Since last few years a lot of focus of Hindi film makers has shifted towards Delhi. Delhi has its unique culture, vibe and a mixture of retro with modern. Movies like Delhi 6, Delhi Belly, Band Baaja Baarat, No One Killed Jessica etc have captured Delhi nicely but i feel no one captures Delhi Better than Dibakar Banerjee. The thing with Dibakar is that he gets Delhi, he understands the variation in accents, in behaviour, in clothes etc and he portrays it brilliantly on screen. No wonder in this article named “The Delhi Trilogy”, 2 out of 3 are Dibakar’s movies. Also the subtle humor in all the movies in this list will be understood much better by those who have spent there entire life in Delhi and that’s a big compliment to the film makers.
So presenting the 3 movies i feel represent Delhi the most, having lived in Delhi all my life, these are the movies i can connect the most with.
Khosla Ka Ghosla! (2006)
Directed By: Dibakar Banerjee
Cast: Anupam Kher, Boman Irani, Ranveer Shorey, Parvin Dabbas and Vinay Pathak
What happens when you con a rule-abiding citizen and his family of there entire life earnings which he invested in a land plot? Thats what Khurana (Boman Irani) did to the Khosla’s. Enter the younger son (Parvin Dabbas) who earlier was off to USA but now seeing how disheartened his dad is, he stays and plots a brilliant coup to get the money and his land back from Khurana with help of his on-off girlfriend’s theater friends. Helping him along is Khurana’s ex-associate turned passport agent Asif (Vinay Pathak) and Khosla’s elder son Bunty (Ranvir Shorey).
Written by Jaideep Sahni and directed by Dibakar Banerjee, who were both working together at an ad agency at one time, Khosla ka Ghosla is a roller coaster of a film, a black comedy disguised as a rip roaring entertainer. This movie was almost an unknown entity before it made its name in the festival circuits and then was picked up by UTV. It got a pretty decent response in theaters for an indie film and launched Dibakar Banerjee’s career as one of the finest directors we have in Hindi cinema.
Performance wise all actors are in top form here, specially Boman Irani and Ranvir Shorey. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been for Boman, a Parsi who has spent his entire life in Mumbai to deliver such an impressive performance as a conniving Delhi property dealer and trust me he delivers it brilliantly. Dibakar has an ear for accents and it shows in almost all of his movies specially in this one. The Delhi-Punjabi accents of Bunty and Khurana to the Jatt accents of the wrestlers and goons, the research done by the crew shows in all aspects here. A movie which should not be missed by anyone irrespective of the facts weather they have lived in Delhi or not.
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Directed by: Rakesh Omprakash Mehra
Cast: Aamir Khan, K.Madhavan, Siddharth, Soha Ali Khan, Sharman Joshi
Nominated for a BAFTA and one of the few Hindi movies in IMDb’s top 250 list, Rang De Basanti was the movie which probably started the trend of basing your movies around Delhi and Punjab region. Based on lives on 6 Delhi University’s present and past students, RDB tells story of a British Documentary maker Sue ( Alice Patten) whose grandfather was an officer in the East India Company transferred in the pre-partitioned India and who had left her a diary telling her about the young Indian revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaq Ullah Khan and rest. She goes to Delhi University and convinces a group of students, Karan (Siddharth), Sukhi (Sharman Joshi), Aslam (Kunal Kapoor) and Sonia (Soha Ali Khan) along with ex-student DJ (Aamir Khan) and a social activist Laxman Pandey (Atul Kulkarni) to play the roles of revolutionaries in her Documentary which takes the entire crew to various lenghts of North India as they re create some famous historical events like the Kakori train robbery.
Things take a turn for bad when Sonia’s fiancee and group’s close friend Ajay Rathod, a Flight Lt. in Indian Air Force dies in a plane crash and the defense minister claims on national TV that it was because of Pilot’s own stupidity that this happened. The group then take law in their own hands following the footsteps of the revolutionaries to bring justice to their friend.
Directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Rang De Basanti was a huge hit both commercially and amongst the critics. Delhi was like an entire character in this movie and city’s nightlife, college establishments and amazing historical heritage was displayed quite nicely. Famous places like India Gate, Old Delhi, India Habitat center etc were used to maximum effect.
Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! (2008)
Directed By: Dibakar Banerjee
Cast: Abhay Deol, Paresh Rawal, Manu Rishi
No movie has ever captured Delhi and Delhiites as Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!. When i first saw this movie i was like “This is so Delhi” after almost every line. No wonder the critics who give 4 and 5 star ratings to all Shahrukh and Salman Khan movies gave an average rating to this when it came out first in 2008. Boasting some of the most memorable characters like Bengali, Gogi Bhai and Dolly, this is perhaps the most quotable Hindi movie since Andaz Apna Apna.
Starring Abhay Deol as Lovinder “Lucky” Singh, a charismatic and daring con artist who duped millions from the rich and influential of Delhi’s society, the movie follows his story from a kid living in Tilak Vihar to his rise as the “Superchor”. It tells us how lucky started from humblest of the origins, ran away from home, made powerful friends and enemies, fell in love, got arrested multiple times but somehow escaped the successfully every time till finally the law caught up to him. Along this journey we meet some gems of characters like Lucky’s Dad (Paresh Rawal), his best friend Bangali (Manu Rishi), Dolly (Richa Chadda) the drunken beauty who wanted lucky to take advantage of him, his mentor Gogi Bhai (again Paresh Rawal), his love Sonal (Neetu Chandra) and Dr. Handa (yes, Paresh Rawal again) the only person who ever managed to double cross Lucky.
Written and Directed by Dibakar Banerjee, this confirmed his status one of the most innovative directors working in Bollywood. The way he captured the minutest of details regarding the life in Delhi is something which made this movie stand out from the rest. In terms of stand out performance, Manu Rishi as Bangali is outstanding. His antics, his dialogue delivery and his body language is near perfect as Lucky’s unreliable sidekick. I have seen him in a few other movies since then but this remains by far his best role.
Another thing which separates this movie from the rest is its soundtrack, by Sneha Khanwalkar, which is one of the most kick-ass soundtrack in ages to be featured in a Hindi movie. This was Sneha’s big break as now she is regarded as one of the most promising music directors in Industry and has given music in movies like Gangs of Waseypur and Detective Byomkesh Bakshi!
Chances are you have already seen this movie, if you haven’t then you know what to do.
I hope you like this list of movies which i feel capture the vibe of Delhi the best, do make us know what is your view on it in the comments section below.