So I saw Dilli 6. Its heart was in the right place, even if its script was all over the place… And Dilli looked lovely. But what I want to really tell you guys about is this one scene in the movie, where a huge crowd — over a lakh people, I’m guessing — are all watching the Ramleela. It’s a very riveting part. (Sita has just paar karoed the Lakshman Rekha, and Ravana is now dragging her away by her hair towards his parked flying chariot.)
Everybody is watching totally enthralled… when suddenly, an official from the Ramleela committee strolls onto the stage, grabs the mike without any by-your-leave and announces that a big-shot politician of the area would like to address the audience. Lankapati Ravana and Ayodhya ki rani Sita scurry off to the side and then this lady — a hardcore Hindutva type — strides onto the stage and gives this big bhaashan on her political agenda. Then she shouts Jai Shree Ram and the crowd shouts it back good-naturedly. Finally, she walks off the stage, and the Ramleela picks up where it left off.
I think what the director wanted to convey with this scene was the sheer arrogance and high-handedness of Dilli’s political leaders. The way they just assume that the crowd won’t mind being interrupted by such ‘important’ people as themselves and will ‘adjust’ docilely. And he succeeded. It was a really effective scene, funny and true. Which is why what happened a little later was just so deliciously ironic.
As all of us in the hall were engrossed in watching the climax of the film (a Hindu-Muslim riot has broken out, a black monkey is running amuck in a saara zamaana suit and tensions are really high), the lights came on, the movie went off and an official from the hall strolled in.
He grabbed a mike and announced that Abhishek Bachchan, the star of the film, was in town and would like to address us! And then, in walks Abhishek with a large entourage of press people and gives this big bhaashan about how he’s trying to get into the Guinness Book Of World records by creating a new record for ‘number-of-movie-halls-visits-made-by-a-movie-star-in-one-day-to-promote-a-film.’ (Wow, what a really meaningful record to go after!)
He’s doing this to ‘make India proud’ he says. India’s name doesn’t feature often enough in the Guinness Book and he will stop at nothing to make it happen, he says. Then he asks everyone to cheer and the hall obliges good-naturedly. He signs autographs and poses for pictures. Finally, he walks off the stage and the movie picks up where it left off.
Now please tell me what the director was wanting to convey!
Anuja Chauhan is proud to say that she works in advertising! She is also the author of the best-selling The Zoya Factor.