"Delhi 6" is a messy and overlong - though frequently appealing - tale of a young American man who travels to India to rediscover his roots. When his grandmother is diagnosed with diabetes, Roshan agrees to accompany her back to the land of her birth so she can end her life at the same place where she began it. While there, Roshan learns a thing or two about a culture he's been largely sheltered from in his life in New York. This includes taking the bad along with the good: the sense of community along with the antiquated caste system; the respect for tradition along with the adherence to ancient superstitions; the respect for law-and-order along with the corruption and cronyism of the police and politicians; the technological advances along with a scarcity of resources like electricity and water; the arranged marriages along with the flowering of true love. That latter is particularly crucial to the story as Roshan falls for a beautiful, independent-minded woman whose father wants to marry her off to a man of his choosing even though her heart's desire is to perform as a singer on the popular TV show "Indian Idol."
Like most mainstream movies made in India, "Delhi 6" provides a relatively upbeat, prettified look at life in that country. Any hint of poverty is pushed to the background, while the foreground becomes an almost nonstop dizzying swirl of music and color. And I do mean "nonstop," for if there is one thing "Delhi 6" has in abundance it's musical sequences, some of which drag on for an insufferably long time, adding an unnecessary burden to the movie`s overall running time. The film also culminates in an overwrought scene that feels like a bizarre melding of "West Side Story" with "Carousel."
So what's likable about "Delhi 6"? Well, its cultural observations are sometimes compelling, particularly its portrayal of the tension that exists between Hindus and Muslims in that nation. Also, the actors (Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, et. al.) are both physically attractive and energetic. And while the humor occasionally veers towards the goofy and the "villainous" figures are largely two-dimensional stereotypes, the movie has a genuine affection for its characters and country (flaws and all) that finally wins us over.