Vicky Donor: Of fertility and revolutionary ideas

Published: May 3, 2012

Dr Chadda eventually brings Vicky in to donate sperm on the premise that his great grandfather had 19 children. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

There was a time when an action sequence was all that was needed to capture the audience. Vengeance and thrill always succeeded at the box office. Add a little romance to the story, and you were sure to have yourself an award winner.

Now, however, modern audiences have grown tired of the same old stories. Movies today have different plots, a lot of which address social issues and real life concerns. These would previously have been condemned by people at large which is why taking them to the big screen was never an option.

Interestingly enough, the audience of the 21st century is more accepting and more willing to appreciate real life issues depicted on a big screen. The movie, Bol, for example, tackled the issue of family planning – a real problem plaguing Pakistani society, but one which we had shied away from and not given any real attention to.

Thought-provoking cinema is not just appreciated but encouraged these days and the movie Vicky Donor illustrates this well as it is interesting with a controversial spin to it.

Vicky Donor is the story of a Punjabi boy named Vicky Arora (Ayushmann Khurrana) who encounters a not-so-successful, middle aged doctor called Dr Baldev Chadda (Annu Kapoor), who runs a fertility clinic and is actively looking for a sperm donor. Dr Chadda eventually brings Vicky in to donate sperm on the premise that his great grandfather had 19 children.

This is the story of Vicky’s balancing act with a Bengali girl, Ashima Roy (Yami Gautam), who he is in love with. It is about their trust and understanding alongside him becoming the biggest sperm donor at the fertility clinic.

Dr Chadda convinces Vicky to donate his sperm so that he can give happiness to those parents who are not blessed with children of their own. For this, he quotes some factual yet hilarious examples to Vicky, from Mahabharat’s time.

The sequences between Dr Chadda and Vicky are hilarious and here Kapoor, being a veteran actor, definitely deserves the credit.

I must say, that it is not easy to share the screen with an established actor like Annu Kapoor who doesn’t need a supporting cast to entertain the crowd. Ayushmann Khurrana, however, makes his own presence felt and noticed in just the right way. The two actors greatly compliment each other in almost every scene, be it dramatic or funny.

Those who know the roles portrayed by Kapoor in his career will agree that he has a calibre that is not shared by many actors. Be it his Gali Gali Chor Hai or 7 Khoon Maaf, this actor is a genius. For those who are in any doubt, I recommend that you watch Ek Ruka Hua Faisla where a 21-year-old Kapoor portrays a 59-year-old lawyer.

Ayushmann is also full of surprises. Performing a diverse role, he switches from easy going to smart-aleck to hilarious, pleasantly surprising the audience and finally astonishing them with his climax performance. This actor knows how to command attention with the riveting way in which he delivers.

Yami Gautam is a well known name on Indian TV channels, but her debut in this movie is sure to leave many smitten by her charm and charisma. She does not have an oh-so-sexy role but even so, I am sure that many will smile after watching her and observing her simplicity. She can go a long way provided she chooses the right roles.

On the whole, John Abraham has managed to produce a great piece of funny and witty cinema. The movie has a fresh and interesting plot; if we can save a dying man by donating our blood, why can’t we grant our sperm to enable someone to have a baby?

The positives about this movie are that it is contemporary, humorous and showcases some great performances. The only drawback, as far as I can see, is that it lacks star power, which these days is crucial for many movie-goers. The music is average, dialogues are hilarious and direction is promising.

I would personally rate the movie a 7/10. It is definitely a good watch!

Shafiq Ul Hasan

Shafiq Ul Hasan

The author is a content writer / marketer / analyst and a social media expert who loves blogging. He has worked with a silicon valley-based social network as content analyst. He blogs at www.shafiqsiddiqui.com and tweets @shafiqulhasan81 (twitter.com/shafiqulhasan81)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • ronnie

    hi
    is the movie available in pakistan????Recommend

  • Abdul Jabbar

    Fertility banks should be set up in pakistan also.For far too long,women have been in a quandry and have had to give up the life they wanted for the demands of insecure husbands.Now, any woman can go and get herself impregnated at the time of her own choosing,now women will be in command of their bodies and their lives,they won’t be held hostage to the decisions of men.Recommend

  • Zeeshan Khan

    Sperm banks are the need of the hour.They give women the freedom they need to have children when they want to,instead of it being decided by misogynistic husbands. The reason we don’t have sperm banks in our country right now is due to our society being a deeply patriarchal society in which society is structured in a way to further promote male dominance.The very idea that a woman can choose when to get pregnant scares the hell out of our men,they are much more used to treating their wives as their slaves and making all the major decisions in the family.Recommend

  • Kay Jay

    All right, it’s a revolutionary idea but please sperm donation does not bring you YOUR BABY.. i for once, would never be interested in raising a child who is not MINE, when i can easily have my own kids… By the by.. you don’t have kids for the sake of having kids.. You bring them in this world because they are a part of YOU and your chosen partner and NOT SOME RANDOM SPERM DONOR.Recommend

  • Salman

    “if we can save a dying man by donating our blood, why can’t we grant our sperm to enable someone to have a baby?”

    Are you kidding me ? how come you can write such article this is totally not acceptable in Islam and at least as a Muslim Recommend

  • Muhammmad Sarfraz

    Why can’t people think anything rationally for even a moment? In everything,religion is brought in to denounce anything that might give rights to anyone.Sperm donation and fertility clinics are a great idea.There should be sperm banks in our country,women must have the choice and freedom to get pregnant when they want to,not when a man decides that they have to.
    Religion should not be used to deny women the happiness and joy of parenthood.Recommend

  • Salman

    @Muhammmad Sarfraz:
    “not acceptable in Islam and at least as a Muslim”

    If you are not a Muslim then this comment was not for you i am sorry to bother you, if you are then there is no IF or BUT in Islam Allah’ Knows the best how much to give freedom.

    I am not talking about film, i am not talking about idea, i am even not against your thinking that there should be sperm bank or freedom, my point was to just point out this is something not for us..! yeh that”s it.Recommend

  • Muhammmad Sarfraz

    @Salman:

    ” Not something for us” ,talk about your ownself,don’t assume everyone is a religious extremist. When religious ideology is used and exploited to deprive people of happiness or to harm others,then it’s best to think rationally; religion shouldn’t be allowed to take away joy from the lives of others.Sperm banks are a brilliant service to humanity,lesbian couples can also experience the joys of parenthood as can straight couples who have difficulties conceiving.Recommend

  • T

    It maybe a good news for non-Muslims but its obviously forbidden in Islam because the father of your baby is not your husband then..and getting a na-mehram’s sperm inside your body is obviously haram. Common sense it is. Otherwise, whats the whole point in doing Nikah? Recommend

  • manish

    you mentioned EK RUKA HUA FAISALA, did you see 12 angry men, the original.
    see it, you will get a feel as to why most of the blasts are dubbed as acts of islamist terrorists, even before anything is known of them. it makes you travel through the discriminations on the basis of race, class and prejudices o fiftes america. a timeless film.Recommend

  • politicaly incorrect

    Sperm bank is a great idea with great potential as business venture.
    Just imagine the probable demand for Arabic sperm,Turkic sperm,Persian sperm,Uzbek sperm,Mongol sperm in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Awais

    On the subject of sperm banks, I say no to sperm banks in Pakistan. No until religion loses its stranglehold on the majority of the nation…..Which may never happen, ah screw it. I’m all for sperm banks.Recommend

  • mulla toofan

    and here come the religious fundoos who want to decide for everyone else what’s good and not.someone should invent a time machine and send them back to 7th century AD.Recommend

  • Deepwater

    @Salman:
    Is it ok if the sperm is muslim?Recommend

  • saima

    all you guys are ever obssessed with is women. sometimes it’s the right of women not to have kids. sometimes it’s the right of women to have kids. blah blah blah.

    Talk about something else for a change. Recommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @Kay Jay:
    Not everyone has kids to get a part of themselves. Many childless people do adopt lalso. Artificial insemination of woman will ensure at least 50% of child’s gene pool elongs to couple.

    @Salman

    This concept was not prsent in the 7th century when Quran was revealed. What is the basis for you to say that Islam would disapprove. I am sure many other concepts not referred to in Quran are part of your daily life today like cel phone, TV, internet?Recommend

  • ayesha_khan

    @T: “and getting a na-mehram’s sperm inside your body is obviously haram. Common sense it is”

    Just making stuff up are you? You do realize thatsex is not required between a woman and the no- Mehram man in this case correct? So can you please quote the specific verses in Quran which would make this haraam?Recommend

  • Zalim Singh

    hey cool down all, its just a movie review.Recommend

  • TheTruth

    Pregnancy and child bearing should be a joint decision between the man and the woman. Both parties should agree on whether or not to have a baby and then proceed.

    It’s very amusing to note that the people criticizing men for always deciding when to have a baby (which by the way is a huge generalization) are advising the women to go do the same thing! Hilarious!Recommend

  • T

    @ayesha_khan:
    I do not have the Quran infront of me right now neither am I a hafiz e Quran to quote any verse right now, but what I say comes from the knowledge of Islam I have gained throughout my life, not just with one ayat of Quran. Though I wish a hafiz e Quran would help here and quote a verse. Sex is not the only point in Nikah. Its about two souls living their whole life together and sharing each other through thick and thin, good and bad. If the aim of a woman was to only give birth to a child then she could just do that while staying single, like in the west. And then your whole life the husband will feel complexed that it’s not his own child and will naturally not feel very attached. The child will also have a different genes in him. Apart from that, in Islam, you are supposed to attach the name of the original father to a child and call the child by his real father’s name. When you dont even know whose sperm is going inside you, how can you do that then? Marriage is a sacred relationship not a selfish relationship.Likewise if a woman cant reproduce, it does’nt mean the husband should donate the sperm to some random lady who will produce the baby for them by keeping it in her womb for 9 months and then hand it over to them. If you really want a baby, adopt one. There are millions of homeless children dying daily. and by the way, when the Quran was revealed there were no aeroplanes also, but it talks about them. So Quran is not only for those times when it was revealed, it is for eternity. One needs to interpret it properly and thoroughly and read the whole of it..not just a few verses..only then you will understand what it is. Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    A wonderfully entertaining movie with an important message, whose subtlety is its strength.

    Sadly, every time some modern idea is discussed Islam comes into the picture. Story of Pakistan, I suppose. Recommend

  • sana

    @T: i think u put it correctly in response to ayesha_khan, plz stop asking fr the exact verses of Quran if u are a muslim u must know that even talking to or looking straight at a na mehram is not allowed how can u expect the na mehramz sperm to be allowed? and what T says about the fatherz name is correct. Quran is a book for all times, much ahead of even the century we are living in now. so plz stop calling it the 7th AD book.
    and let me tell u the type of sperm banks, if any, u can expect in pakistan. as the case is with blood, many drug addicts will donate their sperm and i can imagine how much background checking and dna testing will be done here in pakistan, so there u go, what diseases will spread..Recommend

  • abhi

    @T
    you are really confused, you are saying your self that nikah is not about producing children, so keep it separate. If a couple wants child and because of medial reasons cannot have it, what is harm in getting medical help?Recommend

  • alicia

    @T
    How does the Quran talk about aero planes? Just curiousRecommend

  • Mujtaba

    Its just a movie guys !!!
    no one is bringing these sperm banks to pakistan, so just don’t worry !!!Recommend

  • noor

    I’m surprised to see the reactions here, ‘islamic republic of pakistan’ and so far away from the rules of islam… sadly. May Allah swt give hadayat to everyone.

    coming to the point,
    What i feel everyone is forgetting is that this life is temporary and merely a test!
    If there are women out there who are not able to conceive in a halal way, there must be a reason for that. Maybe its . not . meant . to . happen
    They’s cant have children of their own but they can surely adopt.Recommend

  • practical

    @T: “and getting a na-mehram’s sperm inside your body is obviously haram. Common sense it is

    So like is self gratification forbidden in pakistan ? Going by your logic this would be even worse- killing millions everyday?????

    btw- wonderful movie, its a must see. Annu kapoor was brilliant.Recommend

  • T

    @ all those who are not getting this..
    I did not say that nikah is not for producing children..i said it is not ONLY for producing children..and if they are not happening, there must be a reason for that. We Muslims don’t believe in this one life only. This life is only a test for us and our real life is hereafter. So if one cannot have halal kids, it is a test. All your wishes cannot come true in this world. Just like every man cannot get wealthy even though they want to. So it does’nt mean they should start robbing others only to satisfy themselves in this life. They will be rewarded in life hereafter if they stay pious in spite of poverty. And Quran does not directly talk about aeroplanes but it does talk about the time when man made objects will fly in the sky..and obviously that is called an aeroplane in today’s world. There are many other examples where Quran talks about things that were not present then, but do exist now. I can understand when my non-Muslim friends from across the border don’t understand this, but I am disappointed at all the Muslims voting in favour of such things. It means we don’t have enough knowledge of our religion. Recommend

  • Sana

    Who started the Islam vs Sperm talk? Recommend

  • alicia

    @T
    I had a look at that verse and it mentions birds not flying objects in the future. Sorry but that’s how interpreted it. Recommend

  • T

    @alicia:
    Which verse did you look at?Recommend

  • HumbleOpinion

    I would like to quote an example of a movie I had once seen. Long story short two people fall in love and get married. On the night of the wedding the groom realizes that his bride might be his half sister and the whole plot was based on this twisted theme and how they tried to avoid physical contact with each other at the same time hoping that they weren’t siblings becuase they really loved each other. They had to play cool in front of everyone else but sleep in separate rooms at night etc etc (note: it was set in the 1800s when DNA testing wasn’t around).
    Now — with sperm banks around and people utilizing the services and having children I am sure some mathematician can come up with the probability of two half siblings getting married to each other (babies resulting from the same donor) which to me is ethically wrong (especially that the babies don’t even have a choice in this becuase they are unaware of their “real” parent). Same logic applies to egg donor women btw. This problem could be avoided using DNA testing I guess — Hey so I have a really huge crush on you but let’s get our DNA stats out before we go out you know…? Can’t really see that pick-up line flying too well.
    Someone raised a good point about back ground checks and other potential diseases associated with this concept — there are still many viruses that could not be detected in men and can be transfered to women and/or the resulting babies (such as HPV). So whose sperm/egg could you trust?
    Whether it is right or wrong depends on individual scenarios – I just do not like this idea as it fails to convince me at an ethical/social level.Recommend

  • http://islamabad Maryam

    @T:
    totally agreed. it is Allah’s will….
    sperm donation to me is haram…..the connection between parents n child we talk about is then meaningless. Recommend

  • Pro Bono Publico

    Hello Everyone! :)

    My question for everyone participating here would be, How could a woman be comfortable in accepting a sperm of someone whom she hardy know, provided shes unable to conceive?

    Moreover, what would shel have for an answer when her child would ask about her father? and following this, Wouldnt the child think the role of the woman accepting someone elses sperm similar to those whom you find in streets? How would you then differentiate it?

    @Ayesha Khan,
    Marriage is totally not about sex, sex & sex. It is about creating relationships and identities which are sacred and pious at the sametime. Even though sex is not required here but the generation next would be under deep identity crisis, which is why i believe polygamy is not a question for woman.

    @ T and Noor
    I totally agree with both of you! Whats your say on the questions mentioned above?

    therefore, i believe sperm donation & its acceptance is awfully-unethical-practice being followed today..Recommend

  • Pro Bono Publico

    Everyone,
    Do check this out…

    –In Choosing a Sperm Donor, a Roll of the Genetic Dice –
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/15/health/in-sperm-banks-a-matrix-of-untested-genetic-diseases.html?_r=1&src=daypRecommend

  • Rishabh Gupta

    My Pakistani friends:
    You should congratulate yourself for having an open debate.
    This is not happening in India. Which is India’s loss.
    Which tells you, that movies are not just in isolation.
    They affect our lives and our future.

    Consider the following issues:
    – If a couple are unable to conceive, the IVF procedure is a valid medical procedure.
    – If the IVF procedure is allowed beyond the condition stated in point 1, it is HARAM.
    – Consider the social repercussions:
    – A woman chooses to remain unmarried and single (her choice. Fine.)
    – She decides to have an IVF procedure because of her biological instinct to ‘be a mother’.
    – So she gives birth to an offspring
    – If a boy is born to her … she raises it without a male father figure.
    – Nor will the boy have the model of being a husband.
    – If a girl is born to her … she raises it without a male father figure.
    – Nor will the girl have the model of a father or husband.
    – Also consider, what does it mean to be a ‘mother’, in absence of a family structure.
    – Is not the IVF procedure then a laboratory for manufacturing ‘bastards’.
    – Is not the IVF procedure then a factory for illegitimacy.
    – Of course, the current drug of ‘liberated’ radical feminism … is unquestioned, unreasoned and unaccountable individualism … without considering the wider ramification to society.
    – Consider well, the above arguments, because YOUR CHILDREN, whether born by normal procreation or via IVF (should society choose to go that way), will live in a world, where the family structure will be loosened and destroyed irreparably.
    – Is this what we want?
    – Because, if that is what we want … then we need only look to the broken social structure of the West.
    – It is therefore the responsibility of each and all young men and women, to consider the moral / immorality of this approach.
    – Do not allow movies to defile and define the social standards by which we should live.

    That said, Bollywood ought to be seriously questioned in South Asia and by the diaspora.
    Its approach is to promote an irresponsible and ad hoc imitation of destructive Western habits and thought patterns. We should be alert against this and be able to see it for it is.
    Purely crass commercialism. Recommend