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Film Review: Delhi Belly

Film Review: Delhi Belly

July 01, 2011

Dodgy tummies, horny men and gung-ho gangsters make up a landmark Indian comedy.

You don’t have to be a foreigner to suffer Delhi Belly in India. Apparently natives can also fall foul to a bad case of the runs thanks to eating tandoori chicken handled by crotch scratching, nose-blowing, sweat drenched street cooks. Who’d have thought it? Well, Akshat Verma for one.

As the writer and associate director of Delhi Belly, his idea to use the common affliction as the seed for a comedy caper has just helped kick start a new genre in Indian cinema – that of the English language adult comedy with a cheeky gangster twist. Like the crazy love child of American Pie, Pulp Fiction and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Delhi Belly is a riotous entertainer that deserves attention and success.

With the tagline “Shit Happens” and an Adult rating (equivalent of a UK 18 certificate), Delhi Belly is clearly not meant for family viewing. It’s aimed at young, English speaking, urban audiences who enjoy watching Hollywood blockbusters and new wave independent Indian movies at air-conditioned multiplexes. They want their films to be modern, edgy and dare I say racy. Delhi Belly is all three of these and more. The more part being genuinely funny.

The premise is simple; three friends get into trouble when they mix up a stool sample with a packet entrusted to them for delivery. Unknowing to all of them is that the mysterious packet actually belongs to a smuggler. All hell breaks loose when the trio realise the mistake and stupidly attempt to rectify the situation.

The friends in questions are journalist Tashi (Imran Khan), photographer Nitin (Kunaal Roy Kapoor) and cartoonist Arup (comedian Vir Das). Delhi bachelors through to the core, they burp, fart, scheme and swear their way through the day. While Tashi is caught between love for his prim air hostess girlfriend Sonia (Shenaz Treasurywala) and lust for sexy colleague Menaka (Poorna Jagannathan), glutton Nitin is busy stuffing his face and taking indecent photographs of busty actresses, murder victims and married men in compromising positions with prostitutes.

Arup on the other hand is trying to deal with a two timing churail (witch) and his annoying boss who wants him to make cartoon bananas seem “seven percent less happy”. When Vijay Raaz’s smuggler gets on their back while attempting to track down his precious loot, it’s a case of running for their lives.

Offering platefuls of defecation, fornication and masturbation jokes, and plenty of on screen smoking, swearing and sexual innuendo, Delhi Belly is a fresh, funny and full on affair. Like Hollywood screenwriter/director/producer Judd Apatow who has cornered the market in gross out comedies aimed at freaks and geeks (read guys), Verma is determined to both shock and entertain. He succeeds. This is a film your mother would not approve of nor need to see. It would put her off chicken drumsticks and orange juice for life. (Watch the film and you’ll understand.)

However, by seemingly cramming in every provocative subject and juvenile gag under the sun into his two hour script, Verma could be accused of trying a little bit too hard. An area which he should have tried harder perhaps is his sketchy female characters that come across as mere vehicles to move along plot.

Director Abhinay Deo does a deft job of keeping track of the frantic storyline and coaxes good performances from his ensemble cast. Kapoor and Das in particular shine out for their effortlessly funny performances as Nitin and Arup. Kapoor has the meatier lines but Das deserves an award alone for his pelvis-thrusting, disco-dancing performance to the Jaa Chudail song. It’s one of the highlights of the film. Another high point is the fantastic soundtrack by composer Ram Sampath and lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya. After penning the immensely popular Emosonal Atyachar for Dev D, his Bhaag D.K. Bose is on its way to becoming this summer’s anthem.

Despite being the star attraction, Bollywood heartthrob Imran is the weakest of the three leads, perhaps due to his character Tashi being less quirky or foul mouthed than his two flatmates.

However, his decision to appear in Delhi Belly shows there is more to him than a sweet faced, sugary Hindi hero. If only uncle and producer Aamir had decided to take a back seat. His special appearance as a Mithun Chakraborthy style 80s Bollywood disco dancer cum fighter character at the end is an unnecessary attempt to hog the limelight and only serves to highlight the age difference between him and the young cast.

While credit goes to Los Angeles based NRI Verma for creating a farce that pushes the boundaries of Indian comedy and will no doubt offend many conservative Indians, Delhi Belly will be nothing new to audiences who have seen The Hangover and other such films. By putting their money behind this project, producers Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao and UTV Motion Pictures boss Ronnie Screwvala have taken a bold step to make a picture that on the surface resembles a Bollywood film but sounds or behaves nothing like one. Opening weekend will tell whether their gamble has paid off.

If news reports are to be believed, Delhi Belly was apparently shot in 2008 but held up in post production for three years while producer Aamir finished off Tare Zameen Par, Peepli Live and Dhobi Ghat. An element of doubt and risk on whether Indian audiences are ready for such a film was probably also a cause of the hold-up. Despite the delay, Delhi Belly is worth the wait.

Delhi Belly releases worldwide 1st July 2011


  • Maryanne J.
    Maryanne J.
    23.07.11 11:33 PM
    gosh,not another Hangover, vomit bloodX
  • tys
    13.07.11 01:18 PM
    @karan : u saw a movie and figured out the whole demographics of the rest who actually enjoyed the movie?

    please could you also list out who are the ones who hated this movie?

    I havent seen it yet , so iam merely curious.
  • Anjali Vyas
    Anjali Vyas
    13.07.11 01:16 AM
    @Kai: No doubt the Indian culture is at an all time low. But isn't that exactly why this movie is so wrong?

    Moreover, Aamir is an ambassador of quite a few social causes. Do you think after this movie we can trust him. How can he ask us to keep India clean, when he is corrupting India's already threadbare fabric.

    We have enjoyed movies like Ishqiya, Dev D and Yeh Saali Zindagi. Why is it we are finding this movie so offensive? Because in the name of comedy all it gives is vulgarity.

    Har cheez ko mazaak main nahin liya ja sakta hai. How can someone laugh on seeing a kid as old as woman's son paw her? Is this how they will react in reality? Shayaad ab se aisa hi karenge.

    Phir aap bhi thahake maar, maar kar hasna.

    Mazaak ki bhi koi had hotee hai.
  • Kai
    12.07.11 11:09 PM
    All you people talking about this movie ruining Indian culture and abusing Amir Khan know nothing better than downgrading a bold attempt.Amir tried to veer away from the run-of-the-mill rubbish like Golmaal and Dhamal and the response was tremendous.

    Indian culture?What Indian culture?
    Are you talking about the same country where politicians(who run our country) abuse each other when in parliament and throw chairs at the speaker?

    Delhi Belly was a great film which had excellent performances from all the leads.Imran never overshadowed anyone with his star power and it was an enjoyable watch.
  • Karan
    10.07.11 08:10 AM
    Correction to my 8th point:

    8) People who do NOT have many good options for movies..........
  • Anita
    10.07.11 04:50 AM
    I agree with you Anjali. If this is not stopped, this would start a trend.
  • Anjali Vyas
    Anjali Vyas
    09.07.11 11:09 PM
    @Karan: Very true Karan. Looks like the censor board has sleepwalked through this movie. They had a problem with the word "Saali" in the movie Yeh Saali Zindagi. Where are they now? This movie has crossed all limits and that too without reason. All this claim about the youth of India talking and behaving in this manner is just irksome. After a point so much of cussing gets tedious.

    Some daft people actually compared it with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron, which was class apart.

    Just because children like to eat junk, do we allow it? This is junk of the worst kind that will corrupt not only the psyche but our soul.

    We must boycott this attempt, else it will start a trend.

    Bhaag, bhaag Delhi Belly!
  • Karan
    09.07.11 04:14 PM
    Only these categories of people would like this movies:

    1) Those who are kids and have never seen many adult movies. They laugh on seeing shit, hearing sound of fart etc

    2) Those youngsters who did not have good upbringing and think that this is the movie for the youngster. And totally ignoring what is good and what is bad for them. Without using their own brain, they rely on others. They are saying that this if for the open minded people, new generation.

    3) NRIs working in U.S. and their work is to clean shit.

    4) Some huge fan of Aamir, who cannot dislike any of his movie.

    5) People who believes in "Bhed chaal". After seeing fake news like this, many people(without using their own brain) would start thinking that its a good movie.

    6) Those people who are comparing this movie with hollywood movies. Whereas the hollywood movies are adult but clean comedy, its watchable, no cheap comedy. Their jokes focuses on good funny scenes, funny dialogs etc. And not on abusive languages, fart sound etc.. Some people like this movie because they have added abusive languages. These people's own family members uses these language, so its common for them. So they feel more confortable. They are saying that this is real thing. These people can even watch this movie with their family members.

    7) People who do not want to look stupid. Since they have spend money on watching this movie in theater, after watching the movie they would tell others that its a good movie.

    8) People who do have many good options for movies. They believe that "Bbuddah Hoga Tera Baap" must be a stupid movie because it has no sex comedy, the hero is quite old and moreoever the reviews for Delhi Belly are good(although all are fake).

    9) Youngsters who feel that saying abusive words is trendy.
  • Anita
    09.07.11 05:23 AM
    In the next sequel, they might show us how to eat shit.
  • Anita
    09.07.11 05:18 AM
    @Anjali Vyas - right said
  • Anjali Vyas
    Anjali Vyas
    08.07.11 09:40 PM
    All fart and no art. This time Aamir has really lost it. Is it the influence of the woman in his life? Aamir may have acquired a Midas touch but he has also fallen from the high pedestal that most of us had placed him after TZP and 3 Idiots. His slip-up started with Peepli Live. I could not place Peepli, was it a serious movie taking about the plight of the farmers or was it making a mockery out of a tragedy? Similarly, I cannot judge if DB is comedy or porn. It seems like a movie that comes out after a slapstick f**** a porno. Aamir, try to be your age bhai! Yeh boho-soho style aapko shobha nahin deta hai. SRK may not have come out with brilliance but at least he has not sacrificed on his values to make dirty money. It may be easy to reach the pedestal but difficult to remain there, you need to sacrifice a lot. Celebrities of a cadre have a social responsibility. Just imagine if Sachin were to vouch for a liquor ad. .
  • laxmi
    08.07.11 09:00 PM
    fart and shit movie....too much of farting.....cannot be seen with is good for people who live in slums...bade screen me fukst me dikha do waha jake...slum area me.
  • Anjali Vyas
    Anjali Vyas
    08.07.11 03:38 PM
    Our colonial mentality never seems to go. Why do we keep comparing our movies with western movies. Why have we put them on a pedestal? Are they our benchmarks? They have a different set of values than ours. Why can't we think originally. Have we been scarred forever?
  • abhishek
    08.07.11 02:01 PM
    fulllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy comedy
  • sunny
    08.07.11 12:15 PM
    Good review.
    This movie is definitely a genre changer but for a limited audience and not at all a family movie
    Incidentally I also wrote a reivew on delhi belly but after reading yours I will avoid sharing it here :P
  • arvinder
    07.07.11 09:08 PM
    delhi belly is meant for urban youth this is hollywood style movie it is begining of new era in bollywood
  • Neal
    07.07.11 04:42 PM
    Death of an art which WAS called CINEMA
  • Anjali Vyas
    Anjali Vyas
    07.07.11 12:00 PM
    Censor board should add one more grade JA (Juvenile Adults) for such movies. JA would include all ill-literati-s!
  • Sushmita
    06.07.11 09:31 PM
    Height of mental torture:
    Aamir is planning for "Delhi Belly" sequel
  • Sushmita
    06.07.11 09:28 PM
    Ramchandra kah gaye siya se,
    aisa kalyug aayega,
    ek aadmi khule aam blue film banayega,
    pura youth bigadta jayega !
  • rohit
    06.07.11 08:33 PM
    hello guys
    yhe movie kaye loga ko badi bekar lagi hogi or kayeo ko bahut achi.but reall me yeh bahut achi hai quki yeh aaj ki style se bani yeh keh rhe hai ki badi bekar hai use to sabse passand hai yeh movie ok bye
  • Sushmita
    06.07.11 04:00 PM
    Gandhi ji ke teen bandher
    bura na dekho
    bura na bolo
    bura na kaho

    Aamir Khan ke teen bandher
    bura dekho
    bura bolo
    bura kaho
  • Neeraj
    06.07.11 03:04 PM
    Mr. Aamir Khan, what you have done is copied scene from some of the hollywood movies and created an movie here. You have copied scenes from Jackass, American Pie etc. This is all what you can do. Since many people are unaware of these movies, so your movie is a hit here among the young generation. They have never seen such vulgarity, so they are happy. Gajini was also a copy of another movie. So you don't have any originality. You have created this sick+cheap movie, that is also not original. What can I say for you. And here you are spreading that you are experimenting. Its so funny...heh? Now people would argue that atleast he had the guts to make movie like this here. What guts? You think other people cannot do this? No, they wouldn't do this, because they like to maintain their standards. You know most of the business/profit people do in internet, is through p.orn websites. People have become millionaire because of that. But everyone does not start creating his own p.orn website. Because each person has its own values and he likes to maintain that. I hope some intelligent/mature youth got the message, others can simply ignore my comment.
  • paresh
    05.07.11 09:36 PM
    The people who like this cheap & dirty movei has show there class. Amir khan show his class C & D
  • zubair
    05.07.11 08:35 PM
    c grade movie. amir criticised SLUMDOG for showing slumside of india, and now amir has done the same kind of thing.
    CHEAPEST movie i have ever seen
  • sudhirb
    05.07.11 05:29 PM
    A shit movie. Not expected from Aamir Khan !
  • Farida
    05.07.11 12:34 PM
    Great review.. but I am still in dilemma whether to go ahead and watch it or leave it alone.
  • shammi
    04.07.11 05:05 PM
    AMir has shown the youngsters Life in Delhi Belly. All knows the fact but still they try to pretend so much like commenting on this moview.
    Amir has done a fair job by showing a mirror of what yougsters are.

    Good moview.
  • garima saxena
    garima saxena
    04.07.11 10:20 AM
    this movie is simply a waste of time. its such a bad movie which has crossed all limits of abusive language and indecent scenes. the shooting of the movie started in 2008 and it was pending since very long and just to get this released they have added such things. its hard to believe that how aamir khan productions can make such a movie. I wonder how censor board approves such releases.
  • monika
    04.07.11 09:06 AM
    I agree with Rajan Sharma
  • Ritu
    04.07.11 08:58 AM
    This movie IS suitable ONLY for male cheapsters youth
  • ankit
    04.07.11 12:06 AM
    really a nasty, dirty,uncomfortable-to-watch........What Amir do is just he tries to bring DIFFERENT ELEMENT in his every new movie, although it is a good thing but this time you fail ruined our expectations...Most of the people would come to watch cuz its produced by Amir, but what the see, dissapoints them.....
    WARNING: This movie IS suitable ONLY for male youth
  • paresh
    03.07.11 10:03 PM
  • paresh
    03.07.11 10:00 PM
  • paresh
    03.07.11 09:57 PM
  • Ritu
    03.07.11 09:00 PM
    Total crap !!!
  • obsessivemom
    03.07.11 04:36 PM
    Hmm.. quite a review. My parents watched the film (only because the scrip writer is the husband of the daughter of a friend :-)) and trashed it completely. The younger lot seems to like it. Your review makes me want to watch it. Hope to catch it soon.
  • Kishor
    03.07.11 12:09 PM
    Worst movie i have ever seen
  • tani
    03.07.11 12:01 PM
    dil chahta
    dil dhikarta hai.
  • Sarang
    03.07.11 06:50 AM
    Fantastic movie, excellent execution. Finally after a long time a movie worth every penny. It is definitely not for everyone, but will strike a chord with youngs.
  • sujith
    03.07.11 03:56 AM
    It is a waste movie, along with family v cant see this,i didnt expect from amir khan production. Who given permission to release this type of movie,v have to make them to see this movie along with their families. U people – please dont see this movie,dont encoraged this type of movie. What ever mayb the reasons – amir khan & production people cant simply justify this. (For spoiling our INDIAN culture) .
  • tys
    02.07.11 11:46 PM
    @rajan : i take it u didnt like the movie...

    but how on earth did u deduce kiran's IQ by watching 2 of her movies or by seeing her fotos?

    Just curious.
  • Rajan Sharma
    Rajan Sharma
    02.07.11 09:24 AM
    Amir khan commented on slumdog millionaire when this movie won the oscar saying that try to show India full of slums and poverty , There was nothing appealing to beg oscar . Now with Delhi Belly and Dhobi Ghat they are showing how people shit in India , People do sex without marriage something on similar lines but in much worse conditions I say.

    Amir khan wife Kiran Rao is sick woman she knows nothing abt making movies you see her face she looks like dumb woman and this is what she is potraying in her movies .

    Delhi belly is one of the most nasty movies I have ever seen in my life - Amir Khan sucks big time in Item Dance and so do his wife producer of this movie!

    I am sure Amir Khan production is crap and all they can do is make shitty movies .
  • Pallavi
    02.07.11 01:48 AM
    Sounds like a great movie. And a fantastic review!
  • funny jokes
    funny jokes
    01.07.11 09:05 PM
    hey its an awesome movie must watch..
  • Satish
    01.07.11 06:09 PM
    Great review. Will make it a point to catch it, thanks...
  • Arun Kumar
    Arun Kumar
    01.07.11 05:44 PM
    GuyS, AWESOME Movie!!!!!!!!!!... Showing Life Of Bachelors which is Realistic & not a masala Range at all... Heads Off to Aamir Khan Productions once More....

    Warning: pls don't go with Family & Childrean....;-)
  • sairam
    01.07.11 07:47 AM
    I have been hearing of this movie for a long time. Let's see how it does.

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