x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Khan in Dubai to promote risque new film that promises to offend

The Bollywood heartthrob is in town to promote his slapstick comedy, Delhi Belly.

DUBAI // The Bollywood actor Imran Khan will meet fans at a Dubai nightclub tonight (June 23) to promote a bawdy new movie that aims to push the boundaries of comedy in Indian cinema.

Khan, a heartthrob to millions, is visiting the emirate with his co-stars Vir Das and Kunaal Roy Kapur before the release of Delhi Belly on July 1. They will judge a singing competition at the Mirchi nightclub in the Ramee Royal Hotel in Karama, where five finalists selected from a radio competition will sing lines from a movie soundtrack topping the charts in India.

"The best singer who can sing non-stop without taking a breath will be the winner," said Renjith Nair, a manager at the hotel, who hopes about 1,000 fans will turn up.

"We will also show unreleased movie songs and scenes for fans to enjoy."

The movie is largely in English with some Hindi dialogue. Its title shares the name of a stomach bug notorious for troubling tourists who travel to India.

While crass jokes are part of several Indian comedies, film-makers stop short of using foul language. But the makers of the new movie, with an adult or 'A' certificate, make no apologies for its obscenity and toilet humour.

It centres on three friends who find themselves on the hit-list of an organised crime network amid graphic scenes of one suffering from a bad bout of diarrhoea.

"It's a crime caper; it's the funniest movie I've done in my life," said Khan, 28, who made his acting debut in the blockbuster movie Jaane Tu … Ya Jaane Na in 2008. Khan is the nephew of the Indian actor Aamir Khan, who producedDelhi Belly.

"I think the youth will relate to the movie, they will connect to it," said the younger Khan, who sports a black eye and dishevelled appearance in the film.

In a tongue-in-cheek YouTube trailer, Delhi Belly: Aamir Khan's Warning, he jokes the film will ruin his uncle's reputation for clean films built up over the past 20 years.

The elder Khan also warns people to stay away if they are offended by bad language. "Friends, I have made this movie called Delhi Belly and I'm concerned because of the offensive language in it. In fact, it's in bad taste so it's not for children or those of you who don't like bad language," he says in mock seriousness. "This is going to be the end of me."

The ribald jokes and the film's bold approach has critics believing other film-makers will follow suit.

"It's definitely the first of its kind; there have never been such direct jokes and so much foul language used in an Indian film," said Komal Nahta, an analyst and publisher of the trade magazine Film Information. "But it's also a really funny film with bold scenes that will make you fall off your seat. People are waiting and watching to see if it will click. Then more film-makers will make films in this genre."

rtalwar@thenational.ae