US critics warm up to 'Delhi-6'

Mar 1, 2009 Arun Kumar

Washington, March 1 (IANS) After the runaway success of Mumbai-set "Slumdog Millionaire", US critics are waking up to Bollywood, especially the music of Oscar winner A.R. Rahman, whose latest composition for the Abhishek Bachchan starrer "Delhi-6" is also being appreciated.

Los Angeles Times really liked "Delhi-6". So did Village Voice in New York City and the site, which reviews world cinema also gave it a big thumbs up.

"Delhi-6" also opened well at the US box office over Oscar weekend and had the third highest per-theatre average for any film in the Top 25.

It was probably the first time a father-daughter team from Bollywood had their own separate movies in the US Top 25 at the same time. Anil Kapoor has "Slumdog Millionaire" and Sonam Kapoor is in "Delhi-6".

"Anchored by a fascinating score from Oscar winner A.R. Rahman ('Slumdog Millionaire'), naturalistic performances and a wide cinematic palette, 'Delhi-6' is a fair introduction to Indian cinema for outsiders - who will have no clue at times why the audience is laughing," said LA Times critic Michael Ordona.

"The songs and score are memorable, and director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra has a deep bag of cinematic tricks to illuminate the distinct patterns, such as flights into Hindu mythology or a dream sequence blending New York and Delhi," he added.

The movie site said: "Maybe the runaway success of 'Slumdog Millionaire' will inspire Western audiences to sample more authentic Bollywood fare. With its first-rate music, world-class stars, and postcard-ready views of India (not to mention the relatively reasonable running time), 'Delhi-6' presents an especially welcoming option."

To, the movie "represents the enigmatic India of today".

Critic Michelle Orange said while "'Delhi-6' attempts to address the generational, economic, and religious problems dividing modern India, it does so in an unapologetically broad, whacked-out way, with each of Bollywood's four food groups (corn, cheese, treacle and nuts) present and accounted for.

"Which is to say, of course, that it's pretty much irresistible and, in that sense, represents the enigmatic India of today as well as anything ever could."

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