LUCK BY CHANCE : Brilliant directorial venture of Zoya Akhtar

LUCK BY CHANCE is the directorial debut of Zoya Akhtar, who is from the talented Akhtar Family. She shows her talent in the direction and script department but sadly chooses the same old story of strugglers in Mumbai changing their attitude after getting a break with some luck. The execution of some sequences is brilliant, but the cliché plot turns the movie into an old wine in a new bottle.

It opens with Konkona Sen Sharma, as a struggling actress, who is waiting for the promises made by a producer. Farhan Akhtar is introduced as another struggler, just out of an acting school and is a friend of Konkana’s neighbor who is a theater artist. These are the characters trying their luck in Mumbai and waiting for the lady luck to smile at them any fine morning. Luckily Farhan gets a lead role and then he changes with his new bright days of life, forgetting the people who helped him in his old times.

The same theme was also there in Ram Gopal Verma’s “Naach”. But here the difference is that though the movie is all predictable and based on an old plot, still it is well directed and superbly acted by the entire star-cast. Had there been any surprise element in the story, it could have been a far better venture for all. All performances are top notch and some particular scenes are superbly written and directed by Zoya Akhtar.

Konkona, as expected gives another fine & polished performance of her career, but the best shot once again comes from Farhan Akhtar, the actor. After the super success of “Rock On”, in “Luck By Chance” he proves himself as an established actor sharing the screen presence with veterans of the medium showing his cool confidence. He plays even the most complex scenes with an amazing ease and elegance. His change in style and walk after he becomes a star is superb. Isha Sharwani as Farhan’s heroine is cute and bubbly. She excels in the dramatic scenes with her onscreen mother and in the scene when she is in Farhan’s room at night.

Among the veterans both Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia have given one of their best performances and are highly enjoyable. Rishi specially is commendable as he cries and regrets being a producer in the industry running after stars of his son’s age for dates. Dimple as the diva of the past years and mother of Isha shows that she really was a diva in her own time. Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Kapoor and Ali give the right comic support to the ensemble.

There is a huge line up in the special appearance department, which includes, Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Akshay Khanna, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, Anurag Kashyap, Karan Johar and Shahrukh Khan. Among these Hrithik has a small role in which he shows why he is one of the respected and dependable star in the industry.

Hrithik has given two great scenes in the movie, one while he is talking to Karan Johar in a party and the second when he plays with the street kids while being inside his car at a road block. This particular scene with the street kids was the most impressing one from the director Zoya Akhtar and I rate this scene among the best ones I have seen in the recent times.

The next worth watching cameo comes from the King Khan, Shahrukh. In the few lines he speaks, he explains the life of a superstar and what he should not forget after reaching great heights of success. In this 3 minute scene, Shahrukh says it all and you are made to realize that this person truly deserves the position he is in at the present.

Another merit of the movie is its dialogues by Javed Akhtar. He manages to explain the emotions of the characters without using any complex or tough words which make it more hard hitting. Cinematography captures the mood and ambience of the studio sets beautifully. The behind the scenes sequences of junior artists, spot boys and assistants are quite revealing and captured intelligently.

But the music of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy was below the mark. The trio sometimes comes up with such an outstanding score and at times surprisingly gives a very mediocre one like in this movie. Only one song “Sapno Se Bhare Naina” is upto the standards set by themselves.

Now coming to the most difficult part of my review, where I have to write that in spite of being a brilliant and impressive directorial venture, the movie becomes the victim of having an old repeated storyline. The viewer exactly knows what the story would be from the first scene itself and that takes away all the charm. We have seen the same plot many times before when one of the struggler becomes a star and his attitude towards life changes. It was there in RGV’s “Rangeela” too but he had added an entertaining touch of comedy to it.

Here in “Luck By Chance” the main drawback is that the movie definitely is capable of impressing the critics but it fails to touch the right chord with the main viewers. There is no relief element in the screenplay and things keep on moving in a very classy way. Even the humor goes over the head at times. Like the scene when Mac Mohan comes to distribute certificates to the Acting School students. He is asked to say his dialogues from “Sholay”. Now he says “50 Hazaar” which was his only dialogue in the movie and remains one of the hidden surprises of “Sholay”(and many may not have realized it). Now the humor in the scene will only appeal to the people related to cinema and its craft but for others it may be tough to understand.

I was also surprised to see the scenes where Farhaan was making fun of the Theater and Theater Actors in the movie. Even if you don’t love theater, there are people who love it more than cinema and as a respect towards them and their art this should have been strictly avoided by the director.

So, if you see it from the eyes of a person coming to the theater for some relief and enjoyment, the overall impact of the movie is neither emotional nor entertaining. In the end I have to write that “Luck By Chance” is like seeing some well directed and well acted scenes put together without a touchy soul.

In other words the myth that movies based on movie making don’t work is true again. It may find hard to get a wider audience and acceptance. (Courtesy:

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