Film: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! has to be one of the finest films I’ve seen this year. I hate sounding smug, but right from the time Abhay Deol made his appearance in Socha Na Tha, he’s struck me as the kinds who could break out of his family’s muscled territory and go into something more subtle. I thought Manorama was an absolutely brilliant film, but then film noir is hard to come by in Bollywood.

You know how films that have Sikhs in them lapse into the standard “cute small sardarji” and “lion-hearted kind big sardarji” types? This film just dashes that. It gives you insight into the sheer “kameenapan” that Delhi is so famous for. In fact the word “kameena” is so hard to translate. The one wonderful thing about the film is the sheer pragmatism of all characters involved. An older aunty wants sex. A young man wants cheap thrills.

The way the film looks at Delhi is just so wonderful. The winters, and how steaming hot cups of tea are often the only subtle thing in the city. The hanging telephone wires from electric poles. How the entire city leches and gawks constantly. The mothers are scheming, the friends are creeps, the love stories are erratic. The accents are just right, Hindi twisted into a Jat-kissed accent and the familiar Punjabi irreverence.

It hits Delhi where it hurts most. It’s not the romantic environs of the University, or the cushioned loveliness of Central Delhi. Instead, it’s West Delhi. The city has this annoying habit of making relatives out of everyone. And Archana Puran Singh (who is clearly been wasted in so many films and roles) is so fantastic as a woman who makes a “brother” out of a conman. She’s so convincing that you almost cringe. You see, there’s no underbelly in Delhi. It’s a massive potbelly. And you can hide it all you like, but it’ll still show. In Delhi, you basically buy respectability. Or you are born into it.

At some point you realize that this conman isn’t afterall different from everyone else in the film. Everybody is fooling someone, cheating someone, or just stealing. Our conman does it slightly better. And there’s no prejudice. No morality. No concept of an urban Robin Hood. He steals and hoards. He’s a magpie with a punjabi accent.

The music is brilliant. It provides the perfect pace to the film. It doesn’t overwhelm the film or stand out like sore points. There are no choreographed dances. Sample this

And the women? They aren’t romantic fools. They make advances. And much like the rest of Delhi, they’d sell you to the next party in a heartbeat. Fantastic! If you watch one film this month, make it this one.

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7 Responses to Film: Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!

  1. Aparna says:

    ah, i loved it. Just saw it.

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  2. naren says:

    High Five! I just freaked out on the movie, and I’ve been going on and on about it, to many raised eyebrows and a big SHUT UP from the missus, whose vote goes for Rab ne bana di Jodi. I weaseled out of the ordeal of watching that one but I’ve heard the plot and it is PATHETIC, even by Yash Raj’s exacting standards. I’ve written a rant on my blog but what those guys needs is the garotte. Anyway
    Loved the following:
    The ghazal singer’s “gali gali gali gali” routine.
    The greeting card scene (Love you father mother brother sister)
    The “lady dog” scene where Paresh Rawal explains what dogs want and Abhay Deol’s side kick (who is simply brilliant) expresses realization with “Achha. Lady dog”
    The list runneth longer. And I agree, the music is brilliant, as are the lyrics.
    Masterpiece.
    Sorry about the excessive enthusiasm…

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  3. mg says:

    Like Abhay Deol too-am going to see this. Saw Rab ne Bana di Jodi the day before yesterday and am still cringing.

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  4. geetika says:

    You’re spot on – I kept trying to figure why I loved Delhi so much in this movie, despite the fact that none of the so-called landmarks are explicitly shown to make sure people know it’s Delhi – it’s not just
    Delhi. It’s West Delhi, where I grew up πŸ™‚
    Kameena is the word – not for Lucky though – Bangali, and Doctor Sahab.
    I also loved the vision of Paresh Rawal as the Narendra Chanchal sort πŸ˜€

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  5. Adithya says:

    It was brilliant, no? I loved the music too. It was loud and Punjabi for most parts and that suited the theme very well. I loved the title credits too with chahiye thoda pyar.

    Did you catch Slumdog Millionaire?

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  6. Gee says:

    I found the later part of the movie a bit dragging. Not to mention, the end was slightly disappointing too…though I’m not sure how else the movie could’ve ended !
    Overall, the movie was well-made (though I think it would appeal more to Northies..)
    I loved the younger version of abhay deol…he was hilarious !!
    Nice blog, btw ! πŸ™‚

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  7. km says:

    I’ll take your word for it.

    And who could have thunk a Deol would be, quite literally, the poster-child for indie movies?

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