The movie Luck By Chance gives you sheer unadulterated delight,a rare experience these days. This outstanding film is a bold statement of debutant director Zoya Akthar on the elusive and enigmatic phenomenon called the Hindi Film Industry. The theme in itself is potent and colorful – a subject not novel by any chance - but Zoya goes several steps ahead to make umpteen observations with amazing sensitive detachment. This treatment is indeed one-of-a-kind – a feat that deserves every award and accolade from all possible quarters.
Luck By Chance tells the story of Sona Mishra, a small town girl aspiring to make it big in tinsel town. She goes through the predictable rounds of struggle and bumps into Vikram Jaisingh – a graceful opportunist – a struggler trying his offbeat charms on all potential victims. An unnamed bond develops between the two – an intricate mix of love, lust, support, care and respect.
Sona’s path of struggle is more sincere - dependant on the perceived goodness of people around her – principally the fly-by-night producer Chowdhary, who has plotted her career graph well in advance – a certain role at a certain time will launch her into stardom and till then, it’s wait and watch. She waits and watches –till the gloom of her doom leaves her shattered.
Vikram on the other hand, tries every trick under his sleeve and, with loads of luck, becomes a star overnight. The usual distance leaves both at two ends of the tunnel – both victims of their respective situations. Vikram glows in the dazzle of his stardom and deserts Sona. In a weak, vulnerable moment, he comes back to reclaim his support system but this time round, Sona has matured and blatantly points out the weak spot in their relationship – his self-centered world of claims.
Leaving him at the mercy of his stardom, Sona comes to terms with the reality of her life – she loves her job, she earns decent money and her independence is never challenged in this big, bad city – all enough to help her make a decision – to be happy. Ironically enough, she owes this state of mind to his casual sermons during their moments of togetherness – a decantation that settles the sediments of deep meaning in her core as an afterthought.
Zoya Akthar shows loads of cinematic flair in what is her debut effort. Her style is a collage of vibrant techniques – At times, she lets the camera speak its own (The “exist” in lieu of “exit” in front of a doorway says what thousand words could not) and there are junctures where the dialogues drive the show. Somewhere in the middle of the story, the focus turns rather lopsided in favour of the male lead, nevertheless things happen in quick succession and there's hardly a dull moment.
Zoya is immensely helped by two of the most competent artistes the silver screen has ever seen – Konkona Sen Sharma & Farhan Akthar. Farhan does disturb the poise of his character in certain frames by almost turning into the host of “Oye, it’s Friday” (like the scene where he can’t resist a pun “no more horsing around”) but Konkona is superlative throughout – she leaves no stone unturned in making her character immortal in the annals of film history.Both show exceptional restraint in underplaying their solemn moments - the effect flowering like it should without playing to the gallery.
And for some vintage company is an august support cast – never seen in such true-to-life avatar on celluloid – Rishi Kapoor as the innocently pompous, happy-go-lucky producer, Dimple Kapadia as the slimy, venomous star queen of yester years, Aly Khan as the matter-of-fact seasoned producer, Sanjay Kapoor as the stupid, confident flop actor-turned-sloppy director, Juhi Chawla as the typical doting housewife of affluent homes and above all, Anurag Kashyap as the poor, victimized script writer caught in a intricate whirlwind of commercial demands and artistic urge (Kashyap unearths vintage dark humor with such effortless grace in the limited screen footage allotted to him)Saurabh Shukla looks jaded - the "Satya" fame actor falls short of the benchmark he is known for.
But who can forget Hrithik Roshan, an integral part of the film. His sensitive portrayal has not left the archetypal pug mark of a special appearance – there’s nothing casual about his character – he breathes it with as much intensity as Farhan and Konkona do. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pour their very best in “Sapno se bhare Naina” – a song that says it all in such simple words – the lyrics and the music were made for each other.
Luck By Chance is a milestone movie…as Dil Chahtaa Hai was some years back…Hope our film industry is blessed with more of such creative siblings. With more Luck by chance perhaps!