Tuesday, February 3
Luck By Chance - The review
Last year's Om Shanti Om (I know, I know. You hate it.) had some incredible hamming by Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan as actors from the 70's in the Hindi Film Industry. I found this refreshing in that the industry was finally learning to laugh at itself. This year's 'Luck by Chance' takes it one step further by casting a meticulously constructed, critical yet fairly realistic eye on the workings of the Maya-nagari dream factory.
Farhan Akhtar plays a smart, confident, struggling actor trying to make his mark. His big break happens when a major star, played by Hrithik Roshan turns down the producer who gave him his first break. Rishi Kapoor is awesome here, he plays a very atypical role. However, the movie-within-the-movie needs to succeed as it is a debut for a starlet played by Isha Sharwani who's mother (Dimple Kapadia) is one of those Bollywood moms obsessed with ensuring their daughters do well. The gist of it is [minor spoiler alert] that Farhan gets the role and plays a lead character of the movie, but finds it difficult to keep his old life going. His girlfriend played by Konkona Sen Sharma, also a struggling actor goes through all the ups and downs and more on account of her relationship with him.
The interesting thing about the movie is that it works a very real premise - that of new stars being given headlining roles only when starlets or already established stars refuse to do them. The film cites Amitabh Bachchan in 'Zanjeer' and Shah Rukh Khan in 'Darr' and 'Baazigar' to lend credibility to that claim.
The movie is anchored in reality; the characters are not too shallow and it leaves a few ends loose on purpose (for example, Farhan never knows that Konkona had a hand in him getting his break). However what starts as a light comedy, moves into a slightly more serious mode with the protagonist using whatever means necessary to get ahead in the business - some smart and some not necessarily ethical. The end is a bit of a let down and what should have been about 10-15 minutes of material has been stretched to at least half an hour. There are a couple of songs (overall, I didn't like the music much except the one song where Farhan waits for the audition) which leaves you wondering whether they should have been there at all and maybe one too many characters.
Overall though, it's a very good, real look at the Hindi movie industry (I'm not using the term 'Bollywood' after seeing one of the characters dislike for the term!). Technically it's a good film, a few archaic scene fadeouts notwithstanding. The irony of it all is that there are so many star kids in the movie themselves, starting with the hero and all those making cameo appearances from Abhishek to Viveayik (is that how it's spelt now?).
One line review - a fine, fresh movie and a definite must watch. I give it a 7.5 on 10.