Lets start the movie with 1 star rating.
Now who would want to watch a movie with a title like Vicky Donor? First impression is confusion,the next is contracdiction.This was one of the reason I did not see the movie first up. But then Paani Da… song caught on and one is tempted to see that sequence if not the entire movie.Well somehow I reluctantly bought the DVD.
If you have watched a lot of movies in your life, you know from the first few scenes that its treatment is very different and VD falls in that category.The movie grips you in from about the 30th minute.You begin to wonder whats in store.
Anu Kapoor as the loveable Dr.Baldev Chaddha is first noticeable, simply because he has not over done the role.Playing a haryanvi/panjabi doctor has all the ingredients to go over the top – but he doesnt – and thats the first welcome change.
Bring it up to 2 stars.
The nuances of both the cultures are well etched,sketched.The archetypal Panjabi neighbourhood of Delhi versus the pseudo Bengali colony of CR Park. The support cast of Dolly Ahluwalia and Kamlesh Gill forming the mother and grandmother duo,played the role to a nicety.Dolly, the hard working, soft but loud Panjaban widow can be easily identified if one is familiar with Haus Khaz or Panjabi Baug areas.But the surprise package is the progressive Grandma Kamlesh Gill. I guess the role suited her so well. One of the highlight scenes are where the squabling daughter-in-law and mother-in-law by day , are seen enjoying the evening with a drink. Coming of age of the erstwhile “saas” I say – think Lalita Pawar of yesteryear.
The circle is complete with the other support staff chipping in with equal elan.The brides father and aunt play the intellectual Bengali to the perfection without overdoing the stereotype.In some sense the not overdoing part in any scene is perhaps the greatest refreshment of the movie.The narration moves on swiftly and quickly with dragging its feet.Whoever did the editing did a good job.
That brings me to the female lead – Yami Gautam, an unknown face to the larger audience but some die hard Television fans would recognize her face.Dare I say she has a faint resemblance to Chitrangada Singh? Not sure if anyone noticed that.But she is beautiful in her own right.Her eyes do much of the talking and the character she played kind of tailor made for her kind of looks/personality – is what it seems to the average audience. She plays the reluctant,yet coy modern woman, not trying to impress too hard,yet wants and likes the attention, kind of a role really well.Again a big thumbs up.
Now the ratings stands at 3 stars.
Ayushman Khurana – has perfected the sada Delhi boy look and manner to the perfection.Janardhan Jakhar a.k.a Ranbir Kapoor are you listening? This is what JJ lacked in Rockstar – the rustic charisma.But thats a different story altogether.Ayushman comes across a very pleasant personality onscreen living his role with ease.Not trying to overdo the “Panjabiness” and breaking the stereotype that all Panjabis are brash and brawny was such a welcome change and true to a large extent – just like every Bengali is not the monkey -cap wearing Rajdhani trotter.
He emotes well,is fluid with his delivery and has an engaging screen presence.I know the workd is going to say well he is a one film wonder or this role was custom tailored lets see what he does next, kind of epitaphs, however I think an actors job is make the role come alive from the pages where it was written.Imagine John Abraham doing this role? Not impossible, but difficult. ( Disclaimer: this does not mean John is not capable of doing similar roles, its just that this sort of movie hasnt come his way yet.)
Ayushman’s rendering of Paani da song is perhaps the icing on the cake in my books.Not only has the song been written well, composed well but he has sung it really well.There is this hurt-quality in his voice which comes across to your ears quite well.Remember the song Sar ki yeh Pahar from Strings? It had an underlying hurt quality which touched everyone’s hearts.
His performance pull up the rating to a serious high 4 stars.
Shoojit Sircar – the director does a fabulous job managing the plot and his attention to detail is splendid.Keeping the narration moving ,extracting right amount of emotions from his protagonists was a job well done.Capturing the mood in the scenes is something every director cannot pull off – but Shoojit does a great job at that.Picture that scene where the brides (Yami Gautam) father reasons with her and asks her about the real problem while sitting with a drink in another room.His role graduation from the reluctant Bengali father to a progressive one has been handled so well by Shoojit – some of the scenes are truly commendable.
But thats not whats great about Shoojit – think about someone coming with a script which says well the movie is going to be about a sperm donor who has 53 kids.Visuaising it from there and bringing it alive on screen is his brilliance.
But the real winner is Juhi Chaturvedi.
Take a bow maam – what a tight script, what a well thought out script. Its sensitive, its touching tugs at the right emotions,and even manages to induce a few lumps in the thorat towards the second half of the movie.Where were you all this while? There are good writers in the Indian film industry make no mistake, and to have you on the good writers list is a welcome addition to the average movie buff. The attention to detail is fantastic, the editing great and the conceptualizing of the entire story is beautiful. This movie could have easily become spoilt in its excesses or gone over the top with its innuendos but your story dodges from all that and delivers something original and well thought of.So hats off to you.You have raised the bar and we will look forward to more of your stories.
Does it mean that the movie has no room for improvement – of course not it has, but lets not be too critical when you see an honest effort coming alive on screen and such different movie are being made rather than then run of the mill romance or gore and violence.So I will stick to 4 out of a possible 5 stars,which is pretty high in my books, and will recommend a watch for those who havent already.Yes this a DVD you can buy for keeps and still enjoy a repeat viewing.