Review: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! is a good watch

Review: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! is a good watch

Source: General

By: Sonia Chopra

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 28 November 2008

Movie Title

Review: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! is a good watch


Dibakar Banerjee

Star Cast

Abhay Deol, Paresh Rawal, Neetu Chandra, Archana Puran Singh, Manu Rishi, Richa Chadda, Anurag Chadda, Manjot Singh, Rajinder Sethi

In a Delhi jail, cops are scampering in panic. It?s not an escaped convict, but an attempt at retrieving an on-the-loose pooch belonging to prisoner Lucky (Abhay Deol). This dog is among several other things this glorified robber has stolen from people?s homes, shops, offices. The jailers jokingly call him Shah Rukh Khan and then ask him what colour he?d like to wear for addressing the curious press.

Mischievous, charmers-of-thieves make for extremely fascinating characters. But to build an entire plot around the character and throw the responsibility of carrying the film on the charm of the central actor is a bit much. We?ve seen the shenanigans of Bunty and Babli not so long ago. This one?s along those lines, except with less story, and more nuance.

The back-story takes us to Lucky?s middle-class home that?s full of turmoil. His domineering father (Paresh Rawal) has brought in his mistress to live with them, and Lucky has to gulp down his objections for the pocket money. But while Lucky?s friends quietly envy the upper-class rich kids in swanky cars, Lucky has no doubts that he wants all of that at any cost. He begins with small robberies that get bigger and bolder and soon we have our grown-up protagonist working for Gogi Bhai (Rawal again), a musical bandleader who also deals in stolen goods. The clich? of the best friend who?s always steps behind the hero makes an appearance, as does the Special Branch chap who?s now giving Lucky a serious chase.

The only that makes Lucky such fun to watch is his, well, passion for his work, going beyond just making money. He picks up everything from sofas, TV sets, ACs, cars, clothes, jewellery, even a teddy bear, greeting card and family photos. When someone asks him why he stole a car and gave it right back, he answers, ?bas, masti?. But money talks; and Lucky?s close ones ignore his wrongdoings for the dough it brings in. This dark side of human nature, where even love can be bought, has been treated nonchalantly, even comically. So his girlfriend (Neetu Chandra) accepts cash from him regularly and her mother makes the occasional requests of him, like the one for an electric toaster. It does make one wonder whether these people blinded by greed, are any less villains than Lucky himself. And the worst of the lot is Dr Handa (Rawal in his third role), who with his innocuous avuncular demeanor, lures Lucky into his dream project.

The film would have been more enjoyable, had there been a realistic portrayal of the response to his outrageous thefts. For example, Lucky robs two Mercedes cars in the span of a day and there?s no heat on him from the cops. Plus he does them with the ease of swooping ice-cream from a kid; no crease on the shirt, no sweat on the brow. Another grouse is the overall pace of the film which is slow post-interval, and the story where, frankly, nothing much happens.

The humour in Oye Lucky! ranges from the subtle to the obvious and largely relies on Abhay Deol?s easy witticisms. But the out-of-breath TV anchor sensationalizing news has been spoofed to death. Then again, the restaurant scene where the slimy waiter manipulates Lucky into over ordering, since he?s on a date and has to impress the girl is cute but not path-breaking. Then there are the little touches of fun like Lucky?s car sporting a sticker that says RB: Rule Breaker.

Abhay Deol is simply superb as Lucky and he makes his note-perfect performance look effortless. Here?s hoping the actor continues picking films that do justice to his immense screen presence and talent. Manjot Singh as the young Lucky is fantastic. Paresh Rawal is dependably good, but is over-the-top in some portions. Neetu Chandra looks the part and gives a fair performance. Manu Rishi as Lucky?s friend and assistant is likeable. The girl who plays Lucky?s first girlfriend is lovely. The actor who plays Lucky?s step-mother is hilarious.

Technically, the film is superb. Music by Sneha Khanwalkar makes the whole ride fun and foot-tapping. The sound designing is excellent. Art Direction by Monica Angelica Bhowmick is fantastic especially in bringing out the quaint old Delhi flavour. Camerawork by Kartik Vijay wonderfully captures Delhi?s chaotic flavour.

Writer-director Dipankar Banerjee cannot live down the expectations Khosla Ka Ghosla brings with it. Banerjee does meet those expectations, however Oye Lucky! is a different product altogether. More than a beginning-middle-end story, Oye Lucky! is more a peek into Delhi?s belly, into the characters? lives, and into complex bitter-sweet relationships.

Verdict: Two-and-a-half stars

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