Movie Review : Vicky Donor
Saturday, April 21, 2012 12:15:55 PM (IST)
Anaam, Bollywood Trade Editorial
AYUSHMANN KHURRANA and YAMI GAUTAM in VICKY DONOR
VICKY DONOR is a rare comedic ode and tribute to the hero of the reproductive process that brings joy and celebration in the life of mortals and ensures the continuity of the animal world. We don’t like talking about this hardworking and extremely focused missionary and GENius and cringe at the very mention of its name. However, this film talks about Sperms with gay abandon without turning them into a butt of cheap jokes. It stops a few steps short of being a breakthrough film but is full of heart-warming, brilliant, and beautiful sparks of genius in its inspired writing, direction, characterizations, and performances. It is John Abraham’s first film as a producer and a journey well begun.
Vicky (Ayushmann Khurrana), a good-hearted and feisty Delhi boy, is going through an usual existential crisis. He is the only man in a household of his doting ultra-liberal straight talking grandmother (Kamlesh Gill) and a hard working mother (Dolly Ahluwalia) who somehow manages to run the household with income generated from a beauty parlor. He is under pressure to do something with his life, get a job and become responsible. On the other hand Dr. Baldev Chaddha (Annu Kapoor), a fertility expert, has to deal with another kind of existential crisis. He is on the lookout for quality sperms to meet the demands of the finicky and highly demanding clientele of his floundering fertility clinic.
Chaddha and Vicky meet by a quirk of fate and the highly persuasive fertility expert succeeds in convincing Vicky to take up the lucrative re-productive career of a sperm donor. Soon, Vicky realizes that his good, honest, and socially useful work is not considered respectful. He has been wooing a beautiful and charming Bengali bank officer Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam) and finally succeeds after ‘pyar mein premi pehle jhagda kartein hai, phir aahein bhartein hain’ manner. She tells him her secret. She is a divorcee. He hides his that he is a sperm donor. This sows an ‘unhealthy’ seed of future discard. They get married after a short interlude of a hearty and harmless Punjabi – Bengali jhagda-jhanjhat comprehensively highlighting the differences between the two sub-cultures of our colorful land.
Now, Ashima has a physiological problem that would cause a lot of psychological trauma to any married woman. She cannot conceive. Hereon the organically moving story takes a bad inorganic turn. During a useless argument with Vicky she gets to know the true nature of his career and source of income. The idea that she was not told about this disgusting ‘shagging for money’ job during the courting period is a big anathema to the self-respecting, justice loving Bengali wife. She leaves for Kolkata, her mayka, and goes into a long-distance ‘dukhbhare geet’ sulk. After a strong rebuke by Vicky’s mother, good-hearted Dr. Chaddha, unable to bear the heavy burden of blame on his conscience, decides to do something dramatic to bring the estranged couple together.
What stand out in the film are its characterizations, inspired dialogues and some of the scenes, which have very little to do with the ‘troubled life of a sperm donor’ theme of the film, and the brilliant performances by the peripheral characters. I have always held a belief that we have world-class actors but our star system driven films offer very little scope to them to show their histrionic skills. However, whenever, and wherever they get a chance they don’t let it go by. What they need is some well-written scenes and sensible supervision by a sensitive director. VICKY DONOR offers them the scope and they deliver. The actors like Kamlesh Gill, Dolly Ahluwalia, and the rest have lived their well-crafted roles. The late night drinking scene between the mother and grandmother and a scene between Vicky and his childhood girlfriend in the barsaati are remarkably written and performed. The film reminds me of PEEPLI LIVE and its outstanding characterizations.
There are a whole lot of idiots in the film industry who baulk at the idea of casting TV stars in their films. Look at this film. It is full of TV actors and they are so good and photogenic. Yami Gautam looks naturally beautiful with great facial features. Ayushmann Khurrana may not be as tall as other Bollywood hunks but he has more confidence and talent than most of them who spend countless hours and loads of money developing every other muscle group in their tall well-built bodies than their acting muscles. A really great actor like Annu Kapoor is generally ignored. He has never disappointed his audience yet we hardly see him in our films. He has imparted respectability to the word ‘sperm’ with his nuanced performance in this film.
If the film ends on a tame note I would blame it on all pervasive Bollywood mediocrity. It is not easy to get away from it. It pulls you in. After having written the film so well in the first half, in the second half the writer of the film (Juhi Chaturvedi) gets casual so does the director (Shoojit Sircar). They should have developed it better and created solid motivations for the characters to move the story forward and keep the tempo going. They seem to be in a big hurry to wrap up the story. BAND BAAJA BAARAAT suffered a similar fate. This has become an endemic issue with all these Delhi-centric films.
We give four and half stars to the film – one each for writing, direction, and ensemble performance, one for the producers and another half a star as a bonus to the not so well known actors who have done a superb job.
Rating - 4.5/5
Tags : Vicky Donor Movie Review, Ayushmann Khurrana, Yami Gautam, Annu Kapoor, Shoojit Sircar, John Abraham