Friday, July 8, 2011

Delhi Belly with a conscience

I have been resisting the urge to do a piece on "Delhi Belly", but its been steering up a storm in my pysche as well as in this side of the globe. (The only contender thats giving "Google+" FB updates a stiff competition). So I let myself loose...In fact, thats the moral of the story, as I get it

The story is about 3 of the India's 20+ generation  that live on their own terms, make their own rules and of course have no hang-ups about sex and shit(ty) talk. (Btw, I'm hoping someone is patenting the "3 guys Bollywood formula". Nothing has succeeded like a "3 friends in a movie" in the recent past. I'm sure "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara" will only prove this point further.)
Nitin is the stereotypical fat friend, whose love for sensory pleasures is intact, but the means are always questionable. (i.e If you can't have girls, pin-up photos would do. If you can't have chicken tikka in a restaurant, germ-ful hawker-handed ones would do.). Whereas Arup is your quintessential "loser" guy. He's talented but in a dead-end job. He's lovable but heart-broken. (Comes in handy when the filmmakers need to make a parody.) But both Arup and Nitin's characters are there to accentuate Tashi's
(the clear hero amongst the three...with a gorgeous, well-bred, girlfriend, non-chalant attitude and a head that can think on its feet.). Their love for mess and desire to hang-on tight to their hostel lives is what keeps them together. Crude language and cuss words come to them as naturally as their daily ablutions that are so gloriously elaborated in the movie.

But scratching the surface beyond the crassness and the unabashed language, what is the story telling us? Its giving us a peek into the lifestyle of a certain young Indian generation, albeit with jarring nakedness.
Interwoven throughout the movie are subtle(like the conclusion to Tashi's love triangle) and not-so subtle (like the disdain for the gifted Red Santro) endorsements of the fact that they have no qualms about prioritizing independence and individualism over money. While in the same vein, priortizing a comfortable life over love (as in Arup's girlfriend case.).

True to their cool attitude, they subscribe to the school of thought where two-timing is ok, lesbanism is empowering, and even blackmailing is fine if the blackmailee is cheating on his wife. But this is contrasted with their sub-conscious yet firmer beliefs such as "Friendship is forever", "Money is never more important than people in your life", and "Follow your passion (whether its about the girl or the job)".

So for all those who think that the movie has no messages...here's one that I found hidden in the layers of laughter and cuss language. Its that independence, passion and friendships should not be compromised, whatever the cost. Thats only apt, considering the rut of rat race we get subjected to, after college. Thanks to Aamir Khan for showing it in a way the rest of the 20+ generation would relate to or enjoy.

And for the rest of us...its ok to let yourself loose once in a while. (i.e. not be embarrassed to laugh at the toilet humor).
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