Movie: Chalo Dilli

Cast:  Lara Dutta, Vinay Pathak

Director: Shashant Shah

Jagran rating: Good

Story line: A journey to Delhi with Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathak will be amusing and hilarious to say the least. If this sounds alluring to you too and you want to treat yourself to this, just hop on to a seat in a multiplex.

Once you have undertaken the journey, you will be greeted by the host Shashant Singh who is the director of the film. Shahshant will take you along the whole journey introducing you to your fellow travelers and the journey to ‘Dilli’ will not only unfold in front of your eyes but you will get a feel of being there.

You will find Vinay Pathak (Manu Gupta) who is a paan chewing, talkative saree trader from Chandni Chowk and Lara Dutta(Mihika Mukherjee) who is a high profile investment banker taking the journey to ‘Dilli’.

These two miss matched persons undertake the arduous journey. Both are as different as day and night. Whereas the guy is loud-obnoxious-rude, Mihika is sweet-classy-well mannered and dignified.

Mihika is heading towards Delhi to meet her Delhi based husband. Due to some uncertain reasons Mihika and Manu, the most mismatched traveling partners, are forced to journey together from Mumbai to Delhi. It is the most bizarre journey through air, road and rail from Mumbai, via Jaipur to Delhi.

This a story of a strange journey full of adventure, madness and crazy comic moments with the oddest traveling couple ever! (She smokes Virginia Slims, he chews Gopal zarda).

The journey bridges the gap between their cultural and class divide. But what starts as an impossible trip, turns out to be a highly exciting one for the two. But above all, it's a journey which leaves Mihika in a tough situation where she finds that getting home turns out to be tougher than she thought.

Thumbs up: The director does a smart thing by not creating a cliched romantic angle between Manu and Mihika. The writer (Arshad Sayed) gives it an Indianized touch which shows us the real rustic India and its colourful people. The film is in whole a ‘desi’ watch, with elements like dhabas, camels, carts, deserts and train journey.

Post-marriage, this is Lara’s first release which is co-produced by her husband Mahesh Bhupathi’s production house. Double reason for her to celebrate as she fits the role to the T. She plays the role of a high profile banker perfectly who doesn't settle for anything less than business class and mineral water from Switzerland.

As usual, kudos goes to Vinay Pathak for delivering another effortless laudable performance and doing full justice to his character.

Though songs don't play an integral part of ‘Chalo Dilli’, 'Laila O Laila', featuring Yana Gupta and 'Matargastiya', are the most noticeable tracks (thanks to Lara’s real life husband Mahesh Bhupathi who gave the idea for the item song). Shashant Shah whose debut film was (Dasvidaniya) has managed to create a clean comedy (Chalo Dilli), which is not mindless and slapstick.

Thumbs down:  Though an amusing watch, there are a few loop holes that come out clearly. The writing is inconsistent and so is the direction.

A few flat moments in the first half could have been avoided. The post train portion that means the second half is a bit boring. A tight writing and a good narrative would have resulted in a more impactful film. Cinematography could have been more impressive. Such a power house actor like Vinay pathak could have been used in a more effective way.

Over all, ‘Chalo Dilli’ is an amusing watch, with terrific moments. If you are looking for a decent light watch, with Indian touch to be stressed out, then ‘Chalo Dilli’ is something you cannot miss out.

(*Bad, **Disappointing, ***Average, ****Good, *****Excellent)

JPN/Bureau