Every Indian at one point in their life has an aspiration to be Hindi movie star. We all stand in front of the bathroom mirror posing, enacting scenes, mimicking dance steps and dialogues. Don’t deny it — you know you have. It is only when your parents tell you that they would disown you or you realize that you may not be able to dance on a train after all, that you finally think it may not actually be a viable career option. But who can blame you from dreaming? After all, Bollywood is intoxicating. Once you’re in, you simply cannot get out, whether it’s as an actor, a director, a dance choreographer or the spot boy who brings chai (tea) to the whole unit. And as a loyal moviegoer, you are ultimately addicted. We are even more in awe, when filmmakers reveal secrets about the trade that we only read about in the tabloids and never actually believe. Luck By Chance claims to unravel secrets about profession and take you on a ride down Bollywood road. So does Zoya Akhtar manage to live up to the Akhtar family name and prove that they do have filmi blood running through their veins and soul? Read on to see if lady luck is on her side…or not.
Sona Mishra (Konkona Sen Sharma) is a struggling actress and makes ends meet by partaking in chota-mota (small) roles in films. She has been promised by Mr. Chaudhary (Aly Khan), that she will star in his upcoming film as a parallel heroine. She then meets Delhi-boy Vikram Jaisingh (Farhan Akhtar) who arrives in Mumbai, joins and graduates from the popular Nand Kishore acting school with hopes of being the next big star. After they roam the streets of Mumbai together eating bhel puri, they finally fall in love. Jaisingh finally strikes gold when Zaffar Khan (Hritik Roshan) drops out of Rolly Productions next extravaganza, and as luck would have it, he is selected to step into his role. However, destiny has other things in store for Sona who is ditched by Chaudhary incidentally on the same day. Jaisingh must them zoom off for a month of outdoor shooting joint by Nikki Walia (Isha Sharvani) along with yesteryear superstar mother Neena Walia (Dimple Kapadia). Success and fame takes over the suave talking Vikram, whose movie is a super hit. However, as the saying goes, “To gain, you must lose,” the new star too suffers major losses in the form of relationships and self-respect which eventually he realizes, only too late.
The tight and clean script along with natural performances from the star cast makes this movie a must watch. While viewing the tact and technique with which the film has been executed, it is hard to fathom that it is, director and screenplay writer Zoya Akhtar’s debut film. She is a directorial natural. The beauty of her script is that it is a love story entangled and weaved around a couple’s dream of making it big. Her script details are precise and each character has been etched out clearly making them believable. You see the good, the grey, the greedy, the honest, the selfish and the vulnerability of every character which tells the secret of their underlying normality. Some scenes to watch out for, which have been brilliantly written and shot include Hrithik’s car encounter with the roadside children which symbolizes how an actor is always evaded from the rest of the world; watch out for the emotional scene between Farhan and Konkona as she rocks in his lap and is explained how success and destiny work; lastly, the scene when Sona sits in front of her new refrigerator and has a “chance” revelation is extraordinary.
The casting, as mentioned previously is spot on. Farhan Akhtar is proving to becoming a cult New Age actor who is as natural as they gets. He enacts his role as the smooth and selfish Vikram with such grace and intelligence, it lights up the screen. Watching Farhan’s flirtatious angle with Isha and his small, but worthy of mention, dancing stanza is a treat to the viewers. She may not believe in the number game, but Konkona Sen Sharma should quite literally be deemed numero uno. She soulfully becomes Sona and plays her with such nuance and grace. Koko takes the role, keeps it real and makes it her own. Hrithik Roshan is top notch playing the superstar Zaffar Khan in his short but effective role. Rishi Kapoor is at his best as the producer along with blonde-streaked pandit-advice following wife Juhi Chawla. The pair adds some lighter moments to the movie. Dimple Kapadia is excellent as the “crocodile in a chiffon sari,” — quite rightly joked by Rishi Kapoor in the film. Isha Sharvani has redeemed herself and hopefully will get some better movie offers now. Sanjay Kapoor too is a surprise. The rest of the cast including Vikram’s friends are commendable. The special appearances are all fabulous. Each star behaves as they probably would in real life and in fact mock themselves in an ironic way.
Javed Akhtar is at his best in his daughter’s film providing an array of dialogues ranging from the humorous, the sensitive, and the thought provoking. This includes the deep lyrics to all the songs especially ‘Sapno Se Bhare Naina’. If you thought it was an auditory treat, watch it onscreen to experience a visual pleasure. In terms of choreography, Vaibhavi Merchant deserves credit for ‘Baawre’ with an A+ (as usual) to Hrithik for matching her steps. ‘Pyaar Ki Dastaan’ is worthy of praise as the clich