10 Years of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!: A Sympathetic Portrait of a Dysfunctional Superchor

Bollywood

10 Years of Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!: A Sympathetic Portrait of a Dysfunctional Superchor

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

n the opening scene of Dibakar Banerjee’s Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!, an elaborate press conference – well, by Delhi Police standards – is underway. At the conference, we see “superchor” Lucky’s exploits through the years: A stream of stolen riches that include TV sets, music systems, family portraits, dust-laden figurines, alarm clocks, and even a dog. In a spot of unintended, but completely believable real-life comedy, a couple of women fight over a jewellery set and the hapless cops turn to Lucky to clear the air.

Lucky, after all, is a celebrity thief. The film opens and ends with an episode of Criminal, a fictional crime reality show that profiles the life of criminals like Lucky. But Lucky’s world is less fiction and more reality – as real as the crowded bylanes of Patel Nagar. Lucky lives neither in the tony South Delhi of Aisha, nor in the aesthetic grime of Masakalli’s historic Dilli 6. He’s from a Dilli, which defines the experience of many middle Dilliwalas, where crime and punishment blend as easily as saunth and curd in a dahi bhalla.

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