The times are surely changing. And for the better. Dibakar Banerjee’s new offering sweeps you off your feet. First of all, Oye Lucky.. is not a comedy in entirety, it is a fantastic take on the present society, people’s poor soul, the despair of middle class, the double standards of people, the desperation and hence, the fascination with media. And a million little things. It is about life, and why it doesn’t appear in monochrome. It is about desperately trying to cling on to certain things, but, like sand, everything slips out of hand. But, still running after them, and even foolishly trying to buy them with money.
I don’t know Punjabi. But, I have seen numerous Punjabi families on screen. The affable big breasted Chaddha aunty, the correct chaddha uncle, the sarson ka khet, the kabotars, tractors, shaadis, bhangda pao ji. Oye Balle Balle Pape! It had been done in such an excessive and predictable manner that it was irritating. And boring. But, the way in which Banerjee has shown Delhi and Punjabis is refreshing to say the least. The Punjabi spiced with Harayanvi is a delight to hear.
If Khosla family was a character in Khosla ka Ghosla, here, Lucky is the prinicpal character. And what a character! Lucky as a character is very different from the normal thieves we have seen on the celluloid. While most of the thieves steal to just survive, Lucky’s motives for stealing are different. He steals to get a better life, to obtain things he was once deprived of. Manjot Singh, who plays the young Lucky, is brilliant. From a very young age, Lucky shows fascination for leisure goods, when his friends are busy beating a guy to pulp, he is examining his sun glasses. Brilliant scene. This establishes what kind of a chor Lucky is going to be. And a numerous other scenes, waiter trying to demoralise the young poor Lucky in a swank restaurant.
Kyun be Main Nahin kar sakta? This unflinching belief in himself sets Lucky apart. When everyone tries dissuades from doing certain things because it is out of Lucky’s Aukat. But, Lucky sets out and achieve them.
Lucky grows up to become a superchor, meets two father figures in his life(both played by Paresh Rawal), they both hurt him, like his father. Even though Lucky is rich and (in)famous, he is still a loner. He still longs for family, for his loved ones, the social respectability. Why would anyone want to steal family photo frames? Greeting cards? That’s what Lucky is. Lucky is a fool. He tries stealing things, he could never get in his own life. Everyone manipulates him, uses him, but, have no qualms about receiving money/presents from him. They are reluctant and hesitant to provide Lucky one thing he truly wanted his whole life. That is the double standard of our society.
The movie also takes a brilliant dig at the importance of money in today’s time. That scene on the dining table is a gem, where how the attention shifts from the canadian-groom-to-be to Lucky, when he says that he is shortly going to open a restaurant. What a beautiful way to say that, We have started valuing money more than the individuals. Also, a thing about the way Banerjee shows Lucky vs the Rest of the society. Yes, Lucky is a chor, there is no doubting that fact. But, what about the rest of us? How pure the rest of the society is? Kyun lalach kar rahi ho madam. Apka to imitation tha, wo to maine phen diya. Ye inka hai. The man besides the lady now says,Dekha na, Yeh hai sacha aadmi. For some reason, I just couldn’t laugh on that line. It shook me. Completely. Then, that scene which is reminiscent of Lucky’s childhood,when Mr. Handa’s son wants to ride on Skoda. Mr.Handa declines saying, Dekho pehle apki chadega,phir kahega papa le ke do. Main kahunga beta go to hell, phir churaega, aise hi shuru hota hai. The expression on Abhay Deol’s face is worth a million bucks.
Abhay Deol is one actor who keeps outdoing himself, with every performance of his. he has launched himself into a completely different territory, and he need not be worried about any perfectionist, any big or small B, nor about any King or Queen Khan. He has carved a unique place in this industry. Expectations would be soaring high from his banner, the Forbidden Films.
Dibakar Banerjee. What the fuck you have made? And why? You have shown us the mirror and I hate to see that. Why will you not get the Best Director Award at the Uncle-Aunty Awards (read Filmfare Awards)? Not that it matters to any genuine cinema lovers, but still. It is about the best movie of this year. And that Oye Lucky Lucky Oye surely is. It doesn’t require the certification of any ‘family’ awards.