ONE BY TWO
Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Cynozure Networkz and I.E. Films’ One By Two (UA) is an unusual story of two people – Amit Sharma (Abhay Deol) and Samara (Preeti Desai) – whose lives are affected by the actions of each other even though they do not know one another and haven’t ever met. Amit Sharma is unsuccessful in life. Samara lives with her single mother (Lilette Dubey) and wants to pursue her passion for dance. Towards this end, Samara takes part in a dance reality show on television.
Amit and his friends hack the website of the dance show to manipulate results so that one key person in the show, the show’s producer, would be fired by the bosses. Amit wants the show’s producer to lose his job because his (Amit’s) girlfriend, Radhika (Geetika Tyagi), has dumped him for that person. Due to the hacking, Samara has to leave the show as she is disqualified for her low votes when actually she had danced beautifully and had also been voted as a winner, by the public.
Amit’s mother (Rati Agnihotri) is keen that he marry Shishika (Yashika Dhillon), a girl chosen by her. Amit and Shishika meet a couple of times and although Amit does not approve of her, his mother is adamant. On the day of the engagement, Amit misbehaves so badly with Shishika’s family that the marriage is called off.
Samara gets a chance to meet her father (Anish Trivedi) who tries his best to brainwash her into leaving her mother and joining him in London. But she does not heed his advice.
All of a sudden one day, Samara gets a chance to re-enter the dance reality show. Before that, as luck would have it, she is choreographing a dance for a friend, on a song composed by Amit. Due to the dance practice at public places, Amit’s song goes viral on the Internet and it catches the fancy of people all over the world and what till then was just another song becomes hugely popular. Because of this new-found popularity, Radhika wants to return to Amit. As she is also working in the same dance reality show, she is asked by her bosses to approach Amit to compose a new song for the finals, which he does.
Again, Samara performs on Amit’s song in the finals. Does she win or lose? Do Amit and Samara meet or not? And if they do meet, under what circumstances do they meet?
Devika Bhagat’s story is very different from the routine stuff but having said that, it has very little for the large base of mass audience who will not be able to appreciate a drama in which the hero and heroine don’t meet but yet, their actions impact the other’s life. One important twist in the drama is Amit assuming that his hacking the dance show’s website would result in only the show’s producer losing his job, the producer being someone whom Amit is keen to see jobless. Although the show producer is very important in the dance reality show, it is still a very far-fetched assumption on the part of Amit because the man could probably not lose his job. Besides, Devika’s screenplay is too class-appealing.
The first half is very boring and, except for the classes, it doesn’t hold interest for the audience. The pace picks up after interval and with some more layers of the story unfolding in the second half, the drama becomes interesting but again, only for the classes. The humour is very city-centric and would be enjoyed by a thin section of the audience, mainly that which frequents premium multiplexes in the big cities. The traditional audience will find the film quite unpalatable because the hero and heroine don’t even meet. There is no romance worth it in the film. Even at an emotional level, the film fails to hold the audience’s interest. Yes, there are light moments but many of them are meant only for the elite audience. The humour created by toilet jokes would irritate many viewers because there is too much of it. Even the climax is unusual and not very engaging. Dialogues, penned by Manoj Tapadia and Devika Bhagat, are of the kind which will appeal to the elite audience only.
Abhay Deol does a fine job. He gets into the skin of the character of Amit Sharma and does full justice to it. Preeti Desai performs well. Her dances are very graceful. Rati Agnihotri acts beautifully. Jayant Kripalani stands his own as Amit Sharma’s father. Lilette Dubey does a splendid job. Anish Trivedi makes his presence felt with a dignified performance. Darshan Jariwala leaves a mark as Amit Sharma’s maternal uncle. Geetika Tyagi provides able support. Yudhishtir Urs is fine as Jonathan. Preetika Chawla (as Anika) and Tahir Bhasin (as Mihir) entertain. Yashika Dhillon is extraordinary in the role of Shishika. Maya Sarao (as Shaila) provides good support. Netrapal He-Ra Singh (as Bunty), Diwakar Pundir (as Ranjan Sadanah), Tanvir Singh (as the host of the dance show), Ragesh B. Asthana (as Mr. Reddy), B.K. Tiwari (as ACP Salgaonkar), Neelam Sharma (as police inspector Chowgule), Hemant Soni (as hawaldar More), Amit Shukla (as police inspector Shetty), Shrishti Arya (as Promila) and the rest do as required.
Devika Bhagat makes a confident debut as director but her narrative style, like her story and screenplay, would appeal to a very limited audience only. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music score is rather good but it is more class-appealing than mass-appealing. Also, the songs have not been popularised at all. All the same, the ‘Baat kya hai’, ‘Khushfehmiyan’, ‘Khuda na khasta’ and ‘I’m just pakaoed’ songs are entertaining. Amitabh Bhattacharya’s lyrics go perfectly well with the mood of the film. Ashley Lobo’s choreography is appropriate. Tubby-Parik’s background music is alright. Sameer Arya’s cinematography is nice. Mustufa Stationwala’s sets are okay. Shan Mohammed’s editing is alright but could have been better, considering that the drama is very different from what one normally sees in Hindi films.
On the whole, One By Two offers entertainment for a very thin section of the audience and will, therefore, fail at the ticket windows. Business in premium multiplexes would be okay but it would be pathetic elsewhere.