Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye

Rating : 6/10
Running Time : ~ 131 Minutes
Release Date : 28th Nov, 2008
Director & Co-Writer : Dibakar Banerjee ; Writer : Urmi Juvekar; Music : Sneha Khanwalkar
Starring : Abhay Deol, Neetu Chandra, Paresh Rawal, Archana Puran Singh, Manu Rishi, Manjot Singh

I don’t think I’ve seen a better picturisation of Punjabi Delhi than this film. The narrow, small houses, the class barriers, the divide between those who speak English and those who don’t, the early morning fog, the people sitting on their charpoi’s soaking in the winter sun. And the language, with the whole film being Hindi tinged with Punjabi or Hindi tinged with very rustic Haryanvi accent. However, I also think the story meandered and lost steam in the second half. In his first film, Dibakar managed to keep us engaged with the objective of seeing how Mr Khosla built his Ghosla. Here, he just lets it kind of peter out, without that definite ending, and that weakens the whole film.

But lets first focus on the good parts. Abhay Deol, is magnificent as Lucky, the small time crook who yearns to strike it big. He lives by his wits, is not too planned or organized, has a short temper and is unwilling to align himself totally to Gogi Arora (a well-connected fence who buys stuff from crooks, one of Paresh Rawal’s three roles in the film) or anyone else. His home is his car (aage drawing room, peeche bedroom), he’s left his family and doesn’t have too many friends. He’s this way right from childhood, always up for a dare, stealing a scooter to show his girl a good time, getting her to come for a ride with him with the memorable ‘aaj mera happy budday hai, saal mein sirf do baar aata hai’. And he retains that sense of humour in his later years, along with that lovely dimpled smile of his. One of the highpoints of the movie was the theft of the red Mercedes. And having lived in that part of Delhi, I can assure you that it can really happen this way.

The film essentially focuses on the rise and rise of Lucky – who remains solo except for his ‘friend’, Bengali (Manu Rishi). And goes national. And soon also becomes the topic of the national news, those crazy crime shows where the only objective is to scare you and use big, really big Hindi words (like sansanikhez…). And on the side, he courts Neetu Chandra, a shy girl (‘ye sharifon ka mohallah hai’ ya ‘main is tarah ki gaadiyon main nahin baithti’…), who finds herself being easily charmed by this lovable rascal.

The sound track is good, though a bit one dimensional. And where this film really lost out for me was in the second half and the ending. It dragged a bit. It just lacked the wonderful focus Dibakar’s previous film had.

However, watch it just to relive the sights and sounds of Delhi. The fights over the parking places, the Modern school kids and the girls in their short skirts, the tendency of showing off, the difference clothes make, the farmhouse parties. And the humour. Because, everyone in Delhi can be funny. Either intentionally or unintentionally….

PS : This is the first movie I saw on Tata Sky Showcase and I must say I was disappointed in the quality of the film, rather like a jerky DVD

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