ONE BY TWO is experimental cinema. While those involved seem to be having a gala time, the audience becomes the guinea pigs.
Having said that, the effort to be different by Abhay Deol and his producer friends needs to be applauded. They had the guts to go ahead with a plot they thought would be different. But alas, this was no different from the many 'made-for-the-heck-of-it-films' we have been subjected to over the years.
The characters of this plot are stuck in time. No one wants to grow up. Amit Sharma (Abhay Deol) we are given to understand is working in a corporate office. He is doted upon by his boss. He has been dumped by the girl he has been wooing for eight years since college.
When he learns that the guy who she dumped him for is the producer of a Dance Reality show, he along with his office mates, decide to hack into the 'voting software' which will declare the winner as the loser. This in turn would ensure that the guy who stole his girl would be out of a job. That does happen.
In between, we have a parallel story of Samara (Preeti Desai) who is all messed up herself. She is tending to an alcoholic mother (Lillete Dubey), and at the same time trying to work her way up the dance company she works for by sleeping with the boss (Yudishtir).
CHECK OUT: Abhay Deol's 'pakaoed' marketing for ONE BY TWO
When her boss makes it clear he wants to just have fun, she decides to get him jealous by warming up to her dance partner. The result: she is not chosen as the main dancer for an event in Goa.
She quits and joins the Dance Reality Show. There is a big line for the audition where she is told that it would take eight hours to reach the counter where the forms are being distributed. She faints and walks in to the audition room, just like that!
Meanwhile, Amit's mummy (Rati Agnihotri) wants her laadla
to settle and gets him to meet a girl of her choice. Laadla
wants Radhika back. Radhika asks him to drown himself in half a bowl of manchow soup. A few reels later, she comes and tells him she wants him back in her life. Why? Because his song is now a hit and she wants to impress the channel she is working for. Laadla is now wise. He moves on. Incidentally, this is the same song he had sung for her when they were in college and she does not even remember it. The CD accidentally gets lost and is found by some dancers who use it for their song.
In the meanwhile, when Yudhistir learns that Samara is the finalist at the dance show, he comes to woo her back.
Before the end, when Laadla's marriage date is nearing, his fiance's family comes over, and Laadla (who does not want to get married) comes out in his boxer shorts and electric guitar and sings ''Iam pakaoed, kaccha chabbaoed.'' CHECK OUT: ONE BY TWO isn't GORI TERE PYAAR MEIN
Excuse me? Isn't that what we should be singing, Abhay?
The only ones to leave a lasting impression with their performances are the characters who play Mihir (Tahir Bhasin) and Amita (Preetika Chawla). These guys are just too good. The only two for whom this experiment seems to have worked.
The music too is soulful, rhythmic as well as loaded with meaningful lyrics.