Everyone who knows me knows that I have a gag reflex when it comes to Bollywood. I'd much rather have my toe nails pulled out, thank you very much. And everyone's given up on me apart from my husband. He accuses me of being an incurable snob (I'm not a snob really, I just have a different sensibility) and insists that I get a dose of popular culture every now and then. Thrice a year, is what I've reluctantly allowed him (marriage is about making compromises, innit?). Of course, I've NEVER forgiven him for dragging me to see that weird Dil Chahta Hai, which, critics raved, was a turning point in Indian cinema. I thought it was puerile, dishonest, lame, and wannabe cool. Hell, it still had that dreadful Bollywood sensibility - the first half of the movie was upbeat, the second half everyone was beating their breasts and weeping. Ew.
Admittedly, there are a few Bollywood flicks I rather liked in the recent past: Omkara, Welcome To Sajjanpur, Peepli Live and Love, Sex aur Dhoka. I walked out halfway through the first Munnabhai flick when the breast beating and mournful violins began - but I enjoyed the second Munnabhai movie - perhaps because Raju Hirani dumped that annoying half-half formula here. That's just five movies over a decade.
Naturally, I didn't want to see Delhi Belly. Particularly since critics were raving, once again, that it's a (yawn) turning point in Indian cinema. I was dragged, nonetheless, by a very determined husband and holy shit - I absolutely loved it! I loved EVERYTHING about it. Yes, it's gross and outrageous but it's also side-splittingly hilarious and so intelligently put together. Some of the scenes are amazingly memorable, I have a feeling I'll still be giggling over them in the years to come. The bread stick and paper bag scene is one of my favourites. And as for the profanity that's got many people pursing their lips grimly, I think I should quote my brother-in-law here, "The language in the film took me back to college. It all came back, the imagery and stuff. Shit we were so creative!"
The script writer (Akshat Varma) and the director (Abhinay Deo) did a fantastic job, the casting was superb, and now perhaps I won't let out a squeak when I'm forced to see a Bollywood flick again. But I'll only go if it's a collaborative effort between Akshat Varma and Abhinay Deo - what can I say? They've set the bar so high, it's going to be a tough act to follow. And why should I settle for less?