Firstpost spoke to Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo on the success and critical acclaim of the film. He spoke about making simple movies, item numbers and women and how it was a conscious choice to not make a hypocritical film.
On whether he had doubts about the film’s commercial success because of the language of the film: Yeah I was skeptical about the film doing well. It could have oscillated between a super flop and a super hit. We did know during our test screenings that the response was humongous, particularly from the target audience. I was ecstatic to know that people had really taken a liking to the movie.
On making a film that has no cinematic message at the end: We’re not giving out a tangible message in this film. We’re not saying that there is a certain issue and here’s the solution. I’m not giving them something they can carry on their conscience. Perhaps at the subliminal level there is a message. I would really want to know what they’re taking home from the film because for me this film had none.
On the film being hailed as bold and experimental and bearing the morality burden: I don’t think through this film we are trying to challenge the usual Bollywood formula. We’re showing that this also works and trying to open a new chapter.
Where morality is concerned, we took a stand that we won’t be hypocrites; no double standards. There are people who are objecting to the language of the film. I say that if students today talk like that and there is no moral policing on them — there shouldn’t be any, then it’s not wrong that we show that in cinema, which is a mirror of society. But we’re not saying this is the only youth of India either. But Delhi Belly is not a bubble gum film.
On item numbers, women and sex in the film: Aamir’s item number was always an integral part of the film. When Imran interviews Anushka, you think she’s a total twit and it seems like a horrible song ( I hate you like I love you). But she comes back in the end and proves everyone wrong. We wanted Aamir to be a part of this song. The idea to have Aamir in the song was mine and the writers. We took this whole idea of an item song and just had fun with it.
I think it’s time Bollywood shows some more substance-oriented women. I believe that we’re done with showing women as sex objects or as arm accessories for the male actors.
We didn’t want to sensationalise sex. The scene where Shenaz and Imraan are making out, it’s there to suggest a whole lot of meaning. The fact that he’s going down on her is also a sign that she was more over-powering and overbearing in the relationship. The point for me was not just to talk about sex but to talk about it with humour. I did not want to make it into a crass scene where you’d not want to watch it. Vir Das’ line is hilarious but done without being loud and unnecessary.
Menaka is a woman who’s out there, does her own thing and gets what she wants. Sonia might represent a certain dumb blonde but we did not point her down in anyway. She still has a stand that she takes in the film when she breaks up with Imran and she’s also a person on her own, not just a rich girl.
And yes we have broken certain norms of trying to be pretty. We have not shied away from a pimple on somebody’s face to an unbroomed room.
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