Posted by: S/J | 03/04/2009

Review: Delhi 6

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
Cast: Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Rishi Kapoor, Om Puri, Prem Chopra
Rating: ****/5

“Delhi 6” captures the soul of India and tells a story about its people and their traditions, beliefs, and misconceptions in an enthralling and emotionally captivating manner…using a kala-bandar!


The story is about Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan), an American-Indian who travels to India only to accompany his ailing grandmother on her trip back to India from the United States. Roshan wanted to spend time with his grandmother but was adamant about going back to the United States very soon. However, he decides to stay there forever and the film illustrates that journey.

Roshan explores Delhi and mingles with the neighbors and feels like he is in the midst of family in spite of being surrounded by strangers. He then meets Bittu (Sonam Kapoor) and tries to support her by supporting her decisions about life that were against her family’s will. Their love story develops quietly yet beautifully.

The film tells a story about modern India and captures every aspect of it through a variety of characters. It sheds light on the on-going conflict between Hindus and Muslims, the never-changing view on minorities (untouchables) in some parts of India, and an individual’s fight with the evil within themselves.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has made yet another masterpiece after “Rang De Basanti” that depicts India as a nation with a potential for success. It shows that the people of India need to overcome some of their own obstacles and ancient beliefs to live in harmony among each other.

The director used an innovative way for unraveling the story. He used scenes from “Ram Leela” (an enactment of the Hindu religious text, Ramayan) that paralleled the storyline and gave the audience a religious context that sometimes contradicted and at other times corroborated the storyline. There was ample use of metaphors in the film that gave the story the same complexity and depth that the characters had.


This year’s Oscar-winner, A.R. Rehman composed the music and delivered gems that are unforgettable. The music was in-sync with the story of the film and in some instances was used in the background to bring forth the underlying themes of the film. We especially loved the use of “Rehna Tu” as a love song dedicated to Delhi. Some songs that really stood out were “Masakali,” “Genda Phool” and “Dil Gira.”

The lyrics were penned by Prasoon Joshi who won accolades when he wrote lyrics for “Rand De Basanti.” He proved himself once more and showed his varied talent, he wrote traditional lyrics like “Genda Phool” and at the same time did the hip-hop based song, “Kaala Bandar.” Rehman and Joshi’s collaboration has resulted in an exquisite piece of work, one that is contagious to a point where you will have to put the songs on repeat in the car…as we did, and we still haven’t changed it.

Binod Pradhan’s cinematography is breath-taking – the kite-chase, close-ups of the pigeon on the terrace and his innovative technique of making Kaala Bandar’s presence felt in the movie through rapid and fast-moving camera work. The costumes by Arjun Bhasin and Annamika Khanna represented “Old Delhi” and were true to the characters of the film. Much credit should also be given to the dialogue writer (Kamlesh Pandey), who made the words of each character seem real and relevant to life. We have to mention the use of khamoshi*…Mehra made full use of it.

Abhishek Bachchan gave an outstanding performance with minimal dialogues and extraordinary facial expressions to bring out the subtlety of the character. Nonetheless, he still played a mischievous and lovable character, which helped create a strong emotional tie between the audience and film. This is Sonam Kapoor’s second film, yet she emerges as a polished actor despite being surrounded by some of the best actors the Indian Film Industry has seen, like Waheeda Rehman and Om Puri – who have given outstanding performances.

Overall, a good film that tries to answer some questions that might be on every Indian’s mind. The film even gives everyone an opportunity to look deeper into themselves in the context of the society they live in. It’s not merely a film that entertains but digs deeper into the complexity of mankind.


  1. Delhi 6 to me was very preachy, first half really super boring..2nd has some good good..etc. I would give it something between 2 and like below average. Music I guess was good.

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