Direction: Shashant Shah
Production: Big Daddy Productions, Eros International Media Ltd, Bheegi Basanti Entertainment
Starring: Vinay Pathak, Lara Dutta
Ratings: * * 1/2
Circumstances force a man and a woman to travel together on a long journey, which has a number of ups and downs. Before the journey ends, they develop affection and respect for each other. However, they don’t fall in love nor do they get a crush on each other. This is Shashant Shah’s Chalo Dilli’s noteworthy achievement. Other than this, this road trip saga (similar to Due Date and Planes, Trains and Automobiles) suffers from a slow narrative and lacks interesting moments. It is Vinay Pathak’s greatness that makes you somewhat satisfied in the end.
The whole idea was to let Mihika Banerjee (Lara Dutta), a high profile investment banker, experience the simple rural life of India with a chatterbox acquaintance Manu Gupta (Vinay Pathak) in a journey from Jaipur to Delhi. The way both the characters meet and are later forced to travel together is interesting and their interaction gives rise to a number of humorous moments. Although not fast paced, the first half is interesting and promising.
The script, however, starts going downhill in the second half where the situations and characters thrown in fail to amuse much. The goon track and Yana Gupta’s raunchy item number just don’t gel with the story. But thanks to a guest appearance by a superstar and some moving drama in the climax, the film manages to produce a smile.
And talking about smiles, they also produced in plenty by the dialogues which are the backbone of this flick. Apart from the song Matargashtiyan, the music is not much to talk about.
Although his character appears similar to the one he played in Bheja Fry, Vinay Pathak steals the show here. He carries the film on his shoulders with his lovable acts which also overshadow the weakness in the script. Having said that, Lara Dutta too produces a mature act. This is one of her better performances till date.
Overall, Chalo Dilli, is a strictly one-time affair as it falls in the could-have-been-great categories. Due to the multiple releases, the film will have a tough time at the box-office.