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Delhi Belly review: A slice of bitter-sweet dessert!

Delhi Belly
Abhinay Deo
Imran Khan, Kunal Roy Kapoor, Vir Das
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Dark is in; fluff`s out. With Shaitan only three weeks old, comes Delhi Belly. A delicious slice of bitter-sweet dessert, the film has Imran Khan as the only star among the ensemble cast.

Three roomies share a rented, run-down flat. With water supply only for two hours, insects crawling over a half-eaten pizza, and couches for beds, the three live a sub-human existence. Tashi (Imran Khan) working as a journalist is about to be engaged to airhostess Sonia (Shenaz Treasuryvala).

Arup (Vir Das) is a cartoonist and is struggling how to design a grinning banana that as per boss` instructions looks "seven per cent less happy". Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) is a photojournalist who is not above clicking the interviewee`s cleavage. Tashi meets Meneka, a fellow journalist who is just as trouble-loving and sardonic as him.

These three roomies and the two girls get pulled into a brush with criminals over a mix-up. Meanwhile, one of them gets a severe case of `Delhi Belly` that leads to several jokes around the character`s urgency to do the deed. This may piss off (pun unintentional) the faint-hearted viewer, but for the sportier audience who can laugh at the potty jokes, there`s better humour in store.

Director Abhinay Deo (Game) and writer Akshat Varma keep the pace breathless. The developments happen quick and fast, and the viewer is consistently involved. Indeed, the film`s situational comedy is far more hilarious that the attempts at witticisms, that occasionally sound sitcom-like. The second-half shows off a madcap finale, the most hilarious you`ve seen in a while.

Of course, you can question the authenticity of the portrayal of criminals who speak such polished English and are more buffoons than murderers. You also wonder about the uneasy relationship between Tashi and Sonia. Why is he still with her, when he appears disinterested? How did these seemingly dissimilar people get together in the first place?

Also, Tashi accepting a car and a flat from his future father-in-law (a form of dowry) is seriously uncool and unlike his character. Then there`s the entire plot that hangs on precarious ground would a seasoned diamond smuggler leave the delivery to a relative stranger? Not likely.

But then, you brush away these questions and enjoy the film. There are so many aspects to savor. Like the actors who breathe life into the interestingly moulded characters. Imran Khan surprises with his restrained, nuanced, humour-laced rendering of Tashi. Poorna Jagannath (an actress from LA) is perfectly cast as the wry-humoured fellow journalist, who forms a connection with Tashi. Vir Das and Kunal Roy Kapoor are gifted actors with great comic dexterity. Shenaz Treasuryvala`s character, portrayed as being high-handed, is bewildering, but the actress does a very good job of making the character intriguing and fun.

Delhi Belly shows us that Bollywood is ready to encompass all genres. Kudos for the makers for this fine film. Enjoy!

Verdict: Four stars


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