Books & Films

Delhi in Films

There have been quite a number of Hindi films that have been shot in Delhi. The Delhi Metro or the prominent markets of Chandini Chowk or Connaught Place or Dilli Haat are tempting for any film unit to show often just to establish Delhi as a location of the story. Some of the monuments such as Qutab Minar or Red Fort or Humayun Tomb have attracted film-makers for these also add to the overall aesthetics of the film. However, there have been a few films that truly capture the essence of the city or reflect the ways of Dilliwalahs. Here is a list of Hindi films that have managed to do just that:

  • Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Delhi-6 captures the culture and idiosyncrasies of Old Delhi pretty well. There is one dialogue, among many, that is so typically ‘Delhi Six’ (‘Six’ used to be the pin code of Old Delhi) about how ‘humans don’t eat to satiate hunger – dogs do that!’ (This is when a character is offered Jalebi and he refuses on the pretext that he’s not hungry). Then there is a muslim character who is a Lord Hanumaan worshipper which is something that you often find in Old Delhi. Except for some oddities in story and the way it ends – Delhi-6 is truly reflective of life as it used to be in Old Delhi not too long ago.
  • Shoojit Sircar’s Piku and Vicky Donor caught on the Chittranjan Park’s sub-culture that is actually reminiscent of life in any prosperous part of Kolkata. But then such is life in Chittranjan Park.
  • Dibakar Banerjee’s Khosla Ka Ghosla and Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! showcase the street-smart DNA thread in Dilliwalahs to perfection. Boman Irani’s rendition of Khurana in Khosla Ka Ghosla is simply brilliant for the mannerism and attitude that are so typical of such characters in Delhi.
  • Rockstar by Imtiaz Ali is based on a Delhi University boy but the highlight of the film is how wonderfully he’s caught the spirit of Nizzumddin Dargah in that amazing number – Kun Faya Kun.
  • Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding gives a glimpse of Delhi’s contradictions.
  • Anurahg Kashyap Dev D and Abhinay Deo & Akshat Verma’s Delhi-Belly present the side of Delhi that Dilliwalahs do not want to acknowledge.

Some of the other notable films that capture life in Delhi are:

  • Fukrey (Mrighdeep Lamba)
  • Band Baaja Baaraat (Maneesh Sharma)
  • Queen (Vikas Behl)
  • Hindi Medium (Saket Chaudhary)
  • Aloo Chaat (Robby Grewal)
  • Do Dooni Chaar (Habib Faisal)
  • Unfreedom (Raj Amit Kumar)
  • Shab (Onir)
  • Chashme Buddoor (Sai Paranjpye)
  • Silsila (Yash Raj Chopra)
  • Masoom (Sekhar Kapoor)
  • New Delhi Times (Romesh Sharma)
  • Special 26 (Neeraj Pandey)
  • Aadharshila (Ashok Ahuja)

Then there are some other movies that have songs or a few scenes from Delhi but are not about Delhi such as Fanna, Mere Brother Ki Dhulan, Kurbaan, Fitoor, Bajrangi Bhaijaan etc

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