Title: Luck by Chance
Starring: Farhan Akthar, Konkana Sen Sharma, Isha Shravani (who is who of Bollywood play guest roles)
Watched another Hindi film. Once again, I opted for something out of the mainstream. This is a film about the Hindi film industry itself much like earlier films on similar topic, Page 3 and Fashion. The storyline highlights the role luck plays in success while exposing the workings of the industry as whole — gossip, affairs, financing, double standards, distrust, insecurity, false promises, casting couch, love, betrayal, you name it.
The film is very well made. The deubutant director (Zoya Akhtar, whose brother Farhan Akthar plays the lead role) does a fine job of bringing out the best in all the characters. The Akthar siblings appear to have worked their Bollywood connections to the maximum by parading a bevy of Bollywood stars essaying brief cameos (Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Abhishek Bacchan, John Abraham, Akshay Kumar, Boman Irani, Juhi Chawla etc.) to more extended roles (Rishi Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Hrithik Roshan, Sanjay Kapoor) all through the film. The Director deserves credit for weaving these appearance very astutely into the story-line. None of these appearances appear forced and blend extremely well with the story of the film.
Konkana Sen Sharma and Farhan Akthar play the roles of aspiring actors in Mumbai. While she struggles to get a big break she essays small insignificant roles over a three year period. Meanwhile, Farhan’s character moves to Mumbai from Delhi in search of break in the fim industry. The two meet through common friends (who are also tied to the film industry) and a develop and friendship which later develops into a romance. The Director does a fine job of not overdoing this part and keeping it “suttle”. By sheer circumstance (or luck!), Farhan’s character gets a break as a lead role in a film after Hrithik Roshan backs out mid-way through the film. The series of coincidences that pitchfork Farhan’s character to land the lead role is extremely well captured highlighting the importance of “time and place” when it comes to success. Dimple plays the role of an obsessive former movie star desperately seeking a big break for her daughter (played by Isha Shravani). Rishi Kapoor plays the film’s producer (never sen him in a role like this before!) and Sanjay Kapoor its Director.
The biggest drawback of the film is probably its title. Until you watch the film the title makes little sense whatsoever. It is ironical that Javed Akthar’s kids had to come up with a (poorly worded) all English title for a Hindi film! Another drawback of the film is its hero – Farhan Akthar. While his acting is excellent, he doesn’t exactly fit the role of aspiring Hindi film hero (his muscles not withstanding!) who goes on to becomes immensely popular! Given the negative shades of the role it was probably difficult to find any of the mainstream stars to accept the role. On the other hand, it might have been a perfect fit for a good-looking, new or up and coming star (a la SRK in Baazigar, Darr).
This film is probably not a commercial success because its not a mainstream “masala”. Nevertheless, the Director is certainly very talented as is evident in the quality of the overall film –film making, editing, the dialogues, the camera work, the background score, acting, etc. If you are in the mood for something other than the traditional Bollywood masala, this film is definitely a good choice.