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The classic rom-com premise—the perfect couple from the same social bubble travels halfway around the world before eventually being united—is stretched beyond permissible limits in Devika Bhagat’s debut feature. Amit (Abhay Deol) refuses to get over his girlfriend, while Samara (Preeti Desai) is trying to forget a failed relationship and make it as a dancer. The two meet, finally, over an upset stomach—yes, you read right. Of all the genres that Bhagat dips into for the mish-mash that is One By Two, the gross-out American comedy was an ill-advised choice.

The screenplay’s real interest seems to be in Samara’s ambitions and her relationship with her alcoholic mother (Lillette Dubey) and her estranged businessman father (Anish Trivedi). Amit’s track, which includes the kind of cool parents who exist only in a certain kind of Hindi movie, is underdeveloped as a result, although it is a bit more entertaining, especially when the delightfully named Shishika (Yashika Dhillon) shows up as a possible wife. In a less busy movie, Shishika could have been a worthy competitor for the terminally bored Amit’s attentions. As might have real-life b-boyer Netrapal He-Ra Singh’s Bunty, who is one of the few identifiably Mumbai characters in a movie that is set in the city but refuses to engage with its realities.

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Preeti Desai plays a girl who aims to make it as a dancer

One By Two released in theatres on Friday.

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