Thursday, July 7, 2011

DELHI BELLY: I rate you [like I love you]

'Delhi Belly' might not be doing the due rounds of Nepali cinemas but it sure has traveled to other exotic destinations! Paris and its quintessential commuting work routine had me a bit dizzy this week until - lo and behold - I discovered a silent film release that would force me to unwind... As I scroll through Internet cinema timings at the local French café I come upon the word "Delhi" on my screen... I wonder if a cinema is scheduling an art-house movie about India but immediately see the word "Belly" on the side. I squint. "Delhi" plus "Belly"?! A suburban cinema in Paris is showing a film I never imagined I could watch on the big screen! Abhinay Deo's 'Delhi Belly' has crashed Paris and has me scrambling to the nearest subway station! Cinema hall, here we come!

As I reach the cinema, nine huge posters announce Hollywood fare and my wallet's target is nowhere to be seen. I stand in queue and ask the cashier for a ticket to watch 'Delhi Belly'. The cashier begs my pardon and for a second I ask myself if I should have pinched myself when I saw the film announced on the Internet. I repeat the name of the film and the cashier looks through the list of films currently showing before actually realizing that a film called 'Delhi Belly' is scheduled. I pay my ticket and hurry to find all seats empty, but thankfully, a few minutes later a small audience starts trickling in. We are a handful of foreigners sitting with a merry group of NRIs, carrying packaged samosas and all. The place suddenly feels like home.

Rewind a couple of years earlier. Of all three films Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao's production house was preparing since 2008, 'Delhi Belly' has been the closest to my heart and the expectation to see it never waned even after a box-office smashing '3 Idiots' or a subtle 'Dhobi Ghat'. I had not seen 'Delhi Belly' but yet knew it would be my favorite film of all three. Now is the chance to see if my expectations were correct.

Sitting in that Paris cinema, the small audience gets the feeling we are members of some exclusive clique. A bunch of connoisseurs ready to savour a treat that is only meant for the duly initiated...

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