Getting paid to shag quips the wife aghast, on realizing that her second spouse has been minting much money by voluntarily donating sperm, majorly for the enviable cash incentive, and little bit, for social welfare (for the unfortunately infertile). Her impulsive outburst highlights a hidden rationale, but nearly making it the reason to tear apart the blossoming marriage shows dangerous intolerance toward an enormously generous cause.
Vicky Donor, churned out by Eros International and John Abraham is an applause-worthy picture not only because it makes serial-shaggers hope that they may actually go on owning a Hyundai, selling otherwise waste (and surplus) semen, but when put in a larger socio-cultural context, the film manages to diffuse a number of pre-conceived notions attached with the noble deed of sperm-donation.
Ayushman, of MTV fame, plays the eponymous character a charmingly brash and insensitive Dilliwala, who plays cricket for the local team, indulges in beer and shopping in malls whilst scoring with girls at will. While his mother pesters him to get a bona fide job, the grandmother one of the coolest in our movies, delightfully free of stereotypes, - adores him irrespective. When a certain Dr. Chadda who can spot a competitive sperm just like a diamond expert - running an infertility clinic notices the well-groomed Vicky Arora, he knows that hes spotted a catch who could revitalize his otherwise flagging clinic, which is not for the lack of demand, but lack of worthy supplies.
So Vicky agrees after much resistance but faces unexpected consequences for his free-flowing sessions. Falling in love has direct affects on his generous efforts in building families while ironically it shatters his own.
Superbly original in its theme, and inventive in terms of character-design, Vicky Donor is pleasant in most departments and leaves little to complain about. The various elements are knotted together by its very, very strong dialogue which remains sharply consistent and add enormous plausibility and wit to the drama which couldve been a bland documentary on social welfare.
In fact, in a rousing Two States-narrative style, the first half of the picture is a brilliant social commentary on the idiosyncrasies as well as stereotypical loudness of the Punjabis which is subtly countered by the Bong army, until the marriage of two cultures, both literal and metaphorical.
Since the director has an advertising background, the proceedings never seem dull and shots are crisply cut, adding both a sense of liveliness and pace. Its a fitting advantage when most of the cast lend lovable performances, making the picture one of those rare gems which immediately garner a cult tag, if not mainstream success.
Passing with an affluent mark sheet is Anu Kapoor our veteran old man, who digs in the role of Dr. Chadda, as the comically determined specialist whod extract the sperm he wants, even if its a sperm in the ass. His persistent cajoling works more because of the act, than because of what is written for the character. And the consistency in his part, right from the exaggerated accent to remaining committed to his job, irrespective of fluctuating sentiments, makes Chadda an iconic character who mouths quote-worthy lines.
The disappointment lies in the manner where Vicky is pushed as a cringingly narrow-minded youngster justified, but only to an extent who is impossibly resistant to the idea of donating sperm and making money from it. If only he had been shown a little more accepting, not only would the character come across a lot more endearing, but the film couldve been cut short by a few extra minutes.
And the girl. Yami Gautam is a pretty face and her act couldve been passable too, had the other performers been mediocre. But so good is the supporting cast that Yamis mediocrity stands apart like a sore sperm easily distinguishable for its inferiority.
Even Cyrus Sahukars cameo is a delightful little stint and makes for a character that highlights the ambitious trait of Vicky. The epic scene involving Vickys mother making a peg for her mother-in-law, before joining in herself, is an out-of-the-world stereotype-shattering clip, which shouldnt by any standard be taken as glamorizing alcohol, but for something symbolically poignant.
So we have another title to be proud of, another actor-producer with sensibilities well-intact, and a promising performer to watch out for.
For the cultural map that it is set in, and for the prejudices that it would dispose, for the wit it spontaneously explores and for the characters it memorably shares, Vicky Donor is a mini-milestone which must be laughed with and celebrated along.
PS. Overtly-sentimental climatic sequence couldve been done away with. If we can get used to sperms literally thrown at us, picture-imperfect closures cannot be so tough to handle.