Chalo Dilli is a road movie, which shows the journey of two persons Manu Gupta (Vinay Pathak) and Mihika Mukherjee (Lara Dutta). The journey originates in the dream city Mumbai, travels through the pink city Jaipur and concludes in the capital city Delhi. Like a few other films in the recent past, Band Baaja Baarat or No One Killed Jessica, Delhi has again played a major entity, adding up to the film's existence.
Mihika is an uptown investment banker, who is on her way to Delhi to meet her husband. Manu is a saree trader from Chandni Chowk, who is also travelling to Delhi. Due to some uncertain reasons, both of them are forced to travel together.
Manu is everything that Mihika isn't. He is loud-obnoxious-rude, whereas she is sweet-classy-well mannered. This can be the most mismatched travelling partners ever. Then starts a journey that will bridge up the gap between their cultural and class divide. It is the most bizarre journey through air, road and rail from Mumbai, via Jaipur to Delhi.
Though Chalo Dilli is derived form of Due Date, the writer (Arshad Sayed )of the film has imparted originality to the story by giving a total Indianized touch to it. The film is in whole a desi watch, with elements like dhabas, camels carts, deserts and train journey.
Through the process in Chalo Dilli, one comes across some real people who teach you some truths of life. Director Shashant Shah has very smoothly moved on from an emotional topic in his debut film (Dasvidaniya), to a clean comedy (Chalo Dilli), which is not mindless and slapstick.
Though songs don't play an integral part of Chalo Dilli, 'Laila O Laila', featuring Yana Gupta and 'Matargastiya', were the most noticeable tracks. The dialogues sounded sharp and witty, specially because of the perfect timing by actor Vinay Pathak, who never fails to impress. Even after giving a few rough performances, Lara gets the character right and convinces the viewers of being an upper crust entity.
Out of all the other characters that come through during their journey, a few like Brijendra Kala (ticket checker) and the Bengali couple leave the maximum impact. Akshay Kumar is likable in his cameo.
Though the film is real and hits the right note, there are a few loop holes that comes out clearly. The writing is inconsistent and so is the direction. There were a few flat moments in Chalo Dilli, that could have been avoided. Probably, a more crisp and tight writing would have resulted in a more impactful climax. The second hour of Chalo Dilli (post train portion) seemed to be a bit dragging.
As the film was a road movie, the cinematography could have been more impressive. A lot of scope in that field was less used. The music, specially the title song, could have been used a little more in the back ground, in-order to enhance the impact of the film.
Over all, Chalo Dilli is an exciting and amusing watch, with terrific moments. If you are looking for a decent light watch, with Indian touch, then Chalo Dilli is something that you can't afford to miss.
Cast and Crew
- Starring: Lara Dutta, Vinay Pathak
- Director: Shashant Shah
- Producer: Krishika Lulla, Kavita Bhupathi Chadda
- Screenplay: Arshad Sayed
- Story: Arshad Sayed
- Music: Gourov Dasgupta, Anand Raj Anand, Sachin Gupta, Rohit Kulkarni, Roshan Balu
- Cinematography: Nikos Andritsakis
- Editing: Aseem Sinha