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Delhi 6 (2009)

aka Delhi 6

Details: 138 mins · Hindi

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Cast:

Small Roshan Mehra
Small Ali Beg
Small Inspector Ranvijay
Small Vimla Sharma
Small Fatima Mehra
Small Rama Bua
Small Dadaji
Small Baba Bandarmaar
Small Jai Gopal Sharma
Small Annapurna's husband
No_movie_poster Suresh
No_movie_poster Rama Sharma
No_movie_poster Kumar
No_movie_poster Haji Suleiman
Small Annapurna Mehra
Small Mamdu
Small Lala Bhairam
Small Madan Gopal Sharma
Small Jalebi
Small Gobar
Small Bittu Sharma
No_movie_poster Ramleela Narrator

Plot:

Roshan (Abhishek Bachchan) accompanies his dying grandmother Annapurna (Waheeda Rahman) to their ancestral property in crowded Delhi. Roshan is initially stunned by the mad rush of neighbours: Ali Baig (Rishi Kapoor) the renaissance man, feuding brothers Madangopal (Om Puri) and Jaigopal (Pavan Malhotra), their wives and families, Mamdu (Deepak Dobriyal) the halwai, Gobar (Atul Kulkarni) the simpleton, Sethji and many others. Roshan eventually warms to the place and wholeheartedly embraces the sense of community. He accompanies his grandmother to the Ramleelas, hangs out at Mamdu's sweet stall, plays with the children, and gradually becomes steeped in the culture.


Roshan is also slowly exposed to some sobering realities. When Annapurna faints (due to fluctuating blood sugar levels) and they scramble to get her to a hospital, he finds the roads choked by traffic because of an impromptu ceremony around a cow in labour; he is further surprised when his grandmother, despite her stupor, stumbles forth to seek the blessings of a sacred cow; and he is astounded when the local police seem to encourage the practice. Roshan begins to understand the feuds and social issues in the community. Madangopal's sister Rama (Aditi Rao Hydari) is unwed (at an age when spinsterhood is a significant social no-no) and Jaigopal's electrical business is going nowhere. The lecherous old local money lender Lala Bhairam (Prem Chopra) is married to a young woman who, in turn, is having an affair with a young photo-studio hand Suresh (Cyrus Sahukar). Suresh is a double timer who is also pursuing Madangopal's daughter Bittu (Sonam Kapoor). Bittu secretly wants out of the stuck-in-time Old Delhi; she secretly prepares to audition for a popular reality show Indian Idol in the hope that she will win her way to Mumbai. Roshan comes to appreciate Ali Baig's cosmopolitan tastes and is surprised to learn that he fancied his mother many years ago and has since never married. And Roshan comes to empathise with the lower-caste trash collector girl Jalebi (Divya Dutta) who must endure untouchability at social functions except for when some of the brutish locals seek company. Roshan crosses paths with the loutish inspector Ranvijay who blithely stretches his authorities to manhandle the locals and becomes acquainted with the assembly-woman who displays political power at every opportunity.


In the meantime, the news media is all abuzz with tales of a fearsome terror known only as the "Kala Bandar" (The Black Monkey). This miscreant (never shown clearly in the film) attacks people, steals and has caused the death of a few innocent people. (These deaths are mostly accidental, as in the example of a pregnant housewife who was supposedly startled by a silhouette and fell down a flight of stairs or the unfortunate man who was briefly zapped by a live electric wire.) Nonetheless, the local news picks up on every move by the kala bandar and loudly blares about all his exploits. Jaigopal, the self-proclaimed electronics genius, theorises that the kala bandar likely has an electrical circuit (to zap his victims) and may be electrocuted by water; this rumour is quickly propagated.


The film takes several turns. After some initial friction, Roshan and Bittu warm to each other. Roshan intervenes when Bittu is about to receive a prospective suitor arranged by Madangopal. He echoes Bittu's desire to pursue other dreams; this drives the suitor away and brings Madangopal's wrath upon him. He gradually begins to fall in love with her but is confused when Bittu expresses her affections for Suresh (she believes he will support her dreams). Around this time, the kala bandar attacks Old Delhi. The simple-minded locals bring in a tantrik Shani baba to exorcise the demonic influence of the kala bandar. After an extended havan ceremony, the tantrik baba, clearly an self-aggrandizing actor who dislikes the inter-religious equality practised in the community, speculates that the local mosque must have been built over the ruins of a temple that was demolished for the purpose. He thus initiates a vicious cycle of animosity in the previously harmonious Hindu-Muslim community. After the initial peaceful demonstrations (by rallies and angry meetings), a mob goes on rampage and attacks some of the Muslims and their shops. This prompts one Muslim shop-owner, Mamdu, to set fire to the tree temple. Roshan attempts to make peace but is rebuffed because of his mixed religious parentage. The locals ultimately settle on the fact that the kala bandar is hiding out in the sooni galli (a dark lane known to harbour evil presences) and must be destroyed. They command the simpleton Gobar to fetch a lock of hair from the evil enemy so that the tantrik can burn it and complete the exorcism.


Roshan becomes aware of Bittu's plan to elope with Suresh and that Suresh is a low-life two timer. He dons a monkey mask and outfit and stealthily follows Bittu by leaping across the rooftops. In the meantime Gobar ventures into the sooni galli where Jalebi gives him a lock of her hair so he may return in triumph and bring peace to the community. At that moment, Roshan (in his monkey outfit) intercedes in Bittu and Suresh's rendezvous and causes the cowardly Suresh to flee. Bittu raises a loud alarm before Roshan unmasks himself, Roshan tells Bittu he loves her where she also responds to his feelings,the two share a hug, whereupon the angry locals storm the place. Believing Roshan to be the kala bandar, they beat him to within an inch of his life and Mamdu shoots him. Then, Gobar comes up with a startling deduction about the reality of the kala bandar; that the kala bandar is in fact the vices residing inside the people of Delhi 6 and something that the people must defeat within themselves. In the end the neighborhood realizes this and helps Roshan to reach a hospital with the help of an ambulance. But while on the way, Roshan does not respond to the treatment leaving people to believe that he died. In the meanwhile Roshan meets his grandfather (pretends to be after his death) in the terrace of a building in Delhi. Roshan's grandfather (Amitabh) reveals that there is a Kala Bandar in his heart and that is why he wanted to ask forgiveness to his mom for not accepting their inter-religious marriage. After that he said he will meet him once again. Roshan responds to his treatment and everyone is happy that he is not dead. The film ends with Roshan understanding the diversity of Delhi 6.


During the end credits, the important characters appears before the mirror and reveal their emotions during their days in Delhi 6.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2009-02-20 : United States of America

DVD : 2009-06-16