If you are expecting a plot as inventive as that of Manorama Six Feet Under or an Abhay Deol performance, a la Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye, which will stay with you long after the film is over, One by Two is absolutely not for you.
The film is likely to remind you more of Aisha than any of the memorable ones that the 'other' Deol has ever starred in, say critics. The combination of Abhay Deol and Devika Bhagat, which gave us Manorama Six Feet Under all those years ago, sadly and utterly disappoints.
Amit Sharma's (Abhay Deol) mother (Rati Agnihotri) wants him to get married but his girlfriend dumps him after he loses his job.
The film's storyline fails to grab the attention of the audience. Film critic
"Trying for likeability is tough when the film is saddled with a listless plot and pace."
"To borrow an analogy from the narrative itself, this film is a bit like a dancer without muscles in the right places," writes film analyst
, "Filmmakers like Devika Bhagat and actors like Abhay Deol encourage audiences to expect something different from them. Then they go and borrow bits from existing works — fecal humour from Delhi Belly; an everyman hero who is constantly being heartbroken, like Ted from How I Met Your Mother; every other clichéd trope, from mousy Bengalis to friends who first snipe at each other and then become lovers."
writes, "The stretched screenplay is tiresome, the lead actors are awfully boring, the dialogues were a flop show, the story was futile and utterly pointless."
As for the performances, there is a common voice that Abhay Deol has been wasted in One By Two. Mohar Basu writes, "The mellifluous Abhay Deol is sorrowfully wasted in a film like this." Saibal Chatterjee writes, "Abhay Deol is saddled with a role that has no room for progression. So he sounds like a record stuck in a groove."
Preeti Desai is a promising actor, says Chatterjee. "When Preeti Desai goes kaboom kaboom in the voice of Anushka Manchanda early in the film, she does raise hopes of full-on rebellion."
Mohar writes, "Preeti Desai plays a cardboard character in the film and after closely looking at her all through the film, I concluded her acting skills are highly questionable as it clearly lacks the needed knack for the work."
Gupta writes, "Preeti Desai, Abhay Deol's real-life girlfriend, has an attractive presence, and does all right in scenes that don't demand much."
Lillette Dubey, Darshan Jariwala, Rati Agnihotri and Jayant Kripalani have impressed critics with their performances.
The film tries to be funny at a cost. Mohar Basu writes, "A film's standard of humor always conveys its matter and intelligence and this one never rises above the pot."
Saibal Chatterjee couldn't agree more: "So, this is a film in which you will hear lines that go 'when life throws shit at you, throw it right back'. Tut, tut!"
Overall, the movie fails to touch a chord with the audience - neither emotional, nor comic.
Deepanjana Pal writes, "Films like One By Two are an attempt at a compromise between masala Bollywood and smart storytelling. Like so many compromises, it isn't fun and it's distasteful to both parties."
You should skip One By Two, especially if you liked Manorama Six Feet Under or Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye because this is not even remotely in the same league.