Delhi Belly (Abhinay Deo and Akshat Verma, 2011)
Delhi Belly is a slang term for diarrhea, which plays a major role in the film. If this is something that’s going to offend you, you might as well stop here. It’s not like the film hasn’t been excoriated by hundreds of Bollywood traditionalists for being filled with toilet humor already. On the other hand, if you like sharp, snappy crime comedies and can put the toilet humor in the back of your mind, it’s not a bad little movie. And something coming out of Bollywood that runs less than two hours? Can you imagine? (For the anti-Bollywood crowd, the main reason the movie is so short is that it contains only one full musical number, and that over the end credits, with a snippet of a related musical number in a dream sequence halfway through that lasts about thirty seconds.)
The movie revolves around three slacker roommates, Tashi (Janne Tu…Ya Jaane Na‘s Imran Khan), Arup (The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb‘s Vir Das), and Nitin (Panga Naa Lo‘s Kunaal Roy Kapur) who are forever trying to come up with ways to pay the rent and keep food in the house. Tashi, who normally works as a freelance journalist, is asked by his girlfriend Sonia (Shenaz Treasury, currently appearing in American soap One Life to Live) to pick up a package for her and deliver it, because she’s got too much on her plate at the moment. Nitin, at the same time, is suffering the malady in the title and can’t stray too far from the restroom—and since Tashi is already going out, can he drop off a stool sample at the local doctor’s office? All seems to be going well until the doctor and the recipient of the other package, a slimy-looking guy nicknamed Cowboy (Monsoon Wedding‘s Vijay Raaz), open the bags they’ve been given. The doctor has a cache of smuggled diamonds… and Cowboy’s got a pile of excrement. You can guess which of the two is happier. And which of the two is going to try and figure out where his diamonds are, and how far he’s willing to go to get them back.
It’s amusing, though it’s trying to play in a very big sandbox and no one involved with the film seems to have done more research than sitting through Chinatown a couple of times and crossing it with some Beat Takeshi comedy skits. Which doesn’t make it any less fun, though it’s pretty derivative. But as long as you’re in the mood for this sort of thing, it will deliver what you’re after. And the Return of Disco Fighter sequence in the closing credits? Worth the price of admission by itself. ***
Original trailer. DID SOMEONE SAY UNSUBBED?