Friday, May 11, 2012

Movie recommendation: Vicky Donor (Hindi)

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Vicky Donor is a 2012 Hindi movie directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by John Abraham. I wanted to go to the movies on my birthday (with no particular movie in mind) and this is what I ended up watching . I must admit - it injected a whole lot more fun into my day!

There are movies that come with huge expectations and end up sorely disappointing the audience and then there are movies that come from nowhere and go on to become tremendous successes. How much can you expect from a move that is based on the concept of sperm donation and infertility? Not much if you ask me. But that is where Vicky Donor steps in to prove that even a small budget movie with no star cast, no foreign locales and an unconventional plot, can strike gold if it is given the right kind of treatment. This is one surprise packet that no one saw coming. Vicky Donor is fresh, daringly different, light-hearted and a laugh riot but yet manages to bring to your attention an issue that is seldom talked about and if so, in hushed tones. This is progressive cinema without the preaching and moral policing (now isn't that a relief!).

****Spoiler Alert****
Vicky Arora is a lower middle-class, young Punjabi youth living with his mother and grandmother in Delhi. He is unemployed, aimless and happy-go-lucky with most of his time spent shopping, playing cricket and hanging out with his friends. His irresponsibility drives his widowed mother, Dolly, crazy. To make matters worse, he is spoilt rotten by his grandmother (fondly called Biji) who seems to be able to justify anything he does much to the chagrin of his mother. The household runs on a meager income brought in by Dolly who runs a beauty parlor. One particular incident causes Vicky to meet Dr. Baldev Chaddha, an infertility specialist whose clinic is in dire straits due to the high failure rates of his cases. Dr. Chaddha is looking for the 'perfect' sperm and he feels that Vicky would be the ideal candidate. After much convincing and cajoling, Vicky agrees. After that, it is no looking back for Vicky and Dr. Chaddha. The clinic begins to rake in the moolah as Vicky's samples turn into a boon for the countless couples seeking treatment. Vicky receives generous remuneration as well as gifts in cash and kind from the grateful couples. Vicky keeps his 'donor' identity a secret from his family and friends as he believes it is frowned upon. The first signs of a predicament arises when Vicky falls in love with the striking Bengali bank employee Ashima Roy. Before the relationship start getting serious, Aashima reveals to Vicky that she is a divorcee. Despite her past, they go on to get married. When Aashima finds out that she is unable to bear children of her own, Vicky's secret slowly begins to unfold leading to marital discord and tension within the family. How Vicky gets his life back on track forms the rest of the storyline.

What is refreshing about Vicky Donor is the way the subject has been handled. Indian audiences are generally not used to this type of subject matter because a majority of Bollywood movies are run-on-the-mill love stories, trite comedies or stories with a hackneyed plot. Of course, over the years we have seen a marked change in the quality of Hindi cinema with more and more young and intelligent directors emerging but there is still a long way to go. There is a tasteful and classy way to do humor (a la Rajkumar Hirani) and this is where this movie scores.  Even with constant references to the 'so-called' taboo topics, at no point in time does the viewer feel embarrassed or uncomfortable while watching the movie. There are certain scenes that leave you in splits. A few notable highlights are - Biji sharing a glass of whiskey with her daughter-in-law, Vicky's first visit to the clinic to 'submit' his sample, Biji receiving a new iPhone from Vicky and cheekily commenting that she wanted the 32GB and not 16 GB (!) and the bickering surrounding the Punjabi-Bengali culture clash. The only complaints I have are that at times, the Punjabi dialogues seem a bit heavy-handed and the plot does derail a tad in the second half of the movie.

Ayushman Kurana as Vicky is a real find. He is charming and doesn't take himself too seriously. He has all the trappings of a good actor. The song "Paani da rang" has been composed and sung by him and it is an absolute gem (it has been playing over and over in my head since the day I first heard it). Yami Gautam as Aashima Roy is stunning and makes you sit up and take notice of her. The characters of the grandmother and Dolly are delightfully funny and the casting is just spot on. But the star of the show just has to be Annu Kapoor as Dr. Chaddha. Right from his accent to mannerisms to his obsession with 'sperm'....he is just hilarious! I wish he would do more such significant roles. Apart from the fantastic cast, the music blends seamlessly into the storyline, the cinematography is authentic and the dialogues are crisp, witty and brings in chuckles.

For all the above reasons, Vicky Donor is my current movie recommendation. Watch it and I guarantee you will not be disappointed!

I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I loved this movie too. Bollywood needs more of such movies than the regular meaningless mash-ups!


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