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Saturday, June 13, 2009

LUCK BY CHANCE

By D.E.Levine

Director: Zoya Akhtar
Producers: Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and Zoya Akhtar
Story: Zoya Akhtar
Dialogue: Javed Akhtar
Cast: Farhan Akhtar, Konkona Sen Sharma, Dimple Kapadia, Rishi Kapoor, Cheetah Yagnesh Shetty, Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan
Music: Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Lyrics: Javed Aktar
Country of Origin: India
Language: Hindi and English with English subtitles
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 156 Minutes

A selection of The New India at MOMA, New York. Check listings at www.moma.org

Luck By Chance is a fascinating, if long, expose about the Hindi film industry. The film itself is very much a family affair but despite the nepotism it's really good and very entertaining.

Farhan Akhtar, a star already, returns to star in his sister Zoya's directorial debut. Their father Javed wrote the dialogue and song lyrics and 20 top Bollywood stars make cameo appearances that are realistically written into the film.

But it's not just star power that makes this film enjoyable. The performances by each of the stars are wonderful and add to the richness of the overall story.

The story revolves around Vikram Jay Singh who migrates from Delhi to Mumbai to make a career in films. He meets Sona Mishra who has come from Kanpur with the same dreams as far as a film career.

Sona, depending purely on luck and chance, gets only B-grade movies and despite wanting to move into meaty A-grade parts doesn't have or use the manipulative techniques that Vikram demonstrates.

Vikram cunningly prefers to make his own luck. Although Sona is instrumental in passing his portfolio to the right people and getting him noticed, Vikram uses clever manipulation and flattery of the established actress Neena Walia, who's daughter has the leading female role, to land the leading male role.

This is not to say that Vikram doesn't work hard at his manipulating. Studying the actress' old movies and telling stories of how she is responsible for his birth, he charms her and convinces her that her choice of him as the lead is actually her own idea.

The film also manages to include some nervy spoofs on the film industry without exaggerating its outcome. These spoofs elicit laughter from the audience and are more truthful than not.

Vikram definitely knows how to use his intelligence and charm to achieve a top film career. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize until he's reached the pinnacle that he let his relationship with Sona fall apart.

The question then is whether he can and will put the relationship back on track.