Thursday, March 12, 2009

Delhi 6

Just watched Delhi 6. Actually liked the movie. It’s a regular Bollywood fare, so I’m not going to rave about it in any way. But yes, it was watchable, good even.

What I liked about the movie was that it uses a different technique to tell the same old story. Communal harmony is a story that has been told in Indian so many times and in so many ways. Mehra also tells the same story but uses a different technique – that of allegory and metaphor. I’m sure that’s why a lot of people didn’t like it. People like their stories to be flat and straightforward.

I like the way Mehra treats the character of Roshan. There is comparatively lesser sense of eroticisation in the movie compared to, say, Swades. There is a sense of acceptance. “Achhai hai, to hamari hai, burai hai to bhi hamari hai.” This is who we are and Mehra is unapologetic about it.

Gowarikar’s NRI (in Swades) fixes India’s problems and becomes Indian in the process. Mehra’s NRI becomes Indian and then fixes Indias problems. This is the part that I liked best.

I still don’t get why characters in Indian movies are so flat. And I’ve been noticing that it is the lead character that’s mostly flat. The rest of them seem to be okay. Let’s take the characters from this movie. Roshan’s uncles are both have their peculiarities. One (Om Puri) is authoritarian. The other one is doing well in business, considers himself a smart aleck and likes to show off. Bittu is a typical chandni chowk girl who transforms into a typical college girl as soon as she steps out of chandini chowk. She wants to be in Indian idol and has a secret thing going with the gali’s photographer. Mamdoo takes pride in his jalebis, gobar is the fool.

In short, all of these characters have something that defines them. They have characteristics, goals, aspirations. They have a life. But look at Roshan. What does he do? Is he a student? Does he work? What does he want to do in life? Any typical habit? Anything that he loves to eat? A quirk perhaps? No nothing. Roshan has no characteristics, no goals, no aspirations. He doesn’t have a life.

Why are lead characters in Indian movies so shallow and flat?

1 comment:

  1. I think its so we boring Indian males can associate with them easily ! :)

    But you know, I think thats kind of true with Hollywood too, the male leads always tend to be very bland.