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Chalo Dilli – movie review

A journey to the heart of India... via your own


Chalo Dilli - movie review

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination”. The beautiful demography and diversity of our country comes across on the colourful canvas of the screen. Chalo Dilli is the journey of mismatched strangers together on a trip which alters their lives. Chalo Dilli movie review…

Dynamic go-getter Mihika Banerjea (Lara Dutta) thinks she has her life totally under control. This highly successful Senior Vice President of Investment Banking with a top Multinational Bank is a dynamic, no nonsense lady who is extremely focused on her career. She does not compromise in life and is used to getting her way.

What helps is her being finicky about things and her fetish for cleanliness. From Business class travel to Mineral water from the Alps, she is used to having the best things in life. And is willing to pay anything for them, because she seriously believes that nothing good comes for free.

The film Chalo Dilli opens in the cold air-conditioned and luxurious confines of a swank corporate office and then via a bustling Mumbai city airport, leads to the small colourful town of Rajasthan which has rustic flavour of village life.

On her way to Delhi for a ‘brief halt’ at her home and husband, before heading off to an international conference, Mihika misses her flight and much to her chagrin, ends up traveling on a budget airline which gets stranded at Jaipur airport due to a technical glitch.

Here Mihika’s life collides with the boisterous and over enthusiastic Manu Gupta. A portly, gutka eating, expletive spewing, Ladies Dress Material Seller from Karol Bagh, Old Delhi who too is traveling back to Delhi from Mumbai.

Manu is everything that Mihika isn’t. Loud, light hearted and extremely street smart. And at times, over smart. Which is what eventually lands them up in trouble. Big trouble.

Now begins a bizarre journey full of adventure, madness and crazy comic moments with the oddest traveling couple ever!

A hilarious roller coaster journey through air, road and rail from Mumbai, via Jaipur to Delhi. A journey where through Manu and Mihika finally gets to see the real India. Its colourful and quirky people and their oddball eccentricities.

A rude and sleepy tourist taxi driver, a shy large hearted trucker, the motley rustic crew at an unhygienic dhaba, a corrupt TC with a conscience, idiotic desi hoodlums, an excitable hotel owner, gun slinging angry local dons and lots more…

Little does Mihika realize that the best joys in life are for free. She is stuck up, low on patience and demanding. A control freak who gets stressed out when things don’t go her way.

What begins as a nightmarish journey for Mihika, eventually turns out to be an internal journey for her, as Manu and the characters around her show her life for what it truly is. And the true measure of success and happiness.

So finally when Mihika gets home, she has traveled a much bigger distance than on a roadmap.

In India with every fifteen kilometers, dialects change and the look of location change which is creatively captured with the blazing afternoon to the setting sun to the cold midnight and then the beautiful sunrise. Besides this, Chalo Dilli showcases all forms of travel like the swanky cars, rickety tourist car traps, airplanes, trains, camelcarts, tempos, jeeps, two wheelers and even a bicycle.

A fine drama with crisp editing and excellent performances by Vinay Pathak as the intolerable country bumpkin and Lara Dutta who is just ideal as the snooty banker and very well restrained in the second half. There is an item song Laila Main Laila performed by Yana Gupta.

Chalo Dilli is a journey filled with colour, characters and scenic locations of India.

Cast of Chalo Dilli:
Vinay Pathak – Manu Gupta
Lara Dutta – Mihika Mukherjee
Akshay Kumar – Lt. Col. Vikram Singh Rathore
Dadhi Pandey – Dharampal
Yana Gupta as Laila in an item song
Pankaj Jha – Inspector Mishra
Brijendra Kala – T.C. Pant
Gaurav Gera
Rahul Singh
Teddy Maurya
Mukesh Bhatt

Credits & Crew of Chalo Dilli:
Banner – Big Daddy Productions, Eros International Media Ltd, Bheegi Basanti Entertainment
Produced by Krishika Lulla, Lara Dutta, Kavita Bhupathi Chadda
Directed by Shashant Shah
Story & Screenplay by Arshad Sayed
Music by Gourov Dasgupta
Cinematography – Nikos Andritsakis
Editing by Aseem Sinha
Sound – Shajith Koyeri
Dialogues – Arshad Syed
Costume – Manoshi Nath, Rushi Sharma
Lyricist – Manthan, Anand Raj Anand, Krishika Lulla, Shabbir Ahmed, Nisha Mascarenhas
Background Music – Rohit Kulkarni
Chalo Dilli – movie review