'Chalo Dilli' is what happens when you decide to turn the story of your unlucky day into a movie! Director Shashant Shah's 'Chalo Dilli' fails to impress, even though it has such a strong star-cast.
The tip-top Mihika Mukherjee (Lara Dutta), a very successful, career-driven woman, handling a high profile company, has a bad day. Have you had a day when everything, just about everything goes wrong? Mihika also experiences something like that. Where she should've been flying to Delhi, she ends up in Jaipur. Right from the minute her bad time starts, one common element throughout (whom she blames to be the reason for her bad day) is Manu Gupta (Vinay Pathak). As fate has it, she has to travel through jungles, deserts, roads, bullock carts and cars with goons in it, eat at dhabas, sleep at dirty hotels, etc. and that too with Manu Gupta.
The first half of the movie has a few underlying aspects which show the clear biases regarding the Mumbai-ites and the Delhi-ites, the people from old Delhi and New Delhi, the rich people and the middle class to poor people. At some points, like when Lara Dutta wakes early up at the dhaba to see the sunrise or sleeps in the night below the stars, it clearly shows the things that urbanization makes you miss. In spite of living in sky-scrapers, strangely, we have no time to even look at the sky and Mihika slowly and gradually realizes what all she is missing out on and Manu makes her realize this. Manu Gupta, a person who truly irritates her in the beginning with his Kareena- from Jab We Met-style non-stop chattering, slowly brings her back to earth from her 'everything is Oh-so-tacky' attitude. Throughout the movie they both address each other as 'Behenji' and 'Bhaisahab' and you come to know their names only towards the end.
Some moments, before the interval, are funny but not laugh-out-loud funny. The interval brings some hope that later the movie will have some exciting twists but zilch. The part where Lara Dutta runs behind the train to catch it, Kajol-style from DDLJ and Vinay Pathak asks her to hold his hand SRK-style, it hits you with the biggest cliche ever but it has a twist to it and that makes it bearable.
Although Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathak have acted really well, their efforts are wasted on the poor story line. The second half of the movie drags unnecessarily, that you suddenly feel that the first half was better. Akshay Kumar brings with him the air of 'Tees Maar Khan' and spoils the bearable mood of the movie. His cameo feels unnecessary. His presence, as an over-protective husband, panicking over the phone, would have been enough. The final twist in the movie is completely and totally un-called for. The music is good and the Yana Gupta item song, though not yet a 'Sheila ki Jawani' hit, might soon catch the attention of people. The cinematography is also pretty good, especially in the first half, where the remote parts of India are shown (no foreign locations, for a change).
Although initially, it feels like a feel-good movie with not too many unnecessary songs, it is a home-video-watch movie. Worth seeing for Lara and Vinay's tuning but probably only at home!