Abhay Deol’s maiden home production One By Two has been in the news because of Abhay Deol’s altercation with the music heavyweights T-Series with him blackening one of his eyes as a unique mark of protest. Who knows, this could all have been a part of the promotional strategy of the film if we were to look at it cynically. But is the film any good?
Story: The film has an unusual premise and it centres on its two protagonists throughout the film without every actually letting them meet each other until the final sequence. Amit (Abhay Deol) is a drifter who is trying to win over his girlfriend who dumped her and lives with his parents (Rati Agnihotri and Jayant Kriplani). Most of the film is about his endeavour to win back his girl. One By Two is also about Samara (played by Abhay’s real life girlfriend Preeti Desai). She is a British Indian and wants to make it big in the world of Bollywood. But she to deal with an alcoholic mother, her parents’ eventual separation and also with an irritating boyfriend (Yudhistir Urs). To know how these two characters Amit and Samara finally come together you have to see the film, lest we reveal spoilers.
Screenplay and Direction: Devika Bhagat who has written the scripts of films like Manorama Six Feet Under and Jab Tak Hai Jaan has tried to make a quirky urban romantic comedy without resorting to the clichéd romcom trappings. But sadly she fails at executing it properly. She loses grip of her film in the first half and then finds it difficult to make up for it in the second. One By Two drags on like a 100 tonne crane with its meandering pace. The film is a sorry missed opportunity for both the director and for the makers.
The technical aspects of the film have been planned to give One By Two a English sitcom type of a feel and it is entirely evident in the film. The camera work is astute as the cinematographer captures Mumbai very well. The costume design and production design make One By Two look glossy. The music of the film is a let down and lacks any hummable songs which could have given it a big lift.
Acting: Why did someone like Abhay Deol get involved with a film like One By Two is beyond me. His script sense has been impeccable so far and One By Two puts all that into shame. He looks so disinterested as an actor that our Lok Sabha MPs seem more interested in comparison when they are in the Parliament. Preeti Desai makes a bad debut as she can’t emote with varying expressions. She is just about okay as an actor but her dancing skills seem to be top notch. The other character actors like Rati Agnihotri, Lilette Dubey, Darshan Jariwala and Jayant Kriplani fulfill the expectations of their roles.
Conclusion: One By Two had a quirky one line idea behind it but the execution of a two hour plus film can’t stand up only by it. It needed more zing and as one character famously says in the movie it needed a lot more “inspiration ki hawa”. It is recommended that you skip One By Two and wait for the February releases!
Box Office: One By Two is expected to be a non-starter at the box office and going by the quality of the film, business is expected to wrap up under 15cr. Disappointing!
- Quirky idea
- Some innovatively directed scenes
- The acting of the lead actors
- The slow eye burning pace of the film
- The music
- The messy direction