So now I’ve watched two predictable films in a row, but I really enjoyed this one. A mostly affectionate behind-the-scenes look at Hindi cinema, it’s a fairly standard “follow your dreams/be true to yourself” kind of film but close attention is paid to details, and it is blessed with wonderful performances, snappy dialogue and lots of humorous little moments. It’s colorful, lively, and full of things to take notice of (like, doesn’t Farhan Akhtar look just like his dad in profile?).
A dancer stuck full of giant push-pins! Only in Bollywood.
I think everyone knows the story by now: Vikram (Farhan Akhtar), an ambitious young actor with a freshly minted acting degree (includes: fighting, horseback riding, dancing, lipsynching and romancing) makes it big in filmland at the expense of his relationship with struggling actress Sona (Konkona Sen Sharma—how I love her!). I would also say he succeeds at the expense of his soul, but I am not sure if that is a judgment the film wanted to make; he is pretty much let off the hook by Sona eventually with a “Some people are just like that.” But I was left thinking that of all the characters populating the film, probably only Vikram’s friend Abhi (Arjun Mathur) and Sona herself would be people I’d want to hang out with.
In any case, the journey is peppered with oodles of real industry people, some fun caricature-like characters and an occasionally snarky (but always good-humored) look at the Hindi film industry.
This may be my favorite Hrithik role yet (not that there is much competition). He is quite funny as Zaffar, and he really can dance.
The sweetest moment in the film for me was when his car was surrounded by children shouting “Zaffar!” and he connected with them through the window glass. I got the impression that he might have been playing himself at that moment.
Rishi and Juhi Chawla are hilarious as Romy and Minty Rolly, the superstitious producer and his kitty-party-attending diamond-encrusted wife.
Dimple is truly scary-funny as vain and self-centered 1970’s star-turned-star-mother Neena:
Does Isha Sharvani always have to contort herself into a pretzel? Is it written into her contracts? (To be fair, I’ve only seen her otherwise in Kisna, but she was a pretzel in that too.)
Sanjay Kapoor is quite funny as Romy’s brother Ranjit, a failed actor-turned-director with a fetish for westerns (“A Fistful of Rupees” and “The Good, The Bad and The Worst”):
Of all the real-people cameos, I was very happy to see Mac Mohan (where he was forced to deliver Sambha’s dialogue from Sholay—no doubt something that happens often in real life to him too).
But my favorite (of course) was the one which pretty closely reflected my own experience recently on the sets of 3 Idiots:
I look forward to seeing what Zoya Akhtar might do with a less predictable and more substantive story! but Luck By Chance is lots of good fun too, and a very creditable debut.