2008 brought to us a masterpiece which still never fails to tickle our stomachs to some other level. But the movie isn’t just a life story of a thief, but also a reflection of society and its expectations from the individuals.
‘Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!’ is a brilliant movie made by a brilliant film maker, Dibakar Banerjee. It was written by Dibakar Banerjee in collaboration with Urmi Juvekar. This film has an excellent background score and music, composed by none other than Sneha Khanwalkar.
The casting is what wins the game, because everyone has played their characters so well.
Manjot Singh and Abhay Deol as Lucky is a beautifully imagined concept. Lucky is a winsome man throughout his story and is aesthetically charming with looks so deceiving.
Even when we’re all developing, it takes a lot to change the society we live in. For years, Indian society has lived with a mindset of an ‘Ideal Man’ or an ‘Ideal Woman’ or ‘ Ideal Family’ or simply, ‘Ideal living’ which starts with taking birth in a happy family, getting the best of education, speaking in English, study engineering, commerce or medical science, earning in lakhs, driving luxurious cars, living in posh areas and this has been set for all the individuals, irrespective of their income groups or capabilities.
Same tragedy happens with the protagonist, Lucky , who never had the chance to gain anything which could make him acceptable in the society’s eyes. Always been deprived of what he wanted or was forced by his surroundings to desire for, wanting in a little more love and respect, turns him into a thief who steals almost everything that he needs, from a Mercedes that he doesn’t even pronounce right to a framed photograph of a couple that he hangs in his drawing room to make his house look like a home of a very dignified person so that people look at him with respect and talk to him. He isn’t lonely. He has people who love him and appreciate him. But, he runs in a race of becoming a ‘gentleman’. He just doesn’t desire to live the same way he was born and brought up. Not having too many resources and a much needed support in childhood, he doesn’t acquire proper education and the only thing that he knows is ‘Jugaad’.
The Background Music:
The movie has this old movie song ‘Chaahiye Thoda Pyaar’ as it’s background music in some specific scenes. And if we look at the need of Lucky in the whole movie, it’s just a craving for some affection, acceptance and fame. Fame is also an essential point here. Lucky longs for coming in news, even if it is for all wrong reasons, in the end. In the end when he knows that he has been busted by the crime branch, he calls the police just because he knows that crime branch won’t let anybody know about his arrest and he might never get in news, but once it’s a police affair, it’s automatically a media affair.
There is one another very soft tune that continues throughout the movie that reflects the innocence behind everything happening in Lucky’s life.
Lucky’s Bad luck:
The Protagonist’s name has been cleverly kept Lucky and that is ironic, because there has been nothing lucky in his life so far in the story. The protagonist, had a ‘not-so-happy’ childhood, he lived in West Delhi with his lower middle-class family, which was troubled by a lady having an affair with Lucky’s father, who even once tried to seduce the teenager Lucky. As a child, he feels small in front of those who study in the private schools, thinking that they are different from the children of government schools. He had some friends, as deprived of a ‘Ideal Life’ as him. He never paid attention to his studies, resulting in odd jobs and finally robbery. Lucky was never lucky enough to get what fascinated him all his childhood, teenage and adulthood by choosing a right way to get it.
Throughout his story, he comes across 3 father like figures, who ditch him and leave him alone when he needs them the most. Interestingly, the choice of casting a same actor for all three roles is commendable. Paresh Rawal plays all these 3 father-like figures in Lucky’s story.
First is his own father, who has a job but is more interested in his affair with his tenant and knows that his family knows about it.
Second is the goon Lucky works for, who intentionally gets him and his best friend arrested.
And third is a ‘Doctor’ who, along with his wife, cheats on Lucky for his money that they need to open a restaurant and later blackmail him because they had always known who he really was.
Lucky’s best friend, whom he has been with since his childhood, Bengali, betrays him a couple of times but it’s more or less because that man himself is as miserable as lucky.
In the end, he has no one to call his own, except for his girlfriend, of whom we are not told about in the end of the movie, after his arrest, so even it’s not assured if she stays or not.
The’ Good’ Thief:
There isn’t a single scene in the movie where we can find Lucky killing, raping, troubling someone except for a scene of his childhood where he beats a guy from private school to ask him what’s there in a greeting card, which again reflects his innocence and desire to become like ‘the other and the priviledged class’. And there is one more scene where he hits some men who try to tease his elder brother whom he meets when he’s on a holiday with Bengali and his girlfriend.
Clearly, he gets emotional when he finds his brother and feels proud of him as he does a respectable job and has a family, something that Lucky always dreamt of. But, his brother doesn’t reciprocate the love for him and tries to avoid him. When Lucky gets too emotional and drinks too much, the brother’s wife questions Sonal’s (Lucky’s Girlfriend) character in a sarcastic manner. That reflects the gap between Lucky’s and his brother’s life. The brother’s wife judges Sonal and for her, the concept of relationships before marriage is wrong.
When a lady, very much older than him, whom he dislikes because his father is after her, tries to seduce him, he gets very angry and warns her before leaving the room. Again, when he is a grown up adult, Sonal’s sister Dolly tries to hit on him when he’s alone with her despite knowing that he is dating her sister, he becomes furious and rejects her proposal, to which Dolly accuses him of being a low standard thief, which actually hurts Lucky.
Clearly, Lucky is not a bad man. He is just an individual trying to fit into the parameters created by the society he has been living in.
In the end, what all that we have is an idea of how our desires are set by the society and everyone has their own ways to achieve it which again become acceptable and non-acceptable.
What Lucky achieves through stealing is exactly what society asks him to own and still doesn’t approve of him, without understanding his situation; it imposes its laws on an innocent man who keeps on figuring out how to please the ‘hi-fi’ people around him. Deep inside, he has always been lonely and tries to find love everywhere by copying the upper class.
The movie can be said to have a satirical element, shown towards the unfairness and injustice done by the society, to the society.