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Theatrical release poster
Directed byRakesh Omprakash Mehra
Screenplay byRakesh Omprakash Mehra
Prasoon Joshi
Kamlesh Pandey
Story byRakesh Omprakash Mehra
Kamlesh Pandey
Based onMonkey-man of Delhi
Produced byRakesh Omprakash Mehra
Ronnie Screwvala
StarringWaheeda Rehman
Abhishek Bachchan
Sonam Kapoor
Aditi Rao Hydari
Rishi Kapoor
Supriya Pathak
Atul Kulkarni
Pavan Malhotra
Divya Dutta
Deepak Dobriyal
Vijay Raaz
Om Puri
CinematographyBinod Pradhan
Edited byP. S. Bharathi
Music byA. R. Rahman
Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Pictures
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 20 February 2009 (2009-02-20)
Running time
140 minutes[1]

Delhi-6 is a 2009 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra. The film stars Abhishek Bachchan as an NRI who arrives in India with his ailing grandmother (played by Waheeda Rehman) and begins discovering his roots before getting embroiled in a religious dispute involving a mysterious monkey-like attacker. The film co-stars Sonam Kapoor, Aditi Rao Hydari, Rishi Kapoor, Supriya Pathak, Atul Kulkarni, Pavan Malhotra, Deepak Dobriyal, Divya Dutta, Vijay Raaz and Om Puri.[2] The number 6 refers to the Postal Index Number (PIN) of the Chandni Chowk area of Old Delhi, a shortened form of 110006. It is Mehra's third film after Aks (2001) and Rang De Basanti (2006). The film's soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman, was a commercial success and received positive reviews from music critics upon release.

Following international premieres at the Dubai International Film Festival as well as the Museum of Modern Art,[3][4] Delhi-6 was released on 20 February 2009 and was a commercial failure at the box office. Despite failing commercially, it received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its soundtrack and performances of the cast, but criticism for its story, screenplay and pacing.

At the 57th National Film Awards, Delhi-6 won Best Production Design (Samir Chanda) in addition to winning the Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration. The version submitted to the National Awards featured an alternate ending favored by Mehra, which was unavailable to the general public and shown only in a limited one-week theatrical release as well as the Venice Film Festival.[5] Additionally, at the 55th Filmfare Awards, the film received 7 nominations, including Best Supporting Actress (Dutta), and won 3 awards, including Best Music Director (A. R. Rahman). The film has over the years become notable for its soundtrack.[6][7][8]


Roshan accompanies his dying grandmother Annapurna to their ancestral property in Old Delhi where he is initially stunned by the mad rush of neighbours: Ali Baig the renaissance man, feuding brothers Madangopal and Jaigopal, their wives and families, Mamdu the confectioner, Gobar the simpleton, Sethji and many others.

Roshan accompanies his grandmother to the Ramleelas, hangs out at Mamdu's sweet stall, plays with the children, and gradually becomes steeped in the culture. When Annapurna faints due to fluctuating blood sugar levels and everyone scrambles to get her to a hospital, Roshan finds the roads choked by traffic because of an impromptu ceremony around a cow in labour; he is further surprised when his grandmother, despite her stupor, stumbles forth to seek the blessings of the cow and the local police seem to encourage the practice. Roshan begins to understand the feuds and social issues in the community.

Madangopal's sister Rama is unwed and Jaigopal's electrical business is going nowhere. The lecherous old local money lender Lala Bhairam's wife Shashi is having an affair with a young photo-studio hand Suresh, a double timer also pursuing Madangopal's daughter Bittu who secretly prepares to audition for a popular reality show Indian Idol. Roshan is surprised to learn that Ali Baig fancied his mother many years ago and has since never married. Roshan also comes to empathize with the lower-caste trash collector girl Jalebi, and crosses paths with the loutish inspector Ranvijay who blithely stretches his authorities to manhandle the locals.

On the other hand, the media is all abuzz with tales of a miscreant known as the "Kala Bandar" who attacks, steals and has caused the death of a few innocent people. After some initial friction, Roshan and Bittu warm to each other. Roshan intervenes when he learns of Madangopal trying to get Bittu married against her wishes, but earns Madangopal's wrath. While supporting her dreams, he gradually begins to fall in love with her. Bittu too begins to reciprocate but is left saddened by the news of his return to America. Later when Roshan confronts Bittu after Madangopal fixes her marriage forcibly, he is disappointed when she expresses her plan of eloping with Suresh in order to achieve her dreams, unaware of his hidden affair with Shashi and his other intentions.

Around this time, the Kala Bandar attacks Old Delhi. In order to exorcise the demonic influence of the Kala Bandar, the locals bring in a tantrik Shani baba who speculates that the local mosque must have been built over the ruins of a temple that was demolished for the purpose, thus initiating a vicious cycle of animosity in the previously harmonious Hindu-Muslim community. After the initial peaceful demonstrations, a mob goes on rampage and attacks some of the Muslims and their shops, including Mamdu's sweet shop. This prompts Mamdu to set fire to the tree temple. Roshan attempts to make peace but is rebuffed because of his mixed religious parentage. The locals ultimately settle on the fact that the Kala Bandar is hiding out in the sooni galli (a dark lane known to harbour evil presences), and command Gobar to fetch a lock of hair from the evil enemy so that the tantrik can burn it and complete the exorcism.

Roshan realizes his affection for Bittu. He decides to stop her and confess his love upon Ali Baig's advice. So he dons a monkey outfit, stealthily following Bittu by leaping across the rooftops. In the meantime Gobar ventures into the sooni galli where Jalebi gives him a lock of her hair so he may return in triumph and bring peace to the community. At that moment, Roshan (in his monkey outfit) intercedes in Bittu and Suresh's rendezvous and causes the cowardly Suresh to flee. Bittu raises a loud alarm before Roshan unmasks himself, expresses his feelings for her which she reciprocates. The angry locals storm the place and beat up Roshan, believing him to the Kala Bandar, before Mamdu shoots him. Gobar then proclaims that the Kala Bandar is in fact the vices residing inside the people of Delhi 6 and something they must defeat within themselves. The neighborhood realizes this and arranges for an ambulance. Roshan does not respond to the treatment, leaving people to believe that he died. In the meanwhile, the nearly dying Roshan meets his dead grandfather who reveals that there is a Kala Bandar in his own heart and that is why he wanted to ask forgiveness to his daughter-in-law, Roshan's mother, for not accepting her inter-religious marriage. Soon, he responds to the treatment and survives, much to everyone's happiness. He remembers Ali Baig's words, "Who can ever wish to leave Delhi's lanes?" rejoicing all with his wish to stay there forever. Roshan narrates that it is the Kala Bandar which is like the demon king Ravana, which can create hatred and divide among human beings and at the end he concludes that he returned to his home; New York City.

Alternate ending[edit]

Gobar concludes it is the Kala Bandar (inside everyone's hearts) who killed Roshan. Meeting his dead grandfather in a dream, Roshan searches for his phone, which in reality drops from his hand as the screen cuts black. He is revealed to be dead after his ashes are immersed in a river through the same earthen pot his grandmother had purchased for her own ashes to be immersed after her death. The narration closes with Roshan recalling her words, "You will merge with the soil of which you are born."[9][10][11][8]



Development and casting[edit]

In the early stages of development it was rumored that Rakeysh was going to cast newcomers for his next film.[12] It was even reported that Aamir Khan's nephew Imran Khan would make his debut with Delhi-6 but this was later revealed to be Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008).[13] Frequent changes in casting made headlines, with Hrithik Roshan being set to play the main character and then being reportedly replaced by Ranbir Kapoor.[14][15] Even Akshay Kumar was supposed to play the lead but refused. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra stated that Abhishek Bachchan was always the first choice for Delhi-6. Date problems for Abhishek Bachchan caused delays, but it all worked out in the end with Abhishek portraying the lead actor.[16] Sonam Kapoor was paired as the leading female character opposite Abhishek Bachchan.[17] Rishi Kapoor and Tanvi Azmi are also a part of the film.[18] The film went on the floors on 20 February 2008.[19] Amitabh Bachchan plays the grandfather to Roshan, played by Abhishek Bachchan, whereas Waheeda Rehman plays the grandmother of the same.[20]


Production designer Samir Chanda, who had earlier worked with Mehra on Aks and Rang De Basanti, recreated inner lanes of Old Delhi at Sambhar, a town in Rajasthan with similar architecture. Also for some scenes, historic Jama Masjid was digitally added to the frame as a backdrop.[21] Editing was done by Meghna Aschit and Rakesh's wife Bharti. In an interview, Rakesh said that he was not involved with the editing.[22]


Delhi-6 was first unveiled on the Dubai International Film Festival. Following the screening was an interactive question and answer round, consisting of the director with the rest of the star cast and a vast audience. During this interaction, Rakeysh spoke about his key influences and the theme of the film, while actors described their experience of working with Rakeysh. A video featuring Abhishek and Sonam's interview can be watched in the reference along with this section.[23] The official trailer was released on 4 January 2009 which featured scenes from Delhi along with Jama Masjid, theatre groups, Red Fort at night, Sonam Kapoor coming out of a public escalator at Central Park in Delhi and finally Abhishek watching Sonam dancing with the pigeon "Masakali" on her head.


The film was supposed to be released on 13 February 2009 to avoid clash with Billu Barber, but A. R. Rahman's continued absence from the project led to a delayed-release. The background score remained incomplete and delayed-release by one week. Delhi-6 was finally released on 20 February 2009 and premiered in New Delhi on 19 February 2009. It had its first screening on 15 February 2009 in New York.[24]


Critical reception[edit]

As of 11 March 2009, Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a 40% rating with 3 fresh and 6 rotten reviews.[25]

Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph gave two thumbs up, calling it a must-watch for just its "overwhelming audio-visual eruption".[26] Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India rated it three out of five stars, saying, "Watch it for the message of Delhi-6 and the ekdum desi India-feel".[27] Anupama Chopra of NDTV said that the film is a noble failure: "Delhi-6 is ambitious and well-intentioned, but good intentions don’t always translate into good cinema".[28] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave it 3 stars, saying that it's a story with heart and Delhi-6 isn't great cinema like Mehra's Rang De Basanti and has a frustrating climax.[29] Rachel Saltz of The New York Times stated "Delhi-6 can be maddeningly vague, which robs its ending...of the impact it intends".[30] Shashi Baliga of Hindustan Times gave the film 3 out of 5 saying "Mehra sure has his heart in the right place. But couldn’t he have allowed himself… and us, a little more fun?"[31] Arthur J Pais of gave a much better verdict remarking the film's innovative style and storyline.[32] Amanda Sodhi posted an in-depth write-up about Delhi-6 on, defending it against flak it was receiving.[33]


A. R. Rahman is the music director of this film.[34] Prasoon Joshi is the lyricist. The music was released on 14 January 2009 at the Indian Idol 4 competition.[35] The first video of the song "Masakali" was released featuring Sonam and Abhishek with a pigeon. However, the song was not part of the original film. According to the director, "The song was not really meant to be part of the narrative. I mean, who would think of putting in a song about a dove in a film like Delhi-6? It just happened. When I came to the pre-climax portion of my script, I was stuck. I needed a continuity link taking the narrative to its finale".[36][37] Other videos released include the title track "Delhi-6", the romantic interlude "Rehna Tu" as well as the folky "Genda Phool," an adaptation of a folk song from Chhattisgarh.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

The official track listing.[38]

1."Masakali"Mohit Chauhan4:50
2."Arziyan"Javed Ali, Kailash Kher8:41
3."Dilli-6[39]" (French lyrics by Viviane Chaix, Claire)Blaaze, Benny Dayal, Tanvi Shah, Viviane Chaix, Claire3:36
4."Rehna Tu"A. R. Rahman, Benny Dayal, Tanvi Shah, Rishu Raj6:51
5."Hey Kaala Bandar"Karthik, Naresh Iyer, Srinivas, Bonnie Chakraborty, Ember5:52
6."Dil Gira Dafatan"Ash King, Chinmayi5:39
7."Genda Phool"Rekha Bhardwaj, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Mazumder, Mahathi2:50
8."Bhor Bhaye" (Raag: Gujri Todi)Shreya Ghoshal, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan3:19
9."Aarti (Tumre Bhavan Mein)"Rekha Bhardwaj, Kishori Amonkar, Shraddha Pandit, Sujata Mazumder3:01
10."Noor" (Recital)Amitabh Bachchan0:50


Reports of Kala Bandar (Black Monkey) attacks in the city of Delhi as shown in the film are inspired by real reports of much publicized monkey or monkeyman attacks in and around Delhi in 2001.[40]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Date of ceremony Award Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref.
8 January 2010 Producers Guild Film Awards Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Nominated [41]
Best Sound Recording Nakul Kamte Nominated
Best Costume Design Arjun Bhasin
Anamika Khanna
9 January 2010 Screen Awards Best Supporting Actress Divya Dutta Nominated [42]
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Won
Best Male Playback Singer Mohit Chauhan (for "Masakali") Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Rekha Bhardwaj (for "Genda Phool") Nominated
Best Art Direction Samir Chanda Nominated
Best Ensemble Cast Delhi-6 Nominated
17 January 2010 Stardust Awards Best Film – Drama Nominated [44]
Superstar of Tomorrow – Female Sonam Kapoor Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Divya Dutta Nominated
New Musical Sensation – Male Mohit Chauhan (for "Masakali") Nominated
10 February 2010 Mirchi Music Awards Album of The Year Delhi-6 Won [45]
Music Composer of The Year A. R. Rahman Won
Song of The Year "Masakali" Won
Male Vocalist of The Year Mohit Chauhan (for "Masakali") Won
Female Vocalist of The Year Rekha Bhardwaj (for "Genda Phool") Won
Lyricist of The Year Prasoon Joshi (for "Masakali") Won
Best Song Arranger & Programmer A. R. Rahman (for "Masakali") Won
Best Song Mixing & Engineering H. Sridhar, S. Sivakumar, P. A. Deepak and Vivianne Chaix (for "Dilli-6") Won
27 February 2010 Filmfare Awards Best Supporting Actress Divya Dutta Nominated [46]
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Won
Best Lyricist Prasoon Joshi (for "Masakali") Nominated
Prasoon Joshi (for "Rehna Tu") Nominated
Best Male Playback Singer Mohit Chauhan (for "Masakali") Won
Javed Ali & Kailash Kher (for "Arziyan") Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Rekha Bhardwaj (for "Genda Phool") Won
22 March 2010 Asian Film Awards Best Newcomer Sonam Kapoor Nominated [48]
5 June 2010 International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Supporting Actress Divya Dutta Won [49]
Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Nominated
Best Lyricist Prasoon Joshi (for "Masakali") Nominated
Best Male Playback Singer Mohit Chauhan (for "Masakali") Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Rekha Bhardwaj (for "Genda Phool") Nominated
22 October 2010 National Film Awards Best Feature Film on National Integration Delhi-6 Won [51]
Best Production Design Samir Chanda Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Delhi-6". BBFC. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2010.
  2. ^ "Rakesh Mehra's Delhi-6 to star Hrithik Roshan and Om Puri". m IndiaFM. Retrieved 25 September 2006.
  3. ^ "Delhi-6 to have Middle East premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Delhi-6 to have Middle East premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Oliver Stone persuades Rakeysh Mehra to release new version of Delhi 6". Bollywood Hungama. 27 November 2010. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  6. ^ "10 Years Of Delhi 6: Abhishek Bachchan Posts A Special Message For Cast And, Of Course, Masakali". NDTV. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Sequence of note Delhi 6's Dil Gira Dafatan: A dream sequence unlike any other". The Indian Express. 11 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  8. ^ a b "I was very depressed after Delhi 6 flopped". Hindustan Times. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
  9. ^ "Delhi 6 - Ending". YouTube. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021. Retrieved 11 January 2021.
  10. ^ "I shouldn't have had happy ending for 'Delhi 6': Mehra". I filmed the sequence of Abhishek's character's ashes being immersed in the river. The film now begins with his voiceover announcing he's dead now. So it's now a dead man's story. Everything falls into place now. We also understand why Abhishek played the role so quietly, sensitively. It was such a beautiful piece of grammar. I don't know why I abandoned it for a happy ending.
  11. ^ "Abhi dies in Delhi 6 at Venice". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
  12. ^ Rakeysh Mehra to cast newcomers in his next? Archived 26 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Aamir Khan's nephew in DELHI 6? | Bollywood News – Yahoo! India Movies Archived 7 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Ranbir Kapoor replaces Hrithik Roshan". 4 February 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  15. ^ "Hrithik back in Delhi-6". Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  16. ^ Dilli 6 belonged to Abhishek Bachchan[dead link]Hindustan TimesRetrieved on 21 January 2009
  17. ^ "Sonam's next with Abhishek". The Times of India. India. 7 November 2007. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 7 November 2007.
  18. ^ "Earth Times: show/165473.html".
  19. ^ "Dilli 6 takes off finally". 20 December 2007. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  20. ^ " Profile on Delhi-6". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  21. ^ Deepanjana Pal (September 2013). "Places Other Than This". The Big Indian Picture. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  22. ^ "I'm dying to see what I've done in 'Delhi 6', says Rakesh Mehra". 6 July 2008. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  23. ^ "Delhi 6 unveiled at Dubai film festival". Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  24. ^ Release of ‘Delhi 6' postponed Retrieved on 9 February 2009
  25. ^ "Delhi-6". Rotten Tomatoes. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  26. ^ Gupta, Pratim D. (21 February 2009). "Sights & sounds of an address". The Telegraph. India. Retrieved 19 September 2009.
  27. ^ Azmi, Nikhat (19 February 2009). "Review of Delhi-6 at Times". The Times of India. India. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  28. ^ Chopra, Anupama (19 February 2009). "Delhi-6 movie review at NDTV". NDTV. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  29. ^ Masand, Rajeev (20 February 2009). "Masand's Movie Review: Delhi-6, a film with heart". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  30. ^ Saltz, Rachel (18 February 2009). "Movie Review - Delhi-6 - Indian Soul". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  31. ^ Baliga, Shashi (20 February 2009). "6 degrees of confusion". Hindustan Times. India. Archived from the original on 23 February 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  32. ^ Pais, Arthur J. (19 February 2009). " review of Delhi-6". Rediff. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  33. ^ "A Collection of Thoughts on Delhi-6 | PassionForCinema". Archived from the original on 28 February 2009. Retrieved 28 February 2009.
  34. ^ Bhandari, Rohini. "A.R. Rahman Golden globe call". Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  35. ^ 'Delhi-6′ Audio Release Function On Indian Idol 4 Retrieved on 9 February 2009
  36. ^ "Dove song in movie was not planned". 9 November 2009. Archived from the original on 10 January 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  37. ^ "Delhi-6 music out on 14th January". 10 January 2009. Archived from the original on 5 January 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2012.
  38. ^ "Delhi-6 by A. R. Rahman". Amazon. Retrieved 5 March 2009.
  39. ^ Rathore, Tajpal (6 March 2009). "A R Rahman Delhi - 6 Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 30 May 2013. In stark contrast, Dilli-6, sung by Blaaze (an Indian-based rapper), is undisputedly the boldest track on the album.
  40. ^ " It's a man! It's a monkey! It's a..."
  41. ^ "Nominations for 5th Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards". Bollywood Hungama. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  42. ^ "Nominations for Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 31 December 2009. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  43. ^ "Winners of Nokia 16th Annual Star Screen Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 9 January 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  44. ^ "Nominations for Max Stardust Awards 2010". Pinkvilla. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  45. ^ "Airtel Mirchi Music Awards!". Sify. Retrieved 15 April 2020.[dead link]
  46. ^ "Nominations for 55th Idea Filmfare Awards 2009". Bollywood Hungama. 11 February 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  47. ^ "FILMFARE AWARDS 2010 WINNERS". The Times of India. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  48. ^ "Sonam nominated for Asian Film Awards". Hindustan Times. 22 January 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  49. ^ "Nominations for IIFA Awards 2010". Bollywood Hungama. 8 May 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  50. ^ "Winners of the IIFA Awards 2010". Bollywood Hungama. 5 June 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  51. ^ "57th National Film Awards for the Year 2009 Announced". Press Information Bureau. 15 September 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  52. ^ "57th National Film Awards: List of winners". Sify. 15 September 2010. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2020.

External links[edit]