For a middle class person one by two would probably bring back a lot of happy memories. That one by two bowl of soup with the college sweetheart, the one by two cup of coffee with friends... the concept of one by two easily is one of the best gifts to the consumerist world. In a scene from Abhay Deol's One By Two, the writer tries to delve into the fun of a one by two soup and attaches amazing philosophies of life to it. Unfortunately though, neither does the bit of philosophy attract attention and nor the film as a whole.
So what goes wrong? Another scene from the film, where the mother (Rati Agnihotri) tells her son Amit (Abhay Deol) that life is not so complicated, helps here. The writer Devika Bhagat lost her way in trying to get into complexities and forgets the key to keeping a story interesting - simplicity!
One By Two, unlike what it was promoted as, is not a romantic comedy. It actually has no love story to it. It has some intended comedy, most of which falls flat. The film is about two characters, Amit and Samara, leading independent lives; not even touching each other's lives for most of the film! It is almost equivalent to two films - one about a guy who is lost is his life and not sure where he is headed; and the other about a girl who wants to achieve fame as a dancer and has clearer goals.
There's where the problem starts. The director fumbles trying to take both the stories ahead at the same time and opts for a two-screen view for an irritably large chunk of the film. And when she does not do that she gets carried away with a particular story - losing track of the other. What turns out is a confused fare, the director not clear which story she wants to stress on. She probably would have done better keeping it simple, making it the story on one person and yet achieved what she desired to achieve in the end.
Of characters, Abhay's seem to have been taken right out of Dev D, which was apparently his own idea. He loses his girlfriend and now is a rebel without cause. Just that, this character is more metropolitan that his Dev. He is quite obviously on home turf. Preeti Desai however is doled out the tricky part; that of a dancer. And you so wish they had cast someone who could at least dance better if not emote better! The rest of the characters, though built interestingly, are insignificant.
One By Two is a classic example of how other things stop mattering when the story does not grab your attention. It has been shot well, edited as per requirement. The music is just about average. Dialogues are mundane. Jokes are not funny. Writer and director Devika Bhagat - who has earlier written films such as Bachna Ae Haseeno, Aisha and Jab Tak Hai Jaan gets no points.
At interval you realise that One By Two is not going anywhere. And by the end the story just about takes shape. But by then it has already lost any attention that it may have managed to grab. Because midway through all you have is this song banging into your head and it continues - I am just pakaod. [Hindi for bored]
PS: Abhay Deol's first film as a producer. We definitely expected better!
Critic: Noyon Jyoti Parasara
(1.5 / 5) : Poor