Of all the Deols in Bollywood, Abhay Deol can be relied on to bring us a movie that is not infantile, implausible or utterly moronic. So I had high expectations of One By Two. Alas my expectations were doomed to disappointment. I had expectations of a film that was both funny and romantic – One By Two was neither; not really. Though funny in parts, calling the film a comedy would be a bit of a stretch. As for being a romance; well there isn’t much of a romance happening either considering how hard the film contrived to keep the two protagonists apart.
Rating – **1/2
One by Two – (Release date – 31 January 2014)
Starring – Abhay Deol, Peeti Desai, Rati Agnihotri, Lillete Dubey, Jayant Kriplani, Darshan Jariwala, Peetika Chawla, Geetika Tyagi,
Producer – Abhay Deol
Director – Devika Bhagat
Story/Screenplay – Devika Bhagat, Manoj Tapadia
Music – Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
One by Two Review
The story is about two individuals Amit Sharma and Samara Patel whose lives run on parallel tracks – those tracks very occasionally and very briefly connect but quickly diverge, without the two protagonists actually even meeting. The two have been in an accident together where he breaks his arm but she doesn’t know it. They are in adjoining cubicles in the Men’s Loo at one point. And they don’t know it. He manipulates computer programs and she ends up losing a reality show. And they don’t know it. She becomes famous using his song – and they’ve still not met!
Where One By Two works is in the well etched, likeable, identifiable characters in the film. Abhay Deol as Amit the angst ridden jilted lover and the professional who doesn’t know where his career is going is likeable, but, well… boring as we are repeatedly told in the film.
Preeti Desai does an accurate British-Gujarati accent – but then she should considering that she is British Indian (also having been the first woman of Indian origin to become Miss Great Britain). She plays an aspiring dancer – it must be said that calling her a ‘dancer’ is something of a stretch – mostly she just flings her hair around in lieu of actual dancing. Her character is that of the conflicted daughter of an alcoholic mother and a father who doesn’t acknowledge her as his daughter; she is the modern woman who lives life on her own terms, refusing to let any man string her along.
The other characters in the film, such as Rati Agnihotri and Jayant Kriplani, the table tennis playing parents of Amit Sharma are very likeable. Lillete Dubey’s character is well etched and sympathetic, and as usual the veteran actor does an good job playing a nuanced role.
Other interesting characters in the film are Amit Sharma’s closest friends and co-workers played by Preetika Chawla and Tahir Bhasin who secretly have a thing for each other – they are responsible for most of the laugh out loud moments in the film. Yudhishtir Urs as the dancer Jonathan Rebello, who appears in the film mostly without his shirt is rather hamstrung by the limitations of his character.
Darshan Jariwala plays the shayari-spouting mama – a Mumbai cop of all things – he is delightful. The whole movie has a very urban, modern feel. There are some moments of real hilarity such as the song pakaoed and when Abhay’s friends get to work on him.
Where the films doesn’t work is the meandering and confused story line. More than once, one had that ‘lets-just-get-on-with-the-film’ feeling. The conflict seemed contrived and the resolution was far from satisfying. The scatological jokes and the farting were plain incongruous; not funny.
One by two’s music is nice enough but it is far from the best work of the hugely talented trio of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa.
Perhaps I expected too much of the movie or perhaps the movie really is simply a case of wasted opportunity, but I just felt that it could have been so much better! The movie is not bad – but given the cast and the premise, one just felt it was a letdown.
By – Reena Daruwalla
Videos Courtesy – Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Image Courtesy – One By Two Facebook Page