Now, let me tell you a story. During 1929, people were affected by "Depression". Or "The Great Depression" as it was called. Thousands died because of it. People across sections were affected. No one knew what the "Depression" was then. There were no CNBC, no economic blogs. Depression from the markets had entered into people's lives. One fine day, there was a cool dude walking on the roads wearing a black T-shirt with the words "DEPRESSION". All the people caught hold of him and started beating the hell out of him. They cursed him, that because of him the world economy was in danger. With just an ounce of life left, the cool dude started explaining people what "Depression" is. Depression is not a slogan on a T-shirt. There was so much depression in their lives, that they had stopped shopping, which was the only known catharsis for the modern man. This had created a huge imbalance in demand supply chain which in turn had caused depression in stock market. People understood what he was pontificating, they started living more happily, shopped like crazy, pumped in money to the market, and by the end of 1930, the world was out of "Depression".
Seriously, what did you think of the story? Was it brilliant? Did I remind you of Khalil Gibran?
Replace "Depression" with "Kaala Bandar", the "lack of enthusiasm to shopping" with "the evil thoughts in human mind", the cool dude in black T-shirt with Abhishek Bachchan in a fake accent, you get the essence of Delhi 6. Essence, not the story, mind you. You cannot get everything of Rakyesh Mehra's movies in one go. They have to be multi-layered, like Rishi Kapoor's chin.
So, Mehra must have thought something like this one saturday afternoon.
- Arre yaar, I want to make a movie on Delhi. I want to show how people live there, the narrow lanes, the color, smell, taste of the city. Come on, the Bollywood fans are overdosed with Punjabis, they will love this.
- How about having some abstract concept like "Mota Ulloo" or "Langda Haathi" or something...may be a "Kaala Bandar"? Its just symbolic okkay? (Yes, I can even use this "okkay" in the movie, will generate a few laughs) So, "Kaala Bandar" is something like "evil" inside all of us, that makes it a pretty intelligent movie. Like study of the dark human side or some such.
- I am famous for drawing parallels. So, let me take Ram Leela and show how similar and contradictory it is to the contemporary India. Serial lighting in Ram Leela from which I draw parallels! Wow, sounds profound, sounds profound!
- I dont want anyone to categorize my movie. My canvas is big, you know. So I will have many concepts - the NRI dilemma, corrupt police, hindu-muslim tensions, caste based discrimination, forced arranged marriages, jalebis (two kinds), young kids discovering smoke (oh yes, never before has anyone shown it in Indian cinema).
The barber puts a dollar in one hand and two quarters in the other, then calls the boy over and asks, "Which do you want, son?"
The boy takes the quarters and leaves. "What did I tell you?" said the barber. "That kid never learns!"
Later, when the customer leaves, he sees the same young boy coming out of the ice cream store. "Hey, son! May I ask you a question? Why did you take the quarters instead of the dollar?"
The boy licked his cone and replied, "Because the day I take the dollar, the game's over!"
Hahaha. Mehra laughs his heart out on reading the 2005 joke. I want to have this in my movie, it sounds kewl (Hey, I liked the sound of it, will ask AB to have an accent like that)
This is how my friends movies like Delhi 6 are made. A complete fake take on the study of the darker human side, contemporary politics and multi layered narration. I badly miss the unapologetic junk of yesteryears. Karishma Kapoor with bushy eye brows. Govinda in his technocolor pants. Raveena Tandon wearing horrendous skirts. Shakti Kapoor and Kader Khan. We have not lost the crapness factor yet, but we have lost all that sincerity.