If there has been one film that I have been anticipating for the longest time- it has to be ‘Oye Lucky, Lucky Oye (OLLO)’. In fact I rate Khosla Ka Ghosla as the second best bollywood film I have seen in last five-six years (the first has to be ‘Maqbool’- but I will save it for another post).
What an impressive debut KKG was- it was heartening to see such a simple tale of underdogs- with characters etched out so well- that you almost feel that you know them from before. Indeed, by end of the movie, I knew the Khosla family so well that even in any other situation – I could imagine- exactly how they would react.
When you raise the bar so high- in your first movie itself, it’s quite a task to stand up to the huge expectations with a worthy follow up. While a few directors have done it successfully, many have disappointed us as well.
So did Dibakar disappoint me?
Not at all. Actually, I came out quite impressed from of the hall.
OLLO- is a brilliant second movie from a very talented director. What impressed me more is the fact that Dibakar has picked up a rather complex story this time as compared to simplistic one before. There are lots of layers in the story and there is an amazing sense of maturity that marks the narration.
A single story can have many interpretations, and what I am about to write is my take out from the movie- which. It is a very personalized account of how I comprehend the movie.
The movie follows the growth of Lucky from his teens to thirties and his journey from innocence to notoriety-all this with the back drop of Delhi (Guys lets accept it- nobody does Delhi better than Dibakar)
The initial scenes clearly establish Lucky’s strained relationship with his father and his uneasiness with the other woman in the house (father’s keep).
Also, it gives you a glimpse into Lucky’s world of aimless friends and their collective dreams and aspirations. Their fascination for good things in life (cars, chicks, etc) is obvious but what sets Lucky apart from his group is his self belief- and that is brilliantly captured in this one line Lucky keeps saying through out the film- “Kyon main kar nahi sakta?”
I also thought that his becoming a ‘Mona’ sardar symbolizes his giving up on social conformity.
Lucky is an incorrigible thief- it’s almost like he has a kind of compulsive disorder to steal- and sometimes through the things that he steals- you get a hint of his feelings at that point in time- his deprivation and loneliness-he steals a greeting card (reminiscing his first love), family photograph (His longing ness for a family), a king size teddy (the child within).
But the movie is not about stealing- it is about Lucky’s emotional vulnerability, his pining for love- the only thing he can’t steal. All the people who befriend him have a selfish motive (except his girlfriend, but again I am not sure- because there is a scene where she asks him to keep the money on the fridge). His father, surrogate father and the business partner (all three played brilliantly by Paresh Rawal) are the three fatherly figures who inflict him the maximum pain.
These are the few scenes which stand apart for me- teenage Lucky’s first encounter with a neighborhood girl in the greeting cards shop and subsequently their first date in a restaurant, Lucky asking Dolly what she wants to eat in a night club, his first date with Sonal and her reaction to school girls in short skirts, Dr. Handa’s insights on the male dog and the lady dog, the conversation between Sonal and Lucky’s bhabi.
There are some nice touches which were like master strokes- The kid sardar’s air fighting sequence when Luck’s father is chasing Lucky out of the house for demanding a new scooter, the hanging wires, air conditioners and the election posters in the background when Lucky is taking the girl on a motor bike ride, the zebra striped interiors of the black Mercedes that Lucky steals for Goga Bhai., Sonal’s pink cybershot, a shot of Lucky’s bare feet while he is escaping on a stolen Enfield from the police station.
I also quite liked the scene in which Lucky does these car stunts with Sonal- the muted closed ups worked very well for me.
All performances are good, but these guys deserve a special mention- the sardar who played Lucky’s childhood part, Lucky’s partner in crime- Bengali and Dolly.
Ofcourse Paresh Rawal is magnificent in all three avatars. Also, Neetu Chandra packs a poised performance and renders an understated composure to her character .
One guy who carries the film on his shoulders and deserves a standing ovation is Abhay Deol- the ease and subtlety with which he plays Lucky is mind blowing. I can’t stop myself from diverting from the topic here to have a look at the movies that Abhay has done so far- Socha Na Tha, Ek chaalis, Manorama Six feet under, Honeymoon travels and now OLLO (upcoming Dev D)- what a range- no wonder he has become the poster boy of the new age- popular- niche bollywood cinema.
The music is well researched and does a great job in enhancing the narrative- it perfectly compliments the mood of the movie.
It’s refreshing to see Delhi as a backdrop- with each of its locality having a distinctive character and how well Dibakar captures it.
Finally, what looks like a simple funny movie is work of a painstaking research and original thinking and I guess that’s the way forward for Indian cinema.