Movie Review: One by Two

January 31, 2014

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Devika Bhagat‘s “One by Two” is the kind of film that best describes the word “wannabe”. It is populated with characters apparently beset with existential issues that seem superficial, and who think passing wind and chilling beer in the toilet is cool.

The plot structure is unusual in that the lead pair only meet in the final scene. But the incidents leading up to it are so drab, convoluted and uninteresting that when it does take place, it is difficult to drum up any enthusiasm for the couple.

Abhay Deol plays Amit Sharma, a “regular Joe” stuck in a dull job and being forced into an arranged marriage by his overbearing parents. Samara (Preeti Desai) is a dancer dealing with a dysfunctional family and professional woes.

Both Amit and Samara don’t meet throughout the film, but through a series of (sometimes unbelievable) coincidences, have an effect on each other’s life.

For much of the film, Amit hangs out with two friends, discussing matters of such grave importance as flatulence  and how eating paneer (cottage cheese) causes it. Samara oscillates between her alcoholic mother, manipulative father and an on-and-off boyfriend.

Director Bhagat, who also wrote the script and dialogue, is completely out of depth in her debut film, as are her lead actors. Saddled with farcical lines and uninteresting situations, even the best of actors would struggle. And Desai and Deol aren’t really the best of actors.

Desai displays a wooden face every time she is expected to emote, and for someone who essays the role of a dancer, doesn’t have great dancing skills – equating twirling and flinging her hair about with great dancing.

The only thing this film has going for it are some interesting bit characters, like the feisty girl Amit is engaged to.

Everything else is epitomised by a song that Deol’s character sings – clad in his boxers – to an aghast audience in his living room, while strumming an electric guitar. It goes “I’m pakaoed (bored)”.

(Follow Shilpa on Twitter at @shilpajay. This article is website-exclusive and cannot be reproduced without permission)

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