Vicky Donor is a wonderfully filmed story by director Shoojit Sarcar on sperm donation and the joy it can bring to a childless couple’s life. Given the number of strike outs in his childless patients’ lives, it is clear right at the start of the film that Dr Baldev Chaddha (Annu Kapoor) is desperately seeking a super sperm donor to save his fertility clinic from going under. He isn’t shy of elaborating on the role a good quality sperm plays in the reproductive cycle of human beings. Of course, his version is far more entertaining than any Biology lecture on the intricate reproductive aspects of human life forms.
Enter 25-year-old Punjabi boy from ‘the’ Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar Refugee Colony, Vicky Arora (Ayushman Khurana) who lives with his progressive grandmother, ‘Beeji’ (Kamlesh Gill) and conservative mother, Dolly (Dolly Ahluwalia), who runs a beauty parlour. Vicky is aimless and jobless, living off his widowed mother’s earnings and being spoilt rotten by a rather indulgent Beeji of his wayward lifestyle.
The super sperm donor hunt comes to an end when Dr Chaddha learns that a certain Vicky’s forefathers had sired 19 children. He begins stalking Vicky and trying to bring him around to the fact that sperm donation is a perfectly legal business, not to mention, a very noble one too and that he would pay a fabulous price for his swimmers too. Chaddha convinces him he is, rather his sperm is, the perfect combination of David Beckham and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s sporting style, SRK’s personality and Lady Gaga’s singing talent. Such are the stories you tell when you want super sperm that will rake in the cash.
The camaraderie between Chaddha and Vicky is extremely amusing and they’re like a sparring couple, who can’t seem to do without each other. Of course, it is an uphill task to convince Vicky to part with his swimmers in a plastic jar amidst some lad mags and porn dvds, since Vicky hates kids. “They smell of piss and potty and vomit” being the reason and he doesn’t quite understand that he’s only going to be helping couples make babies, not raising them or smelling them. The dialogue exchanges between Chaddha and Vicky are cleverly written and extremely funny, without being obscene in the context of the plot with the credit going to Juhi Chaturvedi, the writer behind the story, screenplay and dialogues in the film. Chaddha’s line – “Your sperm is just getting wasted. You might as well sell it to me.” Vicky’s retort, “So what do you want me to with them? Store them in a Sintex tank?” is one of the biggest howlers in the film, among many.
Everyone in the audience will definitely have a favourite line from Vicky Donor, a rare feat in a film that is trying to get an important social message across. When Vicky meets the Bengali banker, Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam) and his heart goes aflutter, instead of Chaddha being the third wheel in their romance, it seems like Ashima is the third wheel in the story. Odd, but it works somehow.
There is another coupling in the film, that of the proverbial saas, Beeji and her bahu, Dolly, which is refreshingly different. Their relationship is anything but clichéd and a delight to watch. The scene where the two down some drinks and talk in their Punjabi accents to each other is Indian humour at its best. Their daily spats over Vicky are raw and so very funny.
The film captures Delhi and Kolkata’s cultural divide in a way that is identifiable with the most common generalizations, but it also adds new flavour to those very clichés too. The Punjabi versus Bengali culture clash is typical – Balle Balle and butter chicken versus Tagore and fish curry is what the characters rant on about. But with a lot of the film’s dialogues being in Punjabi and Bengali, it is a slight deterrent to those who don’t speak either language as you miss some of the lines. But you can decipher what was said through the loud expressions and mannerisms of the actors. The family complications tend to drag in parts, but it’s not unbearable, even though it’s boringly predictable.
The sets, costumes, language and dialogues add to the predominantly Punjabi flavour of the film as the cast plays out a well-written screenplay that is both humourous and entertaining, without it losing a grip on the real plot – that of encouraging sperm donation. The background score and the music are light and melodious, without any drum rolls and exaggerated sounds taking away from the story unfolding on screen.
Ayushman Khurana is brilliant as Vicky – believable and endearing as the one who sold his sperm for cash. His television experience over the years as an anchor has definitely added to his easy transition on celluloid as a natural and charming actor. Dolly Ahluwalia and Kamlesh Gill are simply fabulous as the over-the-top Punjabi bahu and saas. You expect Annu Kapoor to fall into character effortlessly, given his vast acting repertoire, and he does just that as the sperm-hunting doctor.
All the actors in the film have delivered good performances, barring newcomer Yami Gautam who just about scrapes through in her role as Ashima.
John Abraham has a big role to play in the film – no, not the mention of his bountiful sperm and handsome genes by Chaddha to an extremely demanding couple, but as Vicky Donor’s producer. It seems like he has a winner on his hands, with his very first production and that too, without even a cameo in the film flashing his six-pack or his “snug in itsy-bitsy trunks” derrière. Vicky Donor, with its tight production budget, without any big names and exotic filming locations confirms the fact that a good story aided by good performances will always sell. Vicky Donor is a reproductive effort indeed and one of the better films of 2012 so far.