The classic Hindi film often has two possible endings. The first is the saccharine sweet fairy tale ending. The second is all that Devdas drama. There is nothing wrong with either of these endings, and each film has its unique perspectives and nuances. Nevertheless, when a film does come out with an ending that does not fit either of these molds it is striking. Zoya Akhtar’s Luck By Chance is almost a classic masala Bollywood film with a star-studded cast and catchy song and dance numbers. Yet the film is anything but a traditional Bollywood film. The natural acting, realistic plot line, and slight jabs at the Hindi film industry are just a few example of this.
However, I believe that it is the final scene with Konkona Sen Sharma’s character Sona that really makes this film noteworthy.
Sona has broken up with her cheating boyfriend, been the target of a media scandal, and lost the leading role in a major film. The last scene is months later after she has taken a job in a TV series and the media gossip has died down. She is getting ready for work in the morning, ironing her clothes, washing the dishes, etc. While she performs these everyday tasks, she narrates the process of picking up the pieces of her life and choosing to shape her circumstances into something positive. She leaves her home and walks down the streets of Mumbai. She hails a cab and gives the driver directions to the TV studio. The credits role on the left side of the screen as she looks out the window at her city.
What Makes it Special
This scene is about the choices the character Sona makes and how she deals with those consequences. It is simple and short. Yet, it contains all you need to know about the film and Konkona’s character. It is effective in that the narration gives us a sense of what she is feeling and her expressions make us actually feel it. She is a woman whose difficulties in life have given her a deep sense of power and independence. Yet, her choices are also bittersweet because she must give up so much.
The still shot in the final moments allow Konkona’s acting to do all the work as she stares out at Mumbai. Konkona looks stunning with natural make-up highlighting the expressions on her face, the slight wrinkles around her mouth and everything she does not say. The little nuances of remembrance, regret, and satisfaction are all there.
The point in this final scene is that Sona could have chosen other paths, but chose this one instead. Just as Farhan Akhtar’s character comments at the beginning of the film, success and failure are choices we make. Konkona’s character chooses to be happy with her circumstances, even if it does not leave her with a fairytale ending.