Delhi Belly – fartastic caper that is predictable but amuses

The only thing desi about Delhi Belly is the fixation on shit and farts, and the copious use of the BC and MC expletives. The rest is a highly predictable caper centering on the mistaken identities between a Babushka doll containing smuggled diamonds and a package with a stool sample. Smuggled goods involve couriers, dons, goons, and lots of guns and the laugh are provided by the hapless trio of Tashi (Imraan Khan), Nitin (Kunal Roy Kapoor) and Arup (Vir Das) who bobble the delivery of the goods. The women in the film are mostly props – be it Tashi’s girlfriend (Shenaz Treasury) who is the eternal ditz or the journalist (the obviously imported Poorna Jagannath), or the various women who seem to be serving food whenever we encounter them.

The street food is laced with goodies from the vendors nose and privates in front of Nitin’s eyes, perhaps that is why it makes its effect known immediately after consumption. This reviewer had just had dinner and the sight was enough to cause uneasy rumblings in the tummy. Thereafter the craps and farts gag is endlessly milked until the shock value wears off and one just waits for one more sound of the toilet flushing.

The packages are mixed up and the don is displeased. This brings to the fore the most pleasing part of the film. Vijay Raaz is a delight, as the menacing, foul mouthed and ruthless don. The sequence where he pours out the contents of what he expects to be diamonds is exquisitely done. But the anal and genital fixation in the film is almost as overdone as the shit and fart gags, and the final sequence of the trio (with the journalists lady friend in tow) running around in burqas may remind one of the iconic Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, but this film is far away from that class act. The use of orange juice is a continuing thread and ends in Arup’s burqa clad hand hovering between a glass of OJ and one of water and finally selecting the water. The film amuses in parts, disgusts in parts, and in the end the predictability of the story is a drag.

The acting is decent all round – even the usually wooden Imran Khan manages to pull together a reasonable performance, though his buddies outshine him by quite a bit. Vijay Raaz is the star of the show, and Poorna Jagannath is a fresh face, though one wonders why the production house has a fixation for girls that cannot speak Hindi. The finale is provided by Aamir Khan himself as he shakes that biscuit in Mithun style in an Anil Kapoor chest hair vest! The Khan has shat yet another golden egg – he told us clearly that it was ashleel, and so it is, and yet HE laid the egg so we are bound to love it.

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