One by Two

The Film One By Two is a Romantic comedy Directed by Devika Bhagat starring The Real Life couple Abhay Deol and Preeti Desai. If you are expecting a typical Abhay Deol performance like Oye Lucky ! Lucky Oye , which will stay with you long after the film is over then the film One By two Is not to that mark. The director has in the past written the screenplay for films like Manorama six Feet Under, Bachna Ae Hasseno, Aisha Jab Tak Hai Jaan and the recently released I , Me Aur Main. Frankly speaking the film is not up to the mark especially if you liked Manorama Six Feet Under Or Oye Lucky ! Luck Oye. . The combination of Abhay Deol and Devika Bhagat which gave us Manoram Six feet Under all those years ago , sadly and utterly disappoints.
The film is likely to remind you more of Aisha than any of the memorable that the Deol has starred. When you go for an Abhay film you go in expecting quality , out of the box endeavor , but this time the actor strands you in middle of one heck of a horrible film that suffers from loopy writing

This film is Abhay’s Maiden production venture . It has the actor playing an aspiring singer who is desperate need to re – invent himself. He is trying to get back his ed girl friend Radhika ( played by Geetuka Thyagi) who dumps him for her own selfish resons. The films female lead . Preeti Desai plays an aspiring dancer who has been written off even before she has established herself. She aims to make it big in the Indian industry. The film narrates the story of how these two individuals decide to follow their dreams and help each other. The film One by Two falls in determinedly contemporary romantic dramas that are entirely played out in the world of stylish offices, coffee shops, malls, multiplexes and nightclubs. Here the beautiful, affluent, lonely young folk of Mumbai work out their angst.

The two protagonists, a software guy and the dancer don’t meet until the very last scene of the film. It is usual and a fascinating idea to construct a movie around. But writer – director Devika dares to present it. Abhays character Amit , still heartbroken from having been dumped his girl friend, spends all his time moping or fantasizing that she will return to him soon. Meanwhile preeti’s character samara is frustrated from her dancing career going nowhere. We watch as their lives run parallel, which means we get repeated split-screens and far too many instances of ‘missed connections’

Both the film’s protagonist does not have luck at home. . Amit’s mother (Rati Agnihotri) is desperate for her son to get married, and takes it upon herself to fix him up with a prospective bride. Samara, for her part, the illegitimate daughter of a married big shot, is keen to reconnect with her estranged daddy, while caring for her alcoholic mum (Lilette Dubey). You see, there’s a lot going on here, and yet, nothing that drives the film’s plot. There’s no conceivable reason why we in the audience, should care for these two to end up together. Other than that , the fact is that they’re both not particularly likeable people and hence probably deserve to be together.

Abhay Deol’s choice of films is indeed laudable. He has made a career by picking films that defy stereotype, by swimming against the tide… With ONE BY TWO, the talented actor turns film producer and you anticipate his production debut to hit the right notes. While the effort to push the envelope needs to be appreciated, ONE BY TWO suffers because it rests on a thin plot, with merely a few episodes grabbing your attention, not the film in its entirety!.

ONE BY TWO is miles away from clinched Bollywood fairy tales. What makes it a truly exciting experience is the fact that while Abhay and Preeti’s paths cross several times in the film, they come face to face only in the final sequence of the film. Besides the out of the box concept, a few episodes keep the charm alive. To give the credit where it’s due, director Devika Bhagat has filmed quite a few sequences with dexterity, especially the ones involving Abhay and his friends and Preeti and her mother.

One of the problems with this film is that it plays out like a sitcom. There’s enough chick-lit philosophizing to make you barf, and supposedly adult characters who behave like overgrown teens. So Amit is comfortable enough around his buddies to break wind when his tummy rumbles. But when the same gag is repeated thrice over, you know they’ve run out of ideas.

While Devika reserves the best for the second hour, it’s the first half and chunks in the post-interval portions that create a total mess, making you restless in the process. The first half is a drag . The story hardly moves in the first half , despite the spectator getting introduced to the characters at the inception itself. In addition, there are too many coincidences all through the film, which seem unreal and unbelievable after a point. The post-interval portions do raise the bar , and gathers some momentum and gives us a bit of drama. But the writing lacks the power to keep you enthralled through and through.

Abhay Deol has very little to work with, and not enough charisma to salvage this flawed material. He’s pretty good in one scene in which he shocks a roomful of guests by belting out a rebellious track on his guitar, dressed only in his boxers and a vest. Preeti Desai, his real-life girlfriend, is easy on the eye, but has a long way to go in the histrionics department. Her dancing skills too, are average at best…unforgivable in a film that relies so heavily on them.

The film has a hammy script with sloppy sequences which are starkly placed on intention and making no attempt to complement each other. The story is consecutive narration of one incident after another with none really making any sense or showing any remote co-relation with each other. It is harrowing to see problems being slapped on the face of two dismally dull protagonists, one after the other.

Devika handles the sensitive relationships with maturity. Note the one when Preeti and Lilette have an altercation over the latter’s excessive drinking. Also, the sequences between Preeti and her father [Anish Trivedi] are delicately handled. Conversely, the relationship that Abhay shares with his mother [Rati Agnihotri] and uncle [Darshan Jariwala] don’t leave much of an impact. The humour, especially those involving flatulence, looks out of place. Even otherwise, the wit is missing and the humour is bland. Another aspect that goes against the film is its slow pacing as well as excessive length and it is stretched for no reason.

Abhay Deol is strictly okay this time, but it is Preeti Desai who stands out. Also, her dancing prowess comes to the fore. Rati Agnihotri and Jayant Kriplani [as Abhay’s parents] are tolerable. Darshan Jariwala is wasted. Lilette Dubey is wonderful. Anish Trivedi looks his part. Tahir Bhasin is first-rate, while Preetika Chawla is adequate. Yudhishtar Urs, Geetika Tyagi, Maya Sarao, Yashika Dhillon, Ragesh B. Asthanaa and Diwakar Pundir fill the bill. Srishti Arya appears in a cameo.

The DoP captures the vibrant metropolis with finesse. The frames are indeed good looking. The soundtrack is nothing to hum about.

Films like One By Two are an attempt at a compromise between masala Bollywood and smart storytelling. Like so many compromises, it isn’t fun and it’s distasteful to both parties. There is a lack of emotion in the story and a lack of heart in the execution. On the whole, an out of the box film like ONE BY TWO has some engaging moments, but they are few and far between. The excessive length and the slow pacing also play a spoilsport.