Chalo Dilli makes you Smile

“An entertainer”, “Vinay Pathak” and “light-hearted” are amongst the few obvious words that will come to one’s mind after watching this 2 hour long Bollywood flick. After a seriously staged Dasvidaniya, director Shashant Shah tries his hand at comedy with Chalo Dilli. With a small star cast and a not-so-unique story, the director manages to leave a smile on the faces of audiences at the end of 120 minutes.

The movie is all about a journey of two strangers, totally unlike each other who have it in their fate to meet each other on their way from Mumbai to Delhi, which goes past Jaipur, accidently. Lara Dutta, as Mihika Mukherjee plays the role of a young aspiring lady who owns a multinational financial institution. She essays the role portraying pride in attitude, looks and voice to perfection, while Vinay Pathak, playing Manu Gupta is just the opposite. He is unsophisticated, carefree and pretty much down-to-earth.

As destiny had it, both of them pursue their journey to Delhi, together, and what follows is a sequence of goof-ups, comical errors and yes, different modes of commutation making up the way, truck, camel, train, taxi and what not. Amidst such a seen-before concept, what makes the movie stand out are the witty dialogues and amazing thought-provoking one-liners. On a personal note, I feel that Arshad Syed has done a commendable job in putting the dialogues in accurate positions, almost every time.

The movie does not have many characters and relies heavily on the shoulders of its lead actors, largely on Vinay Pathak, to pull off the show. However, Vinay Pathak rises up to the occasion and delivers it right throughout the movie. The movie lacks a bit on the musical front, with lack of confidence on the music of the movie clearly visible. The song matargashtiyan is nice, however.

The points scored and the expectations raised by the movie in the first half is not lived up to by the second half with some loosely held scenes, which seemed unnecessary. But what leaves you with a smile are the expected scenes delivered with an amazing touch by the actors. The scenes at the dhaba, the interaction with the truck driver and the conversation with the taxi driver leave you wanting for more. The urgency of Lara Dutta to reach Delhi blended with the increasing tally of goof-ups by Vinay Pathak and circumstances make it a lethal laughing combo.

The Bengali couple and the ticket checker make their stay at the screen worthy besides giving the movie, an Indian touch. The way Vinay Pathak deals with the ticket checker makes one feel pity for the state of affairs in India, one more time. The Bengali couple is sweet and fluent in their acting. The song Laila, an item number is pulled off nicely by Yana Gupta, however, it is just an item number and is not of much consequence to the movie.
The movie reveals a few things towards the end by spilling out some emotions and showcasing the lion-heart of a man who laughs off all the minor griefs in his life when his life is troubled by a major disaster. Vinay Pathak and Lara Dutta do the emotional bit, emotionally well. Akshay Kumar, too has a cameo to play in the movie, and brings a smile to the face of all, merely by his presence.

Chalo Dilli is for all who have been wanting bits and pieces of comedy in their ever so busy lives. The Bollywood flick is light-hearted, sends across beautiful yet important messages through witty dialogues and most importantly, makes you Smile!!

Animesh Ganguly