Luck By Chance - Review

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There is a lot of curiosity for a film that comes from the stable of accomplished film luminaries like the Akhtars. So what if the director at the helm is a debutant. Zoya Akhtar is Javed Akhtar’s daughter and that raises the hope. Does she live up to the expectations is what prompted me to go ahead and watch Luck By Chance primarily. I can’t answer that question in a simple ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’.

The second reason for me going to watch the film was obviously Farhan Akhtar. I wanted to see if Luck By Chance was going to be second time lucky for Farhan as an actor-producer. Is it lucky? The answer is again a confusing ‘yes and no’. Yes – as an actor and probably No – as a producer. But I must stop predicting box office success with Ghajini’s mind boggling business worldwide. When I see a Ghajini poster roaring an unprecedented ‘235 Crores Worldwide’ collection, I pretend to be blind. Hindi film audience is fickle-minded and any prediction on the fate of a film is nothing more than a guessing game founded on individual biases.

Coming back to Luck By Chance, Zoya Akhtar debuts in the movie as a story/screenplay writer and a director. She did not write the dialogues as Farhan did for his first film. That doesn’t mean that she won’t be compared with her accomplished brother. She is indeed quite good in the screenplay department. The story too is very commercial in its form. She did spend the seven years working on this story for some good reason afterall. I can’t say the same about her direction. I found it meandering and confusing at places. What started as a film centered around Farhan Akhtar and kept the focus on him suddenly shifted focus on Konkana in the climax scene. I couldn’t get the sudden shift in focus after relegation of Konkana’s character to the background for most parts of the second half. Maybe being a woman played a part. The film ends on a note where you see Konkana’s character refusing Farhan to enter back into her life and then carving a small place for herself in the tinsel world on her own esteem. I couldn’t understand how that could be the culmination of the film. That was like a dash of Madhur Bhandarkar to me!

Having said that, there are some high points in her effort as well. The way she portrays the Hindi film industry is filled with a dose of intelligent sense of humor. I must say that this is the one of the better films on Bollywood that gives us an inside view of the glamour world. She has deftly handled a few scenes in the film. Notable among those are the two break down scenes. One, when Rishi Kapoor breaks down saying that he commands no respect and two, when Farhan breaks down on the stairs after his fall out with his childhood friend. Another notable scene worth a mention is the one between SRK and Farhan. It could have looked like a discourse on remaining level headed but the director does control it quite well.

In the acting department, Farhan shows us that he is an able actor. He underplays his character and is believable. He doesn’t look out of place except in some dance sequences. Especially the Pyaar Ki Daastan song where he repeats his steps and imitates the oft repeated ‘SRK stretching his hands’ dance move. He can dance but something just doesn’t seem right. Maybe I have a preconceived notion of thinking of him as a director and not an actor. That’s my view, see for yourself.
Konkana’s acting prowess has never been in question. She is top rate as she always is. Rishi Kapoor is unmatchable. Juhi Chawla looks as pretty as she did 20 years ago. Sanjay Kapoor is a revelation. Dimple Kapadia plays the character of a star mom and a yesteryear superstar with perfection. Watch out for her outburst against the Magazine editor in the film. Isha Sharvani is a dancer and not an actress. The rest of the cast is competent. Hrithik is superb in the character of the insecure superstar.

Music is not the high point of the film. It has a couple of very good songs but not a pillar on which the film stands. It’s not a dud but Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio is not in full form here.

Overall Luck By Chance is a good movie that will be liked by the multiplex audience only. No one can deny that the film is well made but that would probably not translate into monetary gains as the pace of the film is lethargic and has no smash hit songs to aid its publicity. Given a choice I will prefer to watch it on DVD rather than in theatre. With Victory and Raaz as its competitors, Luck By Chance can hope to stay afloat for sometime to come. Watch it if you like sensible cinema and want a break from over publicized trash that is served day-in and day-out as BLOCKBUSTER material. The first watchable film of 2009 is how I would describe Luck By Chance. 3 (left hand limit :-P) out of 5 is my rating.


I-DESIRE said...

Anurag, you have done a wonderful job as a critic for Luck by chance. I admire your knowledge and style. Seems you are keeping abreast with all latest happenings in Bollywood. Good Work dude!!

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