Abhishek, Sonam charm New York
One may have seen Bollywood stars dancing amidst the tulip fields in Holland or singing a song at New York’s Time Square. But do you remember seeing an auto rickshaw or Delhi shops at Times Square? Well, in writer-director Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra’s briskly-paced and often hilarious film Delhi-6, the make-believe world springs up suddenly amidst real-life like stories firmly set in Old Delhi.
In an utterly beguiling scene, the character of Waheeda Rehman suddenly takes ill, and has to be transported to the hospital in an auto rickshaw from her home in a narrow alley in Old Delhi. But a large reverential crowd gathered to see a cow deliver in the middle of a busy street stalls the auto. By the time Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) disperses the crowd, he cannot find his grandmother. You guessed it — she has not only recovered but has also been inching towards the cow to have the darshan of the holy delivery.
The fertile imagination Mehra and writer-lyricist Prasoon Joshi fill the film with a number of unforgettable incidents. And with an admirable ensemble cast that offers fine performances from Vijay Raaz, the self-important and corrupt police officer, Divya Dutta as the sensuous outcaste and Rishi Kapoor as a lost lover who offers Roshan a few life lessons, Mehra still extracts engaging performances from Abhishek and Sonam Kapoor.
Add to the cast hundreds of pigeons, especially Masakali, that symbolizes the spirit of Bittu (Sonam), and the kala bandar (black monkey) that not only creates havoc and allows religious bigots to rile against the Muslims in the locality but also, ironically, unites the warring Hindus and Muslims in the end.