There have been far too many cross over films in the recent few years that have made it to Hindi screens. While some have blended the cultures of both east and west really well, some have tried to show India from the eyes of a foreigner. The latter seems to be the case with yet another cross over film Delhi In A Day.
A PVR Director's Rare, Delhi In A Day showcases the divide between the upper class society and the poverty stricken domestic helps that too through the eyes of a foreigner from London. Jasper (Lee Williams) wants to see the real India and hence starts off his trip by visiting his father's partner in Delhi, Mukund Bhatia (Kulbhushan Kharbanda). In a palatial house in Delhi filled with numerous domestic aides, Jasper in his very first day loses all his savings that he carried with him. Mukund's better half Kalpana (Lilette Dubey) starts suspecting every domestic help and gives them 24 hours to own up their fault. Whether it turns out to be one amongst them or not follows through the rest of the plot.
NRI director Prashant Nair deploys some of the formulaic tricks of making a crossover cinema, right from the conversational sequence between a local cabbie and a foreigner which has been done to death before to the foreigner wanting to travel through the trains and buses in a big to see "real India", a commonly used dialogue.
The biggest flaw in the film is that there's nothing Delhi specific about it. The film could well be based in Mumbai or any other city as filmmaker Prashant Nair doesn't quite explore any Delhi essence except for showing a Punjabi family which could be situated anywhere.
Delhi In A Day does start on an interesting and pleasant note interspersed with great humour brought about by the mannerisms of Kulbhushan Kharbanda and Lilette Dubey. Even the initial portions of Jasper are intriguing. However, right from the time the main plot of missing money takes off, the film just treads on a wafer-thin plot testing the viewers patience. There's ample time spent on unrequired portions like the long dance sequence of Rohini (Anjali Patil) on an old song.
Moreover, many a things are left unexplained like what happens after Rohini goes into a notorious bylane of Delhi in a bid to take a loan. Or even the behavior Chotu (Arun Mallick) towards Rohini. Or Jasper's fascination with Rohini.
The film however, had ample scope to make for an enjoyable movie. However, it gets reduced to just being enjoyable in terms of characterization and humour. Kulbhushan Kharbanda is at his typified best and is surely a delight to watch. Most of the humour in the film centers around him. Lilette Dubey as the upper class hoity-toity housewife makes for a perfect cast too. Lee Williams is average at best. However, what takes the cake is the casting of the house-help. Right from Chotu to Rohini or even Raghu (Vidya Bhushan) all put together an outstanding show. They fit the bill to the T and full marks to Prashant Nair for having cast them.
To sum it up, Delhi In A Day could have been a fine attempt however, with a wafer thin plot and a very slow pace it turns into a dull affair.
Critic: Mansha Rastogi
(2 / 5) : Average