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Movie review: Delhi Belly

Cliched and filled with puerile humour, this Indian comedy designed to attract a broader, English-speaking audience falls flat, apart from one interesting story line.
A scene from Delhi Belly from the first-time director Abhinay Deo.
A scene from Delhi Belly from the first-time director Abhinay Deo.

Delhi Belly

Director: Abhinay Deo

Starring: Imran Kahn, Kunaal Roy Kapur, and Vir Das

**

This comedy about three flatmates (Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur and Vir Das) who get entangled in a smuggling operation tries too hard to copy the smash hit success of 3 Idiots (it's even produced by Bollywood legend and 3 Idiots star Aamir Khan) and not hard enough to win the audience over with character development and fine jokes. It is the latest in a growing number of Indian films to be presented in English; a clear attempt at accessing the lucrative non-Indian resident audience around the globe who pay far more for their cinema tickets than their Indian counterparts. The philosophy of first-time director Abhinay Deo seems to be to run through every cliché in the book while making the humour as puerile as possible; some of the jokes about flatulence wouldn't seem out of place in a gross-out picture. Wanting to be a crime caper in the style of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Lucky Number Slevin, the cinematography from Jason West is a stylish homage to 1970s Bollywood. There is an interesting storyline that revolves around the soon-to-be-married Tashi (Khan) becoming entranced by a fellow journalist. But the main plotline, involving the delivery of a mystery package to a local gangster that is messed up by the three flatmates living in a squalid Delhi apartment, and a side-plot involving the blackmailing of an landlord, are both simply clichéd.

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Updated: June 30, 2011 04:00 AM

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