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First world problems for the win

1st Feb 2014

One By Two

Director: Devika Bhagat

Starring: Abhay Deol and Preeti Desai

I love Abhay Deol. I have no idea how he turned out so differently from the rest of his kin, but I'm usually pretty grateful for it. So this Friday looked promising: Devika Bhagat's One by Two stars Deol in the lead, and Bhagat herself has a screenplay repertoire that includes young crowd-pleasers like Manorama Six Feet Under, Aisha and Ladies vs Ricky Behl. So this rom-com couldn't go horribly wrong, right?

Well, not horribly. But I may be the wrong person to comment on this, considering how often I found myself zoning out during the film. When I was paying attention, there was so much lacking that it ended up being a giant disappointment. At one point, an ex-girlfriend that Amit Sharma (Deol) is still desperately in love with and failing to woo back, screams at him, saying this will never work because everything about him is boring. Unfortunately for us she'd also be right on the money if she was describing the film.

Amit works in some sort of computer/tech firm, where he seems listless and bored. At home, his mother (Rati Agnihotri) is introducing him to girls and nagging him to get married already, much to his father's (Jayant Kripalani) amusement.

Cut to Samara Patel (Preeti Desai), who lives with her single, alcohol-guzzling mother (Lillete Dubey) and dreams of being a famous dancer (probably a good idea, considering she can't act). Illegitimate daughter of an industrialist, she is also constantly struggling to find a way to get her father (Anish Trivedi), involved in her life.

Amit and Samara's lives are shown in parallel, but they never really converge. While Amit both inspires and indulges in potty humour, Samara tries her luck with a reality dance competition show that clearly doesn't need its participants to have any actual dancing prowess.

The real-life couple spends the entire duration of the film apart, lamenting their lives, which frankly, I find very ungracious of them. They live in ridiculously lavish mansions with bay windows that swallow the sea or look out onto gorgeous monuments (all this in Mumbai? Really?) and don't seem to have any monetary troubles. First world problems? Well, that fits right in with a small section of India's urban youth, I suppose.

But nothing forgives the lazy humour, a worthy cast in wasted roles, and uninspired music. Perhaps if I hadn't been looking forward to this one, it wouldn't have been such a letdown, but as it stands, it was.

 
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