Thursday, June 30, 2011

delly belly transformers 3 review

A still from Delhi BellyAseem Chhabra feels that Delhi [ Images ] Belly will appeal hugely to some audiences and not much to others, proving that the age of the pan-India audience is dead. Post YOUR reviews here!

Many years ago an American Jewish woman expressed surprise when I told her that I had seen Woody Allen's [ Images ] Annie Hall as a teenager in India [Images ] and I had found the film very funny. She was baffled how I could have gotten the New York-specific humour in the Oscar-winning film such as in the scene when Diane Keaton's [ Images ] Annie orders pastrami on white bread with mayonnaise. I have since learned it is a Jewish tradition that pastrami should only be eaten on rye bread with mustard.

I have also learned that humour is relative, culture and age specific. Humour can be intelligent. As I have lived in New York, I have learned to admire and see the subtle nuances in Allen's films. And humour can be smart. I find Michael Winterbottom's new film The Trip exceptionally clever and funny, albeit laced with sadness. Slapstick humour works with large audiences, though usually not with me. But then I always laugh out loud in theatres when characters bump into walls (Fairuza Balk in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous), or into electric poles (the overweight Cyrus Broacha [ Images ] in Krishna D K's and Raj Nidimoru's 99), or -- my favourite -- when Michael Palin's Ken in A Fish Called Wanda accidentally kills the three Yorkshire terriers one by one!

I know humour can be crass, crude, in poor taste, and yet the Golmaal and Dhamaal franchises continue to make a lot of money. I have learned to accept the fact that in this world of ours some people can laugh and connect with Allen's lost, insecure souls as they meander through western cities (or lately in Europe), while others can thoroughly enjoy the loud-mouth over-the-top characters played by Arshad Warsi [ Images ], Javed Jaffrey [ Images ] and Riteish Deshmukh [ Images ] in Double Dhamaal! It is all humour -- all relative and subjective!

Which brings me to this week's new release, Delhi Belly, the third in a line of 'independent' films produced by Aamir Khan's [ Images ] production house (the first two being Peepli Live and Dhobi Ghat).

Delhi Belly is a slick, madly crazy production that is mostly funny -- although the humour will more likely appeal to the 20-something and perhaps 30-something public school educated, English speaking, big city audience that the film targets through its previews, videos and playful songs (from a spoof on K L Saigal's voice, to one that may or may not allude to a curse word). But I know for sure that my mother and just about everyone of her generation will be totally turned off watching Delhi Belly.

Delhi Belly is not at all in the same territory as Double Dhamaal. Its success -- and I hope the film works at the box office -- will make it clear that the idea of the pan-India audience is dead. There are many Indias watching many different cinemas. There is the India that follows Bhojpuri films, while another watches Punjabi fare with Gurdas Mann and Jimmy Shergill [ Images ]. There is an India that hugely worships Rajnikanth [ Images ] and another that totally rejects his work. Endhiran, dubbed in Hindi as Robot, was a box office disaster in North India.

There is an India that will appreciate Delhi Belly, and I credit the always astute Aamir Khan for understanding that fact. Khan put his money behind a project like Peepli Live, written by two unknown writers from Delhi -- Anusha Rizvi [ Images ] and Mahmood Farooqui. This time also he has taken the risk of investing in a fresh script by a young unknown Los Angeles-based scriptwriter Akshat Varma. Needless to say the risk was worth taking.

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