Cast: Ayushman Khurana, Yami Gautam, Anu Kapoor
Directed by Shoojit Sircar
Movies that try to cleanse socially disreputable professions tend to get preachy and subsequently boring. But donating one’s seed to enable the seedless garden a happy family is a cause that cannot be covered in a classroom. So director Shoojit Sircar takes us to downtown old Delhi where we breeze through this hilarious adventure that ends in just 122 minutes, leaving you craving for more. While the very mention of sperm donation makes many cringe, this film manages to make the noble deed seem respectable without compromising on the hilarity that one associates with the process of donation.
We open to a good ol’ Punjabi family who are as loud as they are adorable. The donor in the title is Vicky (Ayushman Khurana), a Punjabi munda who is yet to find his calling and is housed along with his perennially fretting mother and his grandmum who is only referred to as ‘biji’ (and who is too cool for her boots). The film picks up pace and purpose when Vicky is accidently spotted by opportunist MD and fertility expert Dr Khurana (Anu Kapoor) who is on the edge of his career for lack of glorious human spermatozoa. Being a veteran in his profession, it takes Dr Khurana seconds to realize that our Punjabi munda’s sarson da shag can be fermented to produce highly competent babies. After much obvious hesitation, Vicky gets contributing to the cause as it offers him a steady income in return for what he believes is very little effort.
Many happy endings earn Vicky a very affluent life as he transforms his Lajpat Nagar kholi into a pretty cool pad, complete with a Lazyboy and an LCD. And while a possible turning point would be if he started shooting blanks, it’s not. Enter Bengali banker Ashima (Yami Gautam)- a divorcee who is afraid to retail her heart, again. Vicky manages to charm Ashima and even her family after persistent courtship, Delhi-style but keeps his source of income and his vocation for wholesaling the universal source of life aka 'Vicky-seed-kiya' a secret. And while sperm donation doesn’t account for cheating, this is revealed to Ashima much later in the film and following another unfortunate discovery, making it a double whammy. And at this point, this audience is prepared for explosive confrontations and yelling and hurling of abusives. But luckily, we’re excused, to a large extent atleast. And this neatly told story ties itself up without spilling over at the precise point when it could've, into a sobbing saga.
VJ Ayushman can say goodbye to his music channel because his performance will ensure he gets permanent citizenship in Bollywood. Yami Gautam has the delicate charm of a Chitrangada Singh and the restrained yet explosive outburst of a Tabu and is surely a unique find. Anu Kapoor’s ability to sink into the character is as meticulous and effective as the newspaper editor he played in 'Mr India': pooling in all the eccentricities and capitalizing on the most bankable ones with immaculate timing and theatrics.
The music of the film can be applauded for two memorable songs (which are basically the male and female versions of the same song). But then, you’re too busy enjoying the montages that sweep through passage of time and if the songs actually contribute to the overall mood and situation, it hardly matters. While a film like this doesn’t need to be framed spectacularly as it wouldn’t accentuate the subject, most angles are pleasing to the eyes, even if they aren’t particularly surprising. An observation that just about anyone who watches this movie would make would be the painfully accurate depiction of Delhi-speak: in tone, content and lack of content. This is something that very few films set in Delhi have managed – ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’ would surely be one that did. Delhi-ites have historically been perceived as people who speak a lot but say very little and that is just how this film paints them as.
Sperm donation has never achieved the kind of dignity or respect that this film manages to lobby for it. Perhaps for the simple reason that the job demands no academic credentials or references and simply offers a pay for pleasuring oneself. Too good to be true? But statistics mentioned before the opening credits states that India lacks the adequate number of sperm donors to meet the demands of infertile parents. This brings us to rephrase the famous quote- ‘the hand that rocks the… will rule the world’.
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