By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network
One has often heard, read and seen [on screen] the positive and negative aspects of Bollywood. It would be erroneous to state that LUCK BY CHANCE does a pol-khol of the glamorous industry. Let's put it this way: The film mirrors the behind-the-scenes drama and manoeuvring exactly the way it occurs in showbiz. Watching LUCK BY CHANCE is like experiencing it first-hand.
If you're associated with Bollywood, if you know how the machine works, you'd laud and applaud, laugh and smile, identify and understand and at times, empathize and sympathize with the characters in LUCK BY CHANCE. Zoya Akhtar's take on an industry that attracts millions of hopefuls year after year is bang on target.
Almost three decades ago, Hrishikesh Mukherjee's GUDDI depicted a star-struck teenager's [Jaya Bhaduri] obsession for a top star [Dharmendra]. Along with the core issue, the film highlighted the behind-the-scenes hard work and labour that went into making movies.
LUCK BY CHANCE taps almost every important facet of Bollywood and presents assorted characters you've encountered some time in life: An over-ambitious aspirant who knows to make the right moves; an actress trying hard to get that big break, even if she has to compromise; an icon of the 1970s who desperately wants her daughter to be a star; a producer who looks at riding on big names, script be damned; a failed actor now looking at direction to redeem his career.
One of the prime reasons why LUCK BY CHANCE works is because the writing [Zoya Akhtar] is simply wonderful. Right from the characters, to the individualistic scenes, to the way Zoya puts them in a sequence, LUCK BY CHANCE is easily one of the most cohesive scripts this side of the Atlantic.
The verdict? Leave aside everything and hitch this joyride called LUCK BY CHANCE. It would be sacrilege to miss this one!
Sona [Konkona Sen Sharma] arrives in Mumbai with dreams of becoming a film star. She does whatever it takes, to make it. Vikram [Farhan Akhtar] has just moved to the city leaving the comforts of his Delhi home. He is used to getting what he wants and is smart enough to know when to demand it and when to manipulate it. Gradually, Sona and Vikram develop a romantic relationship.
Rolly [Rishi Kapoor] is a successful though superstitious producer who only works with the biggest stars. He is making a potential blockbuster launching Niki [Isha Sharwani], the daughter of 1970s superstar Neena [Dimple Kapadia]. The hero of the film, Zaffar Khan [Hrithik Roshan], is the superstar.
Zaffar decides to opt out of Rolly's film and that creates havoc in Rolly's life. Rolly decides to cast newcomers and finally, Vikram is shortlisted for the main role...
LUCK BY CHANCE picks up characters straight out of life and that's the beauty of this script. The interesting part is that each of these characters has a story running parallel to the main story. Although the writing is foolproof, this review would be incomplete if one failed to acknowledge a number of scenes that are the hallmark of this enterprise...
# Note the sequence when Rishi Kapoor breaking down after Hrithik has walked out of his movie. It moves you!
# On the lighter side, Farhan strikes a conversation with Dimple at a movie premiere and extols lavish praises on her.
# Much later, an angry Dimple instructs Isha to patch up with Farhan, soon after Farhan and Isha's debut film has been declared a success. Watch the moments when Dimple recalls her early years.
# The sequence featuring SRK.
If Zoya's writing is superb, her execution of the written material deserves distinction marks. This may be Zoya's directorial debut, but she treats the difficult subject like a veteran. Javed Akhtar's dialogues are remarkable. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is a mixed bag; the score could've been better. However, the choreography of the circus song is remarkable. Carlos Catalan's cinematography captures the right moods.
Farhan Akhtar is evolving into one of the most dependable actors of his generation. He's very real, very believable. No wonder, this character stands out. Konkona Sen Sharma is exceptional. The supremely talented actress delivers a sparkling performance yet again. Rishi Kapoor is incredible. A performance that merits the highest praise. Dimple Kapadia is in terrific form. It easily ranks amongst her most accomplished works. Juhi Chawla is first-rate. Isha Sharwani does her part well. Sanjay Kapoor springs a surprise. He registers an impact. Aly Khan is perfect.
Hrithik Roshan is truly wonderful. Note the sequence when he strikes a conversation with Karan Johar, only to realize that he himself had paved the way for Farhan in the industry. Only an accomplished actor could've handled this sequence with aplomb. Amongst the A-listers who make fleeting appearances in the film, the one who registers the maximum impact is Shah Rukh Khan.
On the whole, LUCK BY CHANCE is an outstanding film in all respects. A magnificent outing from the producers of ROCK ON!!, LUCK BY CHANCE is sure to prove an extremely lucky and rewarding experience at the box-office. Strongly recommended!
Bollywood.com Rating: 3.5