Child is father of the man, it was written. But if you are a sperm donor, and a regular one at that, you are usually man enough to father more than a child. And if you are Vicky Donor, well, you are the father of a small school! No kidding — excuse the pun — by the time the end credits rolled, he was three short of ab tak chhappan!
In infertility specialist Dr Chaddha’s words, Vicky is the “Alexander” of sperm givers, the true Arya putra, and he even has a Macedonian map to trace the roots of his donor extraordinaire. Come on, it’s no crime… Mahabharat ke time se legal hai! Then the rishi-munis would do the honours. Now, it’s not that simple. Because the would-be parents are not only desperate they are demanding!
From David Beckham to John Abraham, they are very choosy about the sperms they are paying for. With the celebs not exactly playing ball, Vicky is The Man! Because he fits the bill (make that every bill). According to Chaddha, that he can play cricket takes care of the demand for Sachin’s sperms, that he can be a nautanki takes care of the demand for Shah Rukh’s sperms, and that he can boogie woogie takes care of the demand for Lady Gaga’s sperms(!).
In this mad mad world of “non-veg kaam” — which comes with a lot of “rokda” — that Vicky finds himself in, love is not an easy game to play. But with the exquisite Ashima, the girl at the bank, popping up everywhere around him, love is not an easy beast to tame. So his so-called unsavoury profession quickly becomes “handicrafts trading” as Vicky delves into “sperms se thoda oopar jaake… heart naam ki jo cheez hoti hai…”
Even if you discount the sperm-sharm, it’s war zone at both homes. He is a Punjaban and she a Bangalan. It’s the classic battle between Punjus and Bongs, an Arora and a Roy, Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar and Chittaranjan Park. And although it harps primarily on the stereotypes, the fight between the families of “Mr Butter Chicken” and “Miss Fish” is so much fun!
It is this khatta-meetha love story at the heart of the film that makes Vicky Donor such a great trip to the movies. The novelty of the sperm donation bit notwithstanding — which naturally leads to hilarious set-pieces — what really tugs at your heartstrings and makes most of what could have been just a gimmicky concept is the beautiful romance between him and her.
Thank the blend. Of terrific writing by Juhi Chaturvedi and assured direction by Shoojit Sircar. His grossly underrated Yahaan released in 2005 and Vicky Donor shows that the debut was no fluke and also what we have been missing all these years.
Just like he did with debutante Minissha Lamba and the then-out-of-form Jimmy Sheirgill, Sircar extracts two natural performances from the leads, Ayushmann Khurrana and Yami Gautam. Ayushmann, who has been this gawky unnecessarily loud chatterbox on TV, brings an infectious mix of nonchalance and panache to Vicky. And Yami is this fragile beauty where emotions rest so easy on the face. Both are convincing throughout, except the revelation fight scene, where they look and sound slightly out of tune.
The side players are rocking. Annu Kapoor as the sperm-obsessed doc with a heart — even the soft toy in his car is shaped like a sperm — is a knockout. Dolly Ahluwalia as Vicky’s mother is the big surprise, giving life and humour to what could have easily been a stock character. The grandmother works and so do Ashima’s pishi and father, even though the latter is too much of an Utpal Dutt knockoff.
We keep celebrating the big names in the world of cinematographers but just watch what DoP Kamaljeet Negi pulls off within the limited settings. The songs by debutant duo Abhishek-Akshay are very much in mood with the film and have been very skillfully rolled into the script by Sircar and team. If you like the John Abraham promotional video of Rum whisky, just watch it play out on the film — you’ll reach out for the nearest bulb in your room!
Don’t feel shy. Don’t hesitate. Just get your appointment with Vicky Donor. Even if you can just do it!Annu Kapoor Ayushmann Khurrana Pratim D. Gupta Reviews Shoojit Sircar Telegraph Vicky Donor Yami Gautam