Delhi Belly

Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
This new Bollywood film, the opening movie at this year’s London Indian Film Festival, is a raucous, potty-mouthed caper, featuring the antics of three hapless amigos. Directed by Abhinay Deo, it boasts the tagline ‘shit happens’ and, as the title suggests, a running joke involving gastric woes. ‘Delhi Belly’ is peppy, sporadically hilarious and its female characters are of little consequence – in short, it’s the less sleazy Indian equivalent of ‘The Hangover’.

Young Bollywood star Imran Khan is Tashi, a journalist living in squalor with his partners-in-crime: rotund photographer Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapur) and geeky cartoonist Arup (comedian Vir Das). Tashi is engaged, but with little enthusiasm, to the glamorous but overbearing Sonia (Shenaz Treasurywala), an unwitting mule for mysterious Vladimir (Danish star Kim Bodnia). When Sonia entrusts the delivery of a mystery package to the trio, their inevitable cock-up triggers ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’-style gangster shenanigans. Meanwhile Tashi’s attention is drawn by a free-spirited colleague, Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan).

‘Delhi Belly’ makes an undisguised, earnest bid for crossover success and is aimed squarely at the youth market. It’s predominantly in English and, despite its pretty mainstream origins (Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s production company is responsible), it’s profane and cartoonishly violent.

It teems with youthful verve but it’s also derivative and inconsistent, with patchy storytelling and an ending too clearly inspired by ‘True Romance’. Tashi’s romantic complications are cursorily presented and there is a distinct lack of frisson between Khan and Jagannathan. Nevertheless, Das and Kapur make for effective sidekicks, it’s pacy, fitfully funny and, in its determination to upend cultural expectations, likeably mischievous.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Friday July 1 2011
Duration:
102 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Abhinay Deo
Cast:
Kim Bodnia
Vir Das
Shenaz Treasurywala
Kunaal Roy Kapur