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Delhi-62009
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Delhi-6 (2009)

Delhi-62009

Delhi-6 (2009) is a 2009 Hindi-language film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra and starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Om Puri, Waheeda Rahman, Rishi Kapoor, Atul Kulkarni, Deepak Dobriyal and Divya Dutta. The film is reportedly based on Mehra’s growing up years in Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi. It is Mehra’s third film after Aks and Rang De Basanti. The acclaimed score and soundtrack of the film was composed by A. R. Rahman. The film released on 20 February 2009 to strong box office collections but faced generally mixed reception from critics.

Plot

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, Roshan tells Bittu he loves her where she also responds to his feelings,the two share a hug, 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. In the end Roshan survives and marries Bittu.

Cast

Abhishek Bachchan as Roshan Mehra
Sonam Kapoor as Bittu Sharma
Rishi Kapoor as Ali Beg
Om Puri as Madan Gopal Sharma
Prem Chopra as Lala Bhairam
Atul Kulkarni as Gobar
Waheeda Rehman as Annapurna Mehra
Pavan Malhotra as Jai Gopal Sharma
Divya Dutta as Jalebi
Supriya Pathak as Vimla Sharma
Tanvi Azmi as Fatima Mehra
Vijay Raaz as Inspector Ranvijay
Deepak Dobriyal as Mamdu
Raghuvir Yadav as Ramleela Narrator
K.K. Raina as Haji Suleiman
Akhilendra Mishra as Baba Bandarmaar
Daya Shankar Pandey as Kumar
Sheeba Chaddha as Rama Sharma
Cyrus Sahukar as Suresh
Aditi Rao Hydari as Rajjo Sharma
Rajat Dholakia as Pagal Fakir
Geeta Aggarwal Sharma as MLA Maitreyi Devi
Geeta Bisht as Shashi

Sound Tracks

“Masakali”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Mohit Chauhan
Music Label T-Series

“Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein)”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Rekha Bhardwaj, Kishori Gowariker, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Majumdar
Music Label T-Series

“Arziyan”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Javed Ali, Kailash Kher
Music Label T-Series

“Bhor Bhaye”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Shreya Ghoshal, Bare Gulam Ali Khan, Gujri Todi
Music Label T-Series

“Delhi 6″
Written by Vivienne Pocha, Claire
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by BlaaZe, Benny Dayal, Vivienne Pocha, Tanvi, Claire
Music Label T-Series

“Dil Gira Dafatan”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Ash King, Backing Chinmayee
Music Label T-Series

“Sasural Ghenda Phool”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman, Rajat Dholakia
Performed by Rekha Bhardwaj, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Majumdar
Music Label T-Series

“Hey Kaala Bandar”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Karthik, Naresh, Srinivas, Bonnie Chakraborty
Music Label T-Series

“Noor”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by Amitabh Bachchan
Music Label T-Series

“Rehna Tu”
Written by Prasoon Joshi
Composed by A.R. Rahman
Performed by A.R. Rahman, Benny Dayal, Tanvi
Music Label T-Series

Reviewed by ChathuRangA on 10 January 2011

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