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Delhi Ambience - The New Craze of Bollywood Film-makers.

18 Mar, 2009 | Articles on Cinema

Delhi is no doubt the current mania in bollywood, but as I see it, keeping aside a few particular movies, this is only a seasonal trend being blindly followed by many. It is a well known fact in Hindi Film Industry that whenever a new subject becomes a hit in a big way, then you see several movies being announced around that same subject in no time. And many of them don’t even see any shooting after the lavish muhurat (Inauguration).

Why I have such an opinion is based on the fact that most of the recently released movies based on Delhi, didn’t even care to show the real essence of the city, its culture and its ambience. Delhi was just there in their posters and publicity campaigns. Delhi was mere a gimmick being played by the film-makers in order to encash the enigma of the city and explore some new world famous locations.
In simple language Delhi is not just Laal Quila (Red Fort), QutubMinar or Humayun Tomb. And it’s not just showing the wide roads of India Gate and Connaught Place. As rightly said in the lyrics of Delhi-6, the city is more like a Mehfil : “Yeh Shehar Nahin Mehfil Hai”. Almost all the movies which were served recently, took a particular part of Delhi whichever was best suited to them and then tried to make the best out of it. But leaving a few, they all simply missed the real feel of the city and were not able to show the City Delhi, as it is.
You will agree to my view after knowing that Delhi is the toughest location to shoot because of many reasons, including the most known - Security. Moreover, Delhi cannot even be compared to Mumbai in respect of movie infrastructure, availability of technicians and manpower. Still the film-makers are coming to the city because they need its world famous ambience to sell their product. This point is proved by the fact that Rakesh Omprakash Mehra has not shot “Delhi-6” at the real locations, but he had to make similar sets outside the city for his shoot.
It should be clear by now that Indian audiences are not fool to buy a film ticket only because it is showing Delhi. No, they will buy it only if the movie is offering them entertainment for their money. And the failure of “Delhi-6” is the best example of that. Indian viewers are now intelligent enough to see the lollipops being offered to them by the film-makers and they have stopped getting lured by them.
Here in support to my argument, I would like to mention, Where was Delhi in Delhi-6 and where was Chandni Chowk in Chandni Chowk to China? I couldn’t find it and so did many of the viewers who gave their verdict on these movies. It is more than evident from these two movies that Delhi was only being used by their respective directors only as a shoulder to rest their guns on it.
This year released movies based on Delhi theme were :  Delhi-6, Chandni Chowk To China, Jugaad & Dev-D.
And in the previous few years we have seen : Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Khosla Ka Ghosla, Black & White, Sunday, Bewafaa, Cheeni Kum, Delhi Heights, Rang De Basanti, Fanaa, Dil Se, Lamhe, Chandni, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila, New Delhi Times, Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Ab Dilli Door Nahin and many more which I may have skipped.
Out of this year released all the movies showed some part of Delhi in their own way, but they were all simply unimpressive. “Delhi-6” uselessly showed the Ramlila at Ramlila Ground and the narrow lanes of the area with communal touch. “Chandni Chowk To China” hardly had any Chandni Chowk in it. “Dev-D” showed Pahar Ganj area as a hardcore hub of drugs, abuse and prostitution. Only “Jugaad” showed the real life tragedy of Sealing, but that too in a funny way. So in that respect, nothing was great this year.
But in some previous years we have seen more accurate and detailed account of the city and here are the movies which showed Delhi in the best way :
No.1 goes to “Oye Lucky Lucky Oye” which has many exact references to the city in its various sequences. For instance, note the dialogues of Paresh Rawal when he is doing a Live show in the area of Jaats in the outskirts of Delhi. And more specifically the brilliant debut by Manjot Singh as the young Lucky, who also got the Filmfare Award for his acting skills shown in the film.
No.2  goes to “Khosla Ka Ghosla” for accurately showing the Punjabi ambience of the city and its people. The Khuranas in the movie and all the characters representing Delhi in its purest form were very well concieved , wriiten and directed.
Interestingly both these movies are directed by the same person Dibaker Bannerjee who had lived in the city himself and experienced the people and the events first hand. Hats off to him, for his true to life portrayal of the city.
Here you can say, that Rakesh Omprakash Mehra and Akshay Kumar also lived in Delhi having real experience of the city. But sadly they were both more occupied by the commercial angle of the plot and missed the realistic need of the subject.
Another movie which I remember showed the Dilwali Dilli in its purest form was, Sai Pranjpye’s “Chashme Buddoor”. The University Campus Area, Lodhi Gardens and other references to the city were used in a highly enjoyable style in this famous comedy. But the Delhi in this movie will be enjoyed more by the people who have seen the city few decades back and may not be that enjoyable to the younger generation.
“Cheeni Kum” also had a fine sequence using the Ashoka Pillar in Qutub Minar towards its climax, which was another first in Indian Cinema.
In the end I would say that it’s just a temporary phase when everyone is following the trend. Apart from Dibaker Bannerjee, almost everyone is using Delhi only to add a new perspective to their projects. And as the master film-maker Aamir Khan, is coming up with his home production “Delhi-Belly”, you should expect more on the same lines from the producer directors of Mumbai, again following the trend blindly..

Tags : Aamir Khan Productions, Aamir Khan’s Delhi Belly, Amir Khan Productions, Deepak Bannerjee, Delhi Ambience, Delhi Belly, Delhi Craze in Bollywood Film-makers, Delhi Crazy Bollywood, Delhi Lanes, Delhi Mania in Bollywood, Dilli Belly, Manjot Singh in OLLO, Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, Paresh Rawal, The New Craze of Bollywood Film-makers.
18 Mar 2009 / Comments ( 5 )

You are very right Bobby,
Delhi has a different feel with historical association with world famous poets, rulers and politicians.
All these movies touched only a part of it.

Nice reading your post....
Keep it up!

nice post dear ..keep it up baby....i like your post very much.oooouum ha...and i like delhi very much also
Bobby Sing

Thanks Ashvin for appreciation. 
And keep logging...


its Dibakar Banerjee..
Bobby Sing

Thanks ZeRo for the correction. 

Keep Visiting....Cheers!

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