By Subhash K. Jha, Bollywood Hungama News Network
Suddenly Rock On has placed a huge brotherly concern on Farhan Akhtar's head. So far acting was fun. Now it's a responsibility. Farhan has to make sure his post-debut acting vehicle Luck By Chance doesn't let down his sister's directorial debut, and his new breed of clamouring fans who've erupted all over the country.
Rock On has suddenly made the super-director into the most promising acting debutant of 2008. As the encomiums flow in, Farhan tries hard not to get affected by the praise. But it does get to be too much for Farhan when his proud mom Shabana Azmi tells me, "Farhan's is the most flawless performance from a male actor after Balraj Sahni in Garam Hawa and Paresh Rawal in Sir. Believe me, I'm not prone to praise excessively. I don't say this because it's Farhan. I'm saying this as one actor to another."
On hearing this, Farhan does for a second, lose his habitual cool. "What can I say? Coming from an actor of her caliber... yeah, it does put pressure on me. But I try very hard not to think about it. If I did, I'd only be thinking about what people expect from me and I wouldn't be able to act. For me those expectations after Rock On are faceless until someone like Shabana comes forward with such praise."
To compound the woe after the wows is the fact that Farhan plays a struggling actor in Luck By Chance. "In my first starring role, the unreleased Fakir, I played a member of a film unit. In Rock On, I was a musician. Both were parts intrinsic to my personality. But the struggler in Luck By Chance is someone I've seen outside. Every day these hopefuls wait outside buildings, by your car, at the foot of elevators and lifts, to get the attention of filmmakers. Every day they are prepared to be snubbed and humiliated. I've seen these guy's humiliation and desperation. But not experienced them first-hand. There's so much desperation to portray without making the character look in-your-face tragic."
The role in Luck By Chance is therefore an extra challenge for Farhan the actor. "But I'm not looking at Luck By Chance as an opportunity to further my career as an actor. It is my sister's film and I am the producer. So it's very important for me to see Luck By Chance work in totality."