When an actor turns producer, he showcases his untapped talent. But this film’s different. With Vicky Donor, John Abraham turns producer but he doesn’t use the film as a showreel for himself. Instead, he produces entertaining cinema. Abraham doesn’t feature in the film (except in an item song, which appears when the end credits roll) but he has backed a story which needed to be told.
The story revolves around a sperm donor, a subject alien to the Indian audience. Considering the subject, the dialogue could easily have sounded cheap. But the film has been written and presented with class and there’s not a vulgar moment.
It’s an adult theme (It’s been given a U/A certificate) but it’s not aimed at front-benchers. While maintaining the sanity of the story, the writer and director have also injected entertainment into every scene. Amazingly, this film will appeal to both the multiplex audience seated in plush push-pack chairs as well as the singleplex audience.
The film starts with Dr Baldev Chaddha played by Annu Kapoor. He runs a fertility clinic and a sperm bank. But there’s a problem: Although he has many clients who are willing to adopt and become parents with the help of a sperm donor, he lacks a perfect donor. So he’s hunting for a sperm donor who can salvage his sinking clinic. Dr Chaddha comes across Vicky Arora (Ayushmann Khurrana), who’s young but jobless.
Dr Chaddha believes that Vicky is the only person who can save him. Vicky starts enjoying the money he’s making by donating his sperm but there’s a twist when he falls in love and decides to stop being a donor. What follows next forms the crux of the film.
The strongest point of the film is the way relationships are portrayed – between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law, son and mother, grandson and grandmother, Vicky and Dr Chaddha, a couple, and son-in-law and father-in-law. Relationships are beautifully woven into this splendid laughathon.
There are many scenes that are unforgettable, like the drinking scene between two old ladies (mother-in-law and daughter-in-law), which is very touching. Also, the relationship between the protagonist and the woman he loves, how their relationship grows and how they fall in love is remarkably presented. Though a little repetitive, the way Dr Chaddha keeps trying to convince Vicky is hilarious.
The film does have its flaws. For instance, the sequence where the two old ladies are drinking, the bottle is empty in one scene and then only partially empty in another. Also, the length of Vicky’s beard is inconsistent.
Although the run time is 122 minutes, the film tends to drag in the second half at some places. Editing out small bits would have improved the film. Some of the characters speak in their respective languages such as Punjabi and Bengali. So the dialogue is sometimes tough to follow. Some more loopholes: How the wife never realises that her husband is jobless and she accepts his explanation that he’s a trader.
Having said that, the film is an enjoyable journey. Also the ‘clash’ between Punjabis and Bengalis is in good faith and doesn’t hurt anyone’s sentiments. Add to this, funny one-liners and you have a laugh-riot.
Everyone, from the producers to the director and writer deserves a pat on their back for making a straight-from-the-heart entertainer. No buffoonery, no loud characters, no gimmicks and no over-acting. Just pure cinema!
Director Shoojit Sircar is in full form. He’s first rate, from script selection to casting to direction to extracting the right expressions from each character to execution. Also, it’s hard to believe that this is Juhi Chaturvedi’s first film as a story-dialogue-screenplay writer. She’s a welcome addition to the industry. Also, one must applaud the casting director who has managed to find the perfect actors for every role.
Music is another asset of this film. Not only is it apt but it flows with the proceedings. The item song, Rum whiskey, is another highlight.
Performance-wise, Ayushmann Khurrana is fantastic. Though this is his debut performance, he comes across as a seasoned actor. Yami Gautam, too, makes a confident debut. She’s superb in the film. Annu Kapoor, as always, delivers a bravura performance. He makes you smile and he makes you laugh. Dolly Ahluwalia, who plays Vicky’s mother acts superbly. And grandmother Kamlesh Gill is not only brilliant, she’s lovable too! Jayanta Das, who plays Yami’s father, is good. Yami’s aunt is also very good.
Verdict: The film has not taken a flying start but with word-of-mouth, collections will grow. A must watch for all movie lovers, this film is a safe bet for everyone associated with it. Highly recommended!