Thursday, February 12, 2009

Luck By Chance

Luck By Chance is set in the Hindi film industry. At its center are an actor(Farhan Akhtar) and an actress(Konkona Sen Sharma) trying to make it big. Fate has different paths in store for them and as they traverse those paths, we get to see the workings of the industry itself.

Director Zoya Akhtar paints the film industry in rather harsh colors. Nobody, from a struggling actor to an established superstar, is spared as she lays bare everything that goes on behind the glamor and glitz we see onscreen. And this is not the light-hearted lampooning that went on in films like Om Shanti Om either. Matters like the casting couch, ego clashes, betrayals and affairs are all touched upon and there's no mistaking the kind of place Zoya thinks Bollywood is. But all these are handled in a matter-of-fact way and that saves the movie from resembling a documentary. There is no preaching or moralizing at any point and Zoya just presents things as is, with humor and sentiments going hand-in-hand.

In movies like these - ones that chronicle the rise of an underdog - the protagonist has a squeaky-clean image and we are expected to side with him wholeheartedly. So Farhan's character arc comes as a bit of a surprise as he manipulates (the way he plays Dimple Kapadia is a beauty) and uses those around him. Not that he's a complete bad guy. In fact, barring Konkona, who plays a more straightforward, sympathetic role, everyone in the film has these shades of gray. Like Hrithik, who plays the reigning superstar. The way he leaves a producer in the lurch when a better opportunity opens up and the joy he feels when reading an article that trashes Farhan show us beautifully that even the biggest stars are not free of feelings of insecurity. Such well-etched characters and fascinating snapshots of Bollywood give the film a sense of realism.

The film's end is in line with its tone so far. While it doesn't tie things up neatly or manufacture an artificial, feel-good ending, it doesn't go out of its way to end things in a downbeat fashion either. It brings a certain level of closure but doesn't overdo it.


At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

haven't seen this film...don't think i'll have the time either...but I like films about showbiz as long as they don't exaggerate things too much...I believe that films about showbiz should in a way work well as cautionary tales...because we hear so many lurid stories about casting couches and cunning, opportunistic individuals that the vikraman way (e.g. roja's 5-minute rise to star status in 'unnidathil ennai koduthen!') wont do! i've been hearing good things about this movie thirakatha *ing priyamani about the life of srividya...have u seen it? i'd be interested to read ur take on it...

At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Valentine's Day Balaji


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