Vicky Donor – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on April 20, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER- Sunil A Lulla, John Abraham, Ronnie Lahiri
DIRECTOR – Shoojit Sircar
WRITER – Juhi Chaturvedi
CAST – Ayushman Khurana, Annu Kapoor, Yami Gautam, Dolly Ahluwalia, Kamlesh Gill
MUSIC – Bishwadeep Chatterjee
It is probably a sign of maturity that we are slowly getting more comfortable with home-grown characters and settings. Even if as an outcome to commercial concerns, we are slowly beginning to tell stories that affect our world, in the way it can play out only in our cultural reality. Are we really beginning to reclaim our ethnic space through our story-telling?
Vicky Donor compels one to ponder because as unique the story-line is, its treatment and setting is as rooted, instantly harking us to the emotional and cultural ethos of recent films like Do Dooni Chaar, Band Baajaa Baarat and Phas Gaye Re Obama among several others. Vicky (Ayushman Khurana), a regular, carefree, middle class youth of Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar becomes a (very much-in-demand) sperm donor after relentless badgering from a very enterprising Dr Chaddha (Annu Kapoor). He calls it only an opportunity to earn some pocket money which it is. Vicky goes on with his life as before, finds himself a Bengali girl Ashima (Yami Gautami) and marries and post some cross-cultural comedy his erstwhile ‘job’ catches up with him. How does a society as conservative, bigoted and hypocritical as ours react to Vicky’s ‘profession’? Added to this is the irony of his wife unable to conceive. How will destiny play out and what is it that the film is trying to tell us really, if anything at all?
It is a delightful little experience as it delves whole-heartedly in the lives of middle-class Delhiites and the Bengali educated class (Ashima’s background). It becomes a full-bodied joy as it explores the relationship of the whiskey-drinking grandmother (A hilarious Kamlesh Gill) and mother of Vicky (the excellent Dolly Ahluwalia) and gives us more than a few gems of characterisation and performance. Annu Kapoor’s powerhouse talent brings the pedestrian but determined Chaddha’s soul alive as he effortlessly walks the perfect tightrope between humour, emotion, quirk and despair. Ayushman remains the boy-next door with little complications throughout the end, the actor or the character investing little into the plot. Ashima’s is an interesting character wrought with equal parts bravado, brittleness and old-world emotionality that at once speak for her modernity and her own make-up. Yami Gautami performs with flair and if something doesn’t work it is only the utter lack of chemistry between the leads.
The film that has so much going for it that includes a director (Shoojit Sircar, who made the sensitive Yahaan) with an evolved understanding of storytelling, lilting music, quirky script and characters ultimately goes askew in the end with its choice to play to the gallery. There is little or no character growth for Vicky and the sperm donation becomes a mere tool in the end for his happy ending. In between there is a lot of drama that invokes Indian morality and pits modernity against it but one can’t help be left with the feeling that the film takes a safer and rather irrelevant cop-out in the end. It doesn’t quite leave it to you to decide about the propriety of sperm donation (if at all it is an issue) and instead brings in unnecessary strains of feeling that even though done well, do not seem to have a place in the film.
Rare is the film’s commitment to its characters and their emotional mindscapes. There are a million strands it delves into making its reality only richer. A misguided ending shouldn’t really do much to tamper with that experience should it?