out in the sooni galli (a dark lane known to harbor evil presences) and must be destroyed. They command the simpleton Gobar to fetch a lock of hair from the evil enemy so that the tantrik can burn it and complete the exorcism.

Roshan becomes aware of Bittu's plan to elope with Suresh, and that Suresh is a low-life two timer. He dons a monkey mask and monkey outfit and stealthily follows Bittu by leaping across the rooftops. In the meantime Gobar ventures into the sooni galli where Jalebi gives him a lock of her hair so he may return in triumph and bring peace to the community. At that moment, Roshan (in his monkey outfit) intercedes in Bittu and Suresh's rendezvous and causes the cowardly Suresh to flee. Bittu raises a loud alarm before Roshan unmasks himself, whereupon the angry locals storm the place. Believing Roshan to be the kala bandar, they beat him to within an inch of his life and Mamdu shoots him. Then, Gobar comes up with a startling deduction about the reality of the kala bandar; that the kala bandar is in fact a problem residing inside the people of Delhi 6 and something that the people must defeat within themselves.

Cast

[4][5][6][7]

Crew

Production

Development and casting

In the early stages of development it was rumored that Rakeysh was going to cast newcomers for his next movie.[8] It was even reported that Aamir Khan's nephew Imran Khan would make his debut with this film, but this was later revealed to be Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.[9] Frequent changes in casting made headlines, with Hrithik Roshan being set to play the main character and then he being reportedly replaced by Ranbir Kapoor[10][11] Even Akshay Kumar was supposed to play the lead, but refused. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra stated that Abhishek Bachchan was always the first choice for Delhi-6. Date problems for Abhishek Bachchan delayed the film, but it all worked out in the end with Abhishek portraying the lead actor in the film.[12] Sonam Kapoor was paired as the leading female character opposite Abhishek Bachchan.[13] Rishi Kapoor and Tanvi Azmi are also a part of the film.[14] The film went on the floors 20 February 2009.[15] Amitabh Bachchan plays the grandfather to Roshan, played by Abhishek Bachchan, whereas Waheeda Rahman plays the grandmother of the same.[16] Gulshan Grover plays Abhishek Bachchan's dad in the film.[17] Editing for the film was done by Meghna Aschit and Rakeysh's wife Bharthi. In an interview Rakeysh said that he was not involved with the editing.[18]

Promotion

The movie was first unveiled on the Dubai International Film Festival. Following the screening was an interactive Question and Answer round, comprising of the director with the rest of starcast and a vast audience. During this interaction, Rakeysh spoke about his key influences and the theme of the film, while the film's actors described their experience of working with Rakeysh. A video featuring Abhishek and Sonam's interview can be watched in the reference along with this section.[19] The official trailer for the movie was released on 4 January 2009 which featured scenes from Delhi along with Jama Masjid, theatre groups, Red Fort at night, Sonam Kapoor coming out of a public escalator at central park in delhi and finally Abhishek watching Sonam dancing with the pigeon "Masakalli" on her head.

Release

The movie was supposed to be released on 13 February 2009, but A. R. Rahman's continued absence from the project led to a delay in the film getting released. The movie's back ground score remained incomplete and hence a delay in release by one week. The movie finally released on 20 February 2009 and premiered in New Delhi on 19 February 2009. The movie had its first screening on 15 February 2009 in New York.[20]

Reception

Critical reception

As of 11 March 2009, Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a 33% rating with 3 fresh and 6 rotten reviews. The average score is 4.9/10.[21]

Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph gave two thumbs up to the film calling it a must-watch for just its "overwhelming audio-visual eruption".[22] Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India rated the movie three out of five stars, saying, "Watch it for the message of Delhi 6 and the ekdum desi India-feel".[23] Anupama Chopra of NDTV said that the film is a noble failure, "Delhi 6 is ambitious and well-intentioned, but good intentions don’t always translate into good cinema".[24] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave it 3 stars, saying that it's a story with heart and Delhi 6 isn't great cinema like Mehra's Rang De Basanti and has frustrating climax.[25] Rachel Saltz of New York Times stated "Delhi 6 can be maddeningly vague, which robs its ending..of the impact it intends".[26] Shashi Baliga of Hindustan Times gave the movie 3 out of 5 saying "Mehra sure has his heart in the right place. But couldn’t he have allowed himself… and us, a little more fun?"[27] However, Arthur J Pais of Rediff.com gave the movie a much better verdict remarking the movie's innovative style and storyline.[28] Amanda Sodhi posted an in-depth write-up about Delhi-6 on PassionForCinema.com, defending the film against flak it was receiving[29]. On IMDB, Delhi-6 has a 6.8 out of 10 possible stars [30].

Box office performance

The movie, has unofficially been announced as a flop , though the numbers have saved it from being officially declared so, as it grossed Rs 80 million on the day of its release[31] and grossed Rs 330 million worldwide. Out of this the Indian share is Rs 275 million (Rs 27.50 crores). In the UK, Delhi 6 grossed $160,000 in its first three days.[32] The movie at the time of its release had the best opening of 2009, grossing around 30 crores overall so far. In India, the film put up strong first weekend numbers given the strong collections from the multiplexes and single screens in Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Baroda, Bangalore, Kanpur,Surat etc. Mumbai was relatively behind. In East Punjab, Delhi-6 had recorded around 1.3 crores net in 3 days. On the other hand, overseas in America, the film reported 90 screens to weekend collections of $602k gross.[33] However, collections started to diminish as the week progressed and word-of-mouth review about the movie spread. Trade analysts said that the standard set by Rakeysh's previous film Rang De Basanti could not be attained by Delhi-6 given the diminishing collections as the week progressed.[34]

Music

Delhi-6
Soundtrack by A. R. Rahman
Released
14 January 2009 (India)
Recorded Panchathan Record Inn and AM Studios
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 44:18
Label T-Series
Producer A. R. Rahman
Professional reviews
A. R. Rahman chronology
Slumdog Millionaire
(2008)
Delhi-6
(2009)
Blue
(2009)

A.R. Rahman is the music director of this film.[35] Prasoon Joshi is the lyricist. The music was released on 14 January 2009 at the Indian Idol 4 competition.[36] The first video of the song "Masakalli" was released featuring Sonam and Abhishek with a pigeon. However, the song was not part of the original film. According to the director, "The song was not really meant to be part of the narrative. I mean, who would think of putting in a song about a dove in a film like 'Delhi-6'? It just happened. When I came to the pre-climax portion of my script, I was stuck. I needed a continuity link taking the narrative to its finale".[37][38] Other videos released include the title track Delhi-6, the romantic interlude Rehna Tu as well as the folky Genda Phool, an adaptation of a folk song from Chhattisgarh.

Reception

The soundtrack for the movie has received positive reviews, with most reviewers hailing the album to be one of Rahman's best works. NaachGaana.com reviewed the music saying "Delhi-6 is just as rich, just as powerful, and just as awe-inspiring as his work in Slumdog Millionaire. As we take the timeless stroll down the streets of Delhi 6, let us rejoice in the phenomenon that is Rahmania".[39] A review on Bollywood Hungama said, "Delhi 6 is near perfect. Rahman beats his own score with Delhi 6 which would easily go down as one of his best scores till date."[40] PlanetBollywood.com said, "One would think that Rahman couldn’t raise the bar any higher. Just when you wonder how high he can go, he raises the bar even higher until one feels that he has attained true musical nirvana and we are lucky enough to be along for the ride. "'Dilli 6' shows a Rahman that is at the top of his game. He is a league ahead of his contemporaries and an artist that transcends global boundaries to spread the joy of his music throughout the world. Each and every song in Dehli-6 upholds the high standards Rahman has set. Romantic numbers (Dil Gira Dafatan, Rehna Tu), upbeat compositions (Delhi-6, Genda Phool, Hey Kaala Bandar), uplifting tracks (Masakkali), devotional numbers (Arziyan, Aarti—Tumre Bhavan Mein), a full-fledged classical number (Bhor Bhaye) and a short and sweet poem (Noor), Delhi-6's OST has plenty of variety, and songs to suite everyone’s musical tastes."[41][42] According to Rediff's Sukanya Verma, "A R Rahman makes waiting for his music such a worthwhile chore what with one fantastic soundtrack after another. Close on the heels of a deserving Golden Globes wins follows the anticipated score of Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Delhi 6. Considering its impossible-to-define Chandni Chowk roots, Rahman injects the sounds of this 10-tracked album with an eclectic fusion of various genres.For this movie A.R.Rahman also won Star Screen awards for the best Music Composer of 2009."[43]

Tracks

The official track listing.[44]

# Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Masakali"   Mohit Chauhan 4:49
2. "Arziyan"   Javed Ali, Kailash Kher 8:42
3. "Delhi 6" (French Lyrics by Vivienne Chaix, Claire) Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Vivienne Chaix, Tanvi Shah, Claire 3:36
4. "Rehna Tu"   A. R. Rahman, Benny Dayal, Tanvi Shah 6:51
5. "Hey Kaala Bandar"   Karthik, Naresh Iyer, Srinivas, Bony Chakravarthy, Ember (rap) 5:43
6. "Dil Gira Dafatan"   Ash King, Chinmayee 5:39
7. "Genda Phool"   Rekha Bhardwaj, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Mazumdar, V.N. Mahathi 2:50
8. "Bhor Bhaye" (Raag: Gujri Todi) Shreya Ghoshal, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan 3:19
9. "Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein)"   Rekha Bhardwaj, Kishori Ashok Gowariker, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Mazumdar 3:01
10. "Noor" (Recital) Amitabh Bachchan 0:50

Inspiration

Reports of "Kala Bandar (Black Monkey)" attacks in the city of Delhi as shown in the film are inspired by real reports of much publicized monkey or monkeyman attacks in and around Delhi in 2001.[45]

References

  1. ^ "Delhi 6". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=delhi6.htm. Retrieved 10 November 2009.  
  2. ^ "Rakeysh Mehra's Delhi-6 to star Hrithik Roshan and Om Puri". IndiaFM. http://www.radiosargam.com/films/archives/986/hrithik-to-replace-abhishek-in-delhi-6.html. Retrieved 25 September 2006.  
  3. ^ "Abhishek Bachchan to do three Rakeysh Mehra films". IndiaFM. http://www.indiafm.com/news/2006/05/20/7150/index.html. Retrieved 25 September 2006.  
  4. ^ SouthDelhi plus cast of Delhi-6
  5. ^ Dilli 6 EM wala Ladka aa gayaHindustan TimesRetrieved on 2009-02-25
  6. ^ Child's PlayExpressIndia Retrieved on 2009-02-25
  7. ^ Aditi Rao, Vinayak Doval Delhi-6 debutMid DayRetrieved on 2009-02-25
  8. ^ Rakeysh Mehra to cast newcomers in his next?
  9. ^ Aamir Khan's nephew in DELHI 6? | Bollywood News - Yahoo! India Movies
  10. ^ Ranbir Kapoor replaces Hrithik Roshan
  11. ^ Hrithik back in Delhi-6
  12. ^ Dilli 6 belonged to Abhishek BachchanHindustan TimesRetrieved on 2009-01-21
  13. ^ ""Sonam’s next with Abhishek"". http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Entertainment/Sonams_next_with_Abhishek/articleshow/2522382.cms. Retrieved 7 November 2007.  
  14. ^ Sonam, Abhishek in Jaipur after bereavement : India Entertainment
  15. ^ Dilli 6 takes off finally
  16. ^ Mumbaimirroe.com: Profile on Delhi-6
  17. ^ Gulshan to play Abhishek's father!- News-News & Gossip-Indiatimes - Movies
  18. ^ I’m dying to see what I’ve done in ‘Delhi 6', says Rakeysh Mehra
  19. ^ Delhi 6 unveiled at Dubai film festival
  20. ^ Release of ‘Delhi 6' postponedRetrieved on 2009-02-09
  21. ^ "Delhi-6". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/delhi_6/. Retrieved 11 March 2009.  
  22. ^ Pratim D. Gupta (21 February 2009). "Sights & sounds of an address". www.telegraphindia.com. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090221/jsp/entertainment/story_10566665.jsp. Retrieved 2009-09-19.  
  23. ^ Nikhat Azmi (19 February 2009). "Review of Delhi-6 at Times". www.timesofindia.com. Times of India. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/moviereview/4154202.cms. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  24. ^ Anupama Chopra (19 February 2009). "Delhi-6 movie review at NDTV". www.movies.ndtv.com. NDTV. http://movies.ndtv.com/reviews.asp?lang=Hindi&id=379&moviename=Delhi-6. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  25. ^ Rajeev Masand (20 February 2009). "Masand's Movie Review: Delhi-6, a film with heart". www.ibnlive.com. CNN-IBN. http://ibnlive.in.com/news/masands-movie-review-delhi6-a-film-with-heart/85915-8.html. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  26. ^ Rachel Saltz (18 February 2009). "Movie Review - Delhi-6 - Indian Soul - NYTimes.com". movies.nytimes.com. The New York Times. http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/movies/20delh.html. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  27. ^ Shashi Baliga (18:28 IST(20/2/2009)). "6 degrees of confusion". www.hindustantimes.com. Hindustan Times. http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=03f8bf25-f1dd-4f7d-8406-a011b322b518&&Headline=Review%3a+EMDelhi+6%2fEM. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  28. ^ Arthur J. Pais (19 February 2009). "Rediff.com review of Delhi-6". www.rediff.com. Rediff. http://inhome.rediff.com/movies/2009/feb/19arthur-delhi6-review.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  29. ^ http://passionforcinema.com/a-collection-of-thoughts-on-delhi-6/
  30. ^ "IMDB.com Delhi-6 page". http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1043451/. Retrieved 2009-03-11.  
  31. ^ BusinessofCinema - Delhi 6 grosses Rs 80 million in India on day 1Retrieved on 2009-02-25
  32. ^ Delhi 6 grosses Rs 330 mn worldwide in opening weekendRetrieved on 2009-02-25
  33. ^ Box Office Update: Delhi 6 takes the best opening of 2009Saturday, 21 February 2009
  34. ^ Delhi-6 is a loserRediffRetrieved on 2009-02-25
  35. ^ A.R. Rahman Golden globe call
  36. ^ 'Delhi-6′ Audio Release Function On Indian Idol 4Retrieved on 2009-02-09
  37. ^ Dove song in movie was not planned
  38. ^ "Delhi-6 music out on 14th January"
  39. ^ Music Review of Delhi 6 By Aakash Gandhi (9.5/10)NaachGaana.com Retrieved on 2009-01-18
  40. ^ Music Review of Delhi 6 By Joginder TutejaBollywood Hungama Retrieved on 2009-01-18
  41. ^ Music Review of Delhi 6 By Samir Dave on Planet BollywoodPlanet Bollywood.com Retrieved on 2009-01-18
  42. ^ Music Review of Delhi 6 By Amanda Sodhi on PlanetBollywoodPlanet Bollywood.com Retrieved on 2009-02-25
  43. ^ Sukanya Verma (20 January 2009). "Music Review of Delhi 6 By Sukanya Verma on Rediff.com". www.rediff.com. Rediff. http://www.rediff.com/movies/2009/jan/20music-review-delhi-6.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-25.  
  44. ^ "Delhi-6 by A. R. Rahman". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Delhi-6/dp/B001QR9B88/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1236225980&sr=8-1. Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  45. ^ It's a man! It's a monkey! It's a...; by Onkar Singh in New Delhi; May 18, 2001; Rediff India. 'Monkey man' keeps Delhi awake again; May 18, 2001; Rediff India. . Also see [1], [2], [3]

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