Delhi Belly (2011)

Delhi Belly is the tale of three regular guys living together in Delhi. Nitin Beri (Kunaal Roy Kapur) is a photo-journalist who is trying to blackmail his landlord so he doesn’t have to pay rent, Arup (Vir Das) is a graphic designer languishing in a mediocre marketing company and Tashi (Imran Khan) is a journalist looking for something more out of life than interviewing vacant pop-stars and settling down with his well-to-do fiancee. Their lives are thrown out of whack when Tashi’s girlfriend unknowingly becomes a courier for diamond smuggler and all round bastard, Somayajulu (Vijay Raaz). After a series of incidents, the diamonds meant for Somayajulu are swapped for Nitin’s stool sample meant for his doctor. From this point on, it goes really tits up.

On first glance, Delhi Belly may seem a bit of oddity. With it’s copious amounts of swearing, fart jokes and violence, it doesn’t seem to be your usual Bollywood fare. For those curious, however, there are at least two song and dance numbers, so it’s not totally unusual. Okay, the first routine starts off with a cry of ‘I am 21st century man and she has given me blow-job’, but… still.

Delhi Belly is in a similar vein to The Hangover (in fact this could quite easily be the Hangover Part 3) with a streak of Guy Ritchie thrown in.

Good Guy Ritchie, I mean.

Guy Ritchie that wasn’t doing what his ex-wife wanted. You know this thing. We move from one set piece to the other with breathless abandon and it all falls into place reasonably well come the conclusion.

The leads, in particular Vir Das, inhabit their characters well. A scene where Vir Das tries to look casual wearing a Burqa in front of a police officer is a hoot, as he wordlessly tries to drink without removing his hijab. The only weak link is Imran Khan who seems to sleepwalk through the entire film, as if his sole contribution is enough to just give smoldering looks to the camera. The smooth looking bastard…

With 95% of the dialogue in English, there is opportunity for Delhi Belly to ‘cross-over’, though it’s more likely than not that this will be remade to star Bradley Cooper with a CGI monkey. Yeah, there’s always a CGI monkey.

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2 comments

  1. Is making your audience think about feeling ill and shitting themselves every time they read the title of your film a good idea. I can’t see the inevitable remake being called “Seriously…there was something about those prawns last night and now….through a fucking needle mate, really.”

    1. The tagline is Shit Happens… They really wanted to keep the excrement motif running throughout the promotional campaign… Which is odd considering poo takes up about 2% of the film.

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