The ApunKaChoice movie review of Chalo Dilli. A high-profile, well-heeled investment banker (Lara Dutta) and a gauche, ill-mannered, street-smart saree merchant (Vinay Pathak) make the unlikeliest of travelling companions. But it is through their unique journey via moffusil India -- its roadside dhabas and dusty towns -- that the viewer experiences this part-funny part-bumpy ride called Chalo Dilli.
Inspiration from Hollywood films notwithstanding, Chalo Dilli is also the bheja fried mishmash of Jab We Met and Dil Hai Ki Maanta Nahin. A road movie revolving around two strangers who stick together for a journey from Jaipur to Delhi, it starts off pretty well as Lara Dutta, playing a snooty, snobbish banker on her way Delhi, misses her flight and hits the road in the middle of the night only to bump into the burping, gutka-chewing, spitting, gali-spewing Vinay Pathak who’s also headed to Delhi.
Thereby begins the trip that sees these two chalk-and-cheese personalities bonding gradually and discovering the fun that’s there in traipsing and trundling through the heartland of the country that seldom makes for the pin-up of Incredible India.
Director Shashant Shah weaves an engaging tale but doesn’t know where to take it for a fat part of the second half. The climax does lift the film’s graph up a bit.
Credit to both Lara Dutta and Vinay Pathak for infusing life into their characters. She’s every bit the high society snob who grimaces at the sight of a hair in her dhaba food, but he dismisses it with a smirk and signature dialogue “kaun si badi baat ho gayi” (no big deal!). The supporting actors who sneak in and out of scenes do add their own flavour to the movie.
Make time for Chalo Dilli if you want some light hearted fun that celebrates small town India.