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REVIEW: Delhii Heights

Delhii Heights leaves you with a severe case of shivers, shudders and frights, writes Khalid Mohamed.

movie reviews Updated: Mar 31, 2007 16:30 IST

Delhii Heights
Cast: Om Puri, Jimmy Shergill, Neha Dhupia
Direction: Anand Kumar
Rating: *1/2

He’s frisky after whisky. Surely, the most bizarre movie sight of the year has to be Om Puri, as a hearty Punjabi sardar, whose huge-as-a-bungalow wife arrives, all rouged and lipsticked. Instantly, he pounces on her as if she were Helen of Troy. Naturally, she turns coy. Boy o boy.

So that’s what Mr Puri has been up to in the movies nowadays. Or at least in Anand Kumar’s Delhii Heights which leaves you with a severe case of the shivers, shudders and frights. It seems somewhere out there in the capital, there’s this high-rise complex inhabited by a manic motley bunch. Yikes. Leading pretzel-shaped lives, they might just incite you to break into hives. Or run after them with the sharpest knife.

Really, all the Heightwallas are having a jolly bad time. Except dear Mr Puri who drinks secretly in a car at night, openly at home at daytime, and generally goes, “Assitussi mussi..” till you’re not sure whether he’s speaking Hindi-Punjabi or Greco-Roman. Be that as it may, Mr Puri even goes jogging, promises to break into a wild wedding dance but doesn’t (thank you, thank you) and hosts Holi bhang-bhang parties in his farmhouse. Honestly, you don’t want to know more. Bore.

Cut then to just-married corporate executives (Jimmy Shergill-Neha Dhupia), who quarrel over a deal with actor Madhavan (in a special disappearance). Imagine they nearly divorce, all because of a soft drink endorsement deal with Maddy. Absurd. Now, Mr Exec keeps flying off to Singapore and Mrs Exec wears necklaces of beads bigger than chicken eggs. Symbolic or not, the beads rattle.

Across their apartment, there’s a nice woman (Simone Singh) and a bad husband (Rohit Roy). Bad patidev is always treating item girl types to coffee (black, no sugar). Nice-bad nearly break up too. Worse, four nerds go singing through Delhi, swigging beer. Just no cheer. And ooops, yes, there’s a cricket bookie who is packed off to jail, only to return looking as if he had been in the Caribbean, drinking gin cocktails.

So, it’s that sort of drivel – revolving around lives emptier than the auditorium showing this movie. Redeeming points: two well-performed, near-monologue scenes by Simone Singh and Jimmy Shergill. Neha Dhupia has a strong-minty screen presence but needs better-written roles and a director. The editing by the multiple National Award-winning Sreekar Prasad is shockingly archaic.

Rabbi Shergill’s music has its moments of lilt..but did he have to show up as a singing ghost, please? Finally, if this housing colony can be recommended, it’s only for watching Mr Om Puri grabbing an enormous woman, downing Patiala pegs. Best of all,there’s this scene in which he’s all stretched out on a bed and groans, “Let me sleep please.” Exactly, you’re more than likely to share his sentiment