With a title like ‘Vicky Donor’,you expect crass comic misfire in the movie. But here’s the good news. The sperm (plentiful) here not only meets the egg and creates adorable children but also a most delightful little story though slightly overstretched.
The premise is unusual. Vicky Chopra (Ayushmaan Khurrana), an aimless, unemployed 25 year old,5.10 ft tall(a plus for a donor), youth from Lajpat Nagar refugee colony in Delhi. is in demand for his highly bankable sperm. The connoisseur of this fertile, productive young man is Dr Chadda (Annu Kapoor) ,owner of a fertility clinic and a sperm bank. His reasons for settling in on this prize catch are simple. The cause of infertility on the rise is “strass”(stress) which Vicky does not have. He is a simple, “ happy, stress free,upjaao” full of life young man who doesn’t even stress over a stolen TV from his house or over his dog who he sells to get money or over a lack of a decent job. He has the looks and the brains of King Alexander’s lineage.. “Aryaputra” according to Chadda who tries to explain History and Biology parameters for a healthy sperm to a freaked out Vicky. Who better than him to give someone else a life?
But Vicky is happy to wander around shopping with his mother’s hard earned money from her beauty parlour where he is at home threading eyebrows and massaging tired legs. The determined doctor’s chase leads to this happy man’s stress when he meets a cute Bengali girl, Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam). He calls her fish, she calls him butterchicken.Now, how would the twain meet without creating strange flavours and ‘straass’ for both themselves and Chadda?
Written by Juhi Chaturvedi, the story of a sperm donor may not be an ideal one for an overpopulated country like India, but is an ideal example of a simple idea treated well with gentle humour ,warmth and understanding. Delicately handling it like a baby, the director, Shoojit Sircar, critically acclaimed for his first film, “Yahaan”; gives the simple script just the right feel good treatment. Filled with earnest moments from real family conversations amongst Bengali and Punjabi families, there are hilarious versions of Bhangra meeting Tagore scenes ending up in something less melodius, more balle balle.
The dialogues (Juhi) win your heart over even though they are laced slightly with much done to death Punjabi lingo. There is an honest appeal in Vicky’s character. His transition is aptly described by Dr Chadda from “heartless sperm” to “complicated sperm” to “greedy sperm”. His interactions with his mother, Dolly (Dolly Ahluwalia) and “modern as Metro” grandmother, Beeji (Kamlesh Gill) and their drunken bouts, tugs at the heartstrings more than a Karan Johar movie. The comic touch and the laughs generated by almost every scene comes as a pleasant surprise.
If one can overlook a few over the top, some mushy and some stretched moments in the latter half, the movie is full of several scene stealers. The script itself with a well crafted screenplay, great attention to fine detailing and funny, heartwarming dialogues steals the show. Next in line is Annu Kapoor who masters the act of making a point about the sperm’s job with his two fingers in a way that’s funny but not crass. Ayushmaan with his cute dimples, a TV Anchor till now, is a delightful find and plays Vicky so convincingly that you can’t imagine him as anyone else. Dolly Ahluwallia and Kamlesh Gill both deserve applause for both their wonderful casting and their supporting performances. Debutant Yami plays the next door sweet Bengali girl with aplomb and can teach Rani Mukherjee how to shed copious tears without irritating. Finally the best performance comes from John Abraham: both in his cameo dance and his debut as a gutsy producer to back an unlikely subject.
Music(mostly Abhishek-Akshay) is foot tapping, pleasant but average and doesn’t interfere with the story. “Rum and whiskey” has the techno bhangra touch and “paani da rang”, sung and co composed by Ayushman with Rochak Kohli, touches you with simple lyrics like “ Tu bhi aa…sabko chod ke..meri aankhiyaan jo anju rul de”(Kusum Verma). “Rokda” is the best song in the movie, written beautifully…”Yeh bhi laado woh bhi laado..paison ki yeh holi hai..jo bhi laado kum padega..aasmaan se badi jholi hai”.
The only noticeable flaws lie in the camera work and the edit which give the film an incomplete feel.
Overall, skillfully written, directed and performed, here’s a movie that will make the weekend as fun as fish, butter chicken, rum and whiskey .