Delhi Belly: 100-ish minutes of innuendos, diarrhoea and utter mayhem, whilst the air turns progressively more blue by the second. It’s clear that this film does not intend to cater to all types of people, and if you’re not a fan of swearing, fart jokes and crude sexual implications then be sure to steer clear.
In the same vein as by films such as "Lock, Stock…" and "Snatch", the story revolves around Tashi (Imran Khan), Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapur) and Arup (Vir Das) – 3 roommates who are struggling to pay the rent for their rundown apartment with a limited water supply. They get caught up in a dangerous situation when some diamonds – illegally imported by Tashi’s fiancée (Shenaz Treasury) – get mixed up with…a stool sample. The three, along with Tashi’s colleague Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan) embark on a mission to avoid the mobsters. To add to the chaos, each of the three are simultaneously dealing with personal issues – falling in love, being recently-dumped and unemployed, and suffering from a bad case of Delhi Belly after eating chicken from a hugely unhygenic street vendor. Needless to say, much hilarity ensues.
Some of the jokes are highly relatable, including the noisy, uncompromising neighbours and the annoying landlord, but by the second half, some may find themselves zoning out. The constant swearing becomes a tad tiresome, and there are only so many toilet-related jokes you can take before feeling like you’ve heard/seen it all before. If you’re a fan of that sort of thing, then you’ll be laughing from the start right until Aamir Khan‘s "Disco Fighter" item song during the end credits. Others, however, will reach a point where they’ll find themselves willing the plot to get a move on without having to listen to any more bowel-movement-related dialogue.
The clever script (by Akshat Verma) coupled with the great directing by Abhinay Deo means that the film flows relatively well, and thankfully the characters don’t break out into song-and-dance numbers every 20 minutes. Ram Sampath‘s music is brilliant without being obtrusive. The lead actors are absolutely brilliant, effortlessly portraying a youthful idiocy and carefree attitude. It’s nice to see Imran Khan doing something other than his usual sappy, boy-next-door role, and Poorna Jagannathan is outstanding, exuding a sensual, flippant-yet-mature disposition that makes her extremely likeable.
This film will have some people in stitches, whilst simultaneously alienating another group of people. Aamir Khan Productions took a big risk in making this after the spate of family-oriented films, but it was a risk worth taking – if only to make the statement that there’s a new breed of Indian cinema around, and it’s one that some people will absolutely love. Delhi Belly is hardly the most the original film ever to be made, but it is entertaining, and will certainly be a massive hit among certain groups. 3.5/5
Words: Kavya Rajagopalan © Thamarai.com 2011