Delhi Belly (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Abhinay Deo|
|Produced by||Jim Furgele|
|Written by||Akshat Verma|
Kunaal Roy Kapur
|Music by||Ram Sampath|
|Edited by||Huzefa Lokhandwala|
|Distributed by||UTV Motion Pictures|
|Budget||₹25 crore (equivalent to ₹41 crore or US$5.8 million in 2019)|
|Box office||₹100 crore (equivalent to ₹166 crore or US$23 million in 2019)|
Delhi Belly is a 2011 Indian black comedy film written by Akshat Verma and directed by Abhinay Deo. It stars Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan and Shenaz Treasurywala. While the original version was in English, a Hindi dubbed version was also released. The film is produced by Aamir Khan Productions and UTV Motion Pictures. The theatrical trailer of the film premiéred with Aamir Khan's Dhobi Ghat on 21 January 2011 while the film was released on 1 July 2011. The film was given an 'A' certificate for its profanity and sexual content. The film was remade in Tamil as Settai.
The story revolves around three roommates, journalist Tashi (Imran Khan), photographer Nitin Berry (Kunaal Roy Kapur) and cartoonist Arup (Vir Das), leading an unkempt and debt-ridden life in a shady apartment in Delhi. Tashi's ditzy fiancée, Sonia (Shenaz Treasurywala), is an air hostess who agrees to deliver a package for Vladimir Dragunsky (Kim Bodnia) to Somayajulu (Vijay Raaz), without realizing its contents or that Somayajulu is a gangster. Sonia asks Tashi to deliver the package. Tashi, in turn, asks Nitin to do so. But Nitin is unable to do so as he is suffering from traveler's diarrhea. Nitin hands Sonia's package to Arup for delivery to Somayajulu, along with a package containing his stool sample for delivery to Nitin's doctor. Arup mixes up the two bags. Somayajulu, furious, tortures Vladimir to find his package.
Meanwhile, Nitin photographs his landlord Manish (Paresh Ganatra) with a prostitute. He sends an envelope with the photographs to his landlord to blackmail him. Tashi is with Sonia, when his colleague Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan) calls him on the pretext of work. When he reaches the place he realizes that it is just a party and Menaka called him just to have fun. Menaka's ex-husband Rajeev (Rahul Singh) sees them together and punches Tashi in the eye in a fit of jealousy. Tashi retaliates and knocks Rajeev out. As Tashi and Menaka leave they are chased by a furious Rajeev and his friends who shoot at them. The duo barely manage to escape.
Vladimir informs Somayajulu that the mix-up must have been caused by Sonia as she didn't know what she was carrying in the package. Somayajulu calls Sonia, informs her about the mix-up and asks her to give him the address of the person who had delivered the package. When Tashi arrives into his apartment, he walks into Somayajulu who has Arup standing on a stool with a noose around his neck. On hard interrogation, Somayajulu discovers the mix-up and realizes that the package must be with Nitin's doctor.
Nitin gets the package from his doctor's office, wherein Somayajulu finds his thirty diamonds hidden inside. Upon recovering his booty, he orders his henchmen to kill the three roommates. One of them is about to shoot Tashi, when another kicks the stool on which Arup was standing to hang him. Luckily for the roommates, the ceiling of the apartment collapses, since it can't take Arup's weight. The cave-in knocks out Somayajulu and his men, leaving one with broken arms. Tashi, Arup and Nitin escape with the diamonds and spend the night at Menaka's place. The next day they sell the diamonds to a local jeweller.
As the roommates prepare to get out of town with the money, they get a call from Somayajulu who has kidnapped Sonia. He threatens to kill her if they don't return the diamonds. The trio try to buy back the diamonds from the jeweller, who demands double the sale amount.
Without the money, Tashi comes up with a plan. Nitin, Arup, Tashi and Menaka disguise themselves in burqas and rob the jeweller, leaving him the bag of money. They flee in Tashi's car with the police on their tail and go to the hotel where Somayajulu is holding Sonia. As they are about to make the exchange with Somayajulu, the police arrive at the hotel room where a shoot-out between the police and Somayajulu's gang.
Nitin, Arup, Tashi, Sonia and Vladimir who had hit the floor during the gunfight, are left as the only survivors. Menaka, who by now realises that she likes Tashi, is upset to learn about his engagement and walks away from him. Tashi breaks off his engagement to Sonia. Later, it is revealed that Nitin did not return the cash to the jewellery store owner, and had kept most of the money for himself (whereupon he abandons blackmailing the landlord). The film ends when Menaka comes to the roommates' apartment to return Tashi's car's hubcap lost while escaping from Rajeev. Tashi jumps into her car through the open window and kisses her passionately.
Producer-actor Aamir Khan is seen dancing in a song and dance performance as the credits start rolling.
- Imran Khan as Tashi Dorjee Lhatoo
- Kunaal Roy Kapur as Nitin Berry
- Vir Das as Arup
- Poorna Jagannathan as Menaka Vashisht
- Shenaz Treasurywala as Sonia Mehra
- Raju Kher as Zubin Mehra (Sonia's Father)
- Vijay Raaz as Somayajulu
- John Gabriel as Lucky (Somayajulu's Henchman)
- Lushin Dubey as Mrs. Mehra (Sonia's Mother)
- Paresh Ganatra as Manish Chand Jain
- Rahul Pendkalkar as Prateek Jain
- Sanjay Taneja as DIG Phool Chand Jain (Manish's Brother)
- Rahul Singh as Rajeev Khanna (Menaka's Ex-husband)
- Rajendra Sethi as Sudhir Adlakha (the jeweller)
- Pradeep Kabra as Brajesh (Somayajulu's Henchman)
- Dharmendar Singh as Bunty (Somayajulu's Henchman)
- Kim Bodnia as Vladimir Dragunsky
- Anusha Dhandekar as VJ Sophaya
- Bugs Bhargava as Swapan Bannerjee (Arup's boss)
- Aamir Khan as Disco Fighter (Guest Appearance in song "I Hate You (Like I Love You)") also as the producer
This film was written by Akshat Verma, a Los Angeles based writer, who first wrote the screenplay as a part of his studies at Screenwriting programme at UCLA, under the title Say Cheese. Subsequently, after he lost his job as a copywriter in US, around 2005, he revived the script. Akshat had to compile 15 drafts before the movie went on floors. It took him more than three years to finish writing the story. He visited Mumbai along with Jim Furgele, to unsuccessfully pitch the film to various film producers, eventually after submitting a draft to Aamir Khan Productions, he left. The script was thrown into a pile of scripts in Aamir Khan's office, where Kiran Rao randomly picked it, read it and began to laugh. Soon it was read by Aamir Khan who contacted the writer who was initially hesitant that it might ruin the "clean, family entertainment" tag of Aamir Khan Productions, though Aamir had produced two A-certificate films before, Peepli Live and Dhobi Ghat.
Earlier, Ranbir Kapoor and Chitrangada Singh were to star in the film. After both of them backed off, Aamir signed his nephew Imran Khan for the lead role following the tremendous success of his debut film Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. Shooting for the film began in August 2008 in Delhi. Indian comedian Vir Das was also signed to star in the film. According to director Abhinay Deo, "Delhi Belly is an ensemble piece. It's not a film about Imran Khan. He is only one of the several protagonists. There are others whose characters are just as important. There is Kunal Roy Kapoor, Vir Das and Poorna Jagannathan, an Indian actress from LA". The film was stuck at the editing table for a long time. Initially, Aamir was to spearhead the editing but he got busy with his own films.
On 3 July 2011, the Government of Nepal banned screening of the movie citing the reluctance by the cinema halls to remove offensive scenes from the film. However, Nepal's censors later agreed to clear the film for viewing by theatre goers above 16 years. An offending scene showing one of the protagonists, played by Kunaal Roy Kapur, visiting a brothel, was cut and some expletives in two scenes were muted. The film was selected for being screened in the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School as a part of the Harvard India Conference 2012. Director Abhinay Deo was invited as a guest.
Nikhat Kazmi of the Times of India rated the film with four out of five stars, and said – "All in all, Delhi Belly is a fine example of how the brightest and the boldest, when they pool in their talent, can create a film that is guaranteed to give you your money's worth, even as it re-writes all the moth-balled rules of an ageing industry. Enjoy the experience." Pratim D. Gupta of The Telegraph called Delhi Belly "an insanely funny ensemble comedy" and praised writer Akshat Verma's "original screenplay, which knows the difference between physical comedy and slapstick humour." Behindwoods gave a score of three and a half stars and said that the film was "Only for those with a cast iron stomach." further citing "In conclusion, it may be said that Delhi Belly caters to a section of the populace that is cool when shit happens." Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama rated the movie with four and a half stars and wrote – "Eventually, Delhi Belly works big time predominantly for the reason that it's a pioneering motion picture, an incredible film that dares to pierce into an untapped and brand new terrain. The unblemished, racy screenplay coupled with super performances and a chartbusting musical score will make it a winner all the way." Mihir Fadnavis of Daily News and Analysis called the script "hilarious" and "bitingly perceptive" and gave the film four out of five stars, saying "I haven't had this much fun at the movies in a long time". Mathures Paul of The Statesman gave the film four out of five stars, and wrote, "It's a fashionable film for fashionable youth." Raja Sen of Rediff gave the movie three stars out of a possible five, saying "Delhi Belly has a tight, pacy plot which has lots of satisfying little set-ups and pay-offs". Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film three and a half out of five stars, saying "Delhi Belly is a filthy comic thriller that works because it's a smartly paced wild-ride". He also praised Vijay Raaz's performance, saying that the gangster's role had been "played wonderfully".
The movie also received high praise from critics outside India. Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "Sexy, filthy and thoroughly entertaining comedy" and that it "marks a welcome shift in contemporary Indian cinema." She however pointed out that Aamir Khan "overstays his welcome" in his cameo at the end of the film, and that "a momentary glimpse would have had more impact." Kevin Thomas of The Los Angeles Times said that "Akshat Verma's script is imaginative and funny, the film's stars are engaging and "Delhi Belly" adds up to pleasing escapist fare." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian also praised the film, saying that "The sheer daftness and goofiness of this Bollywood comedy-farce makes it likable."
Other reviewers, however, deplored the scatological basis of most of the humour and the hackneyed scenarios in the movie. Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express had this to say in her review: "After a while, the continuous bad tummy rumbles and farts, and the non-stop cussing, wears thin. And please, wearing burqas as disguise is not the only way you can have characters on the run in the grungier parts of town, even if you overlay the chase with the ultra-clever, super-catchy Bhaag D K Bose ditty. There are, believe us, other ways."
The film opened very well at the box office. It grossed ₹360 million (US$5.0 million) in the first week of screening all around India and US$1.6 million overseas. The film grossed ₹550 million (US$7.7 million) in India by the end of its third week, being declared a super hit. Delhi Belly grossed ₹920 million (US$13 million) worldwide.
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||6 June 2011|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Ram Sampath chronology|
|Singles from Delhi Belly|
The music of the film was composed by Ram Sampath while the lyrics were penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya, Munna Dhiman, Ram Sampath, Akshat Verma and Chetan Shashital. The song "Bhaag D.K. Bose" created controversy upon its release. 'D K Bose, D K Bose,' juxtaposed and sung at a quick pace forms a popular expletive in North India. Akshat Verma came up with the idea of using the phrase 'D K Bose'. Abhinay Deo and Aamir Khan gave their nod to the song as they felt the catch phrase went with the young and irreverent theme of the film.
|1.||"Bhaag D.K. Bose"||Amitabh Bhattacharya||Ram Sampath||4:02|
|2.||"Nakkaddwaley Disco, Udhaarwaley Khisko"||Akshat Verma, Munna Dhiman||Keerthi Sagathia||3:58|
|3.||"Saigal Blues"||Chetan Shashital, Ram Sampath||Chetan Shashital||3:56|
|4.||"Bedardi Raja"||Amitabh Bhattacharya||Sona Mohapatra||2:58|
|5.||"Jaa Chudail"||Amitabh Bhattacharya, Hook Lyrics : Akshat Verma||Suraj Jagan||3:18|
|6.||"Tere Siva"||Munna Dhiman||Ram Sampath, Tarannum Mallik||4:40|
|7.||"Switty Tera Pyaar Chaida"||Munna Dhiman||Keerthi Sagathia||2:54|
|8.||"I Hate You" (Like I Love You)||Akshat Verma, Ram Sampath||Keerthi Sagathia, Shazneen Arethna, Sona Mohapatra, Aamir Khan||5:50|
|9.||"Bedardi Raja" (Remix)||Amitabh Bhattacharya||Sona Mohapatra||3:04|
|10.||"Switty" (Punk)||Munna Dhiman||Keerthi Sagathia, Ram Sampath||3:30|
With the success of Delhi Belly, there were several rumours going around speculating a sequel in "Disco Fighter". When questioned about the possibility of the sequel Kiran Rao, director wife of Aamir Khan stated ""The film is nowhere in the scene. We haven't started planning or strategising anything for the sequel at all. Whatever news is out till now is baseless". The sequel has now been shelved.
|57th Filmfare Awards||Best Film||Delhi Belly||Nominated|
|Best Director||Abhinay Deo|
|Best Supporting Actor||Vir Das|
|Best Music Director||Ram Sampath|
|Best Screenplay||Akshat Verma||Won|
|Best Editing||Huzefa Lokhandwala|
|Best Production Design||Shashank Tere|
|18th Colors Screen Awards||Best Film||Delhi Belly||Nominated|
|Best Film||Abhinay Deo|
|Best Supporting Actor||Kunal Roy Kapur|
|Best Supporting Actress||Poorna Jagannathan|
|Best Comedian||Kunal Roy Kapur|
|Best Comedian||Vijay Raaz|
|Best Ensemble Cast|
|Most Promising Newcomer – Female||Poorna Jagannathan|
|Best Background Music||Ram Sampat|
|Best Male Playback||Ram Sampat|
|Best Music Director||Ram Sampat|
|Best Dialogue||Akshat Verma|
|Best Cinematography||Jason West|
|Best Sound Design||Vinod Subramaniam and Dwarak Warrier|
|Best Choreography||Farah Khan|
|Screen Award for Best Screenplay||Akshat Verma||Won|
|Best Story||Akshat Verma|
|Best Editing||Hufeza Lokhandwala|
|Best Production Design||Shashank Tere|
|4th Mirchi Music Awards||Upcoming Female Vocalist of The Year||Shazneen Arethna – "I Hate You (Like I Love You)"||Nominated|
|Upcoming Lyricist of The Year||Akshat Verma – "I Hate You (Like I Love You)"|
|Best Item Song of the Year||"I Hate You (Like I Love You)"|
|Best Programmer & Arranger of the Year||"Bhaag D.K. Bose"|
|Best Background Score of the Year||Ram Sampath||Won|
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