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Luck by Chance More at IMDbPro »

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39 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Simply Fascinating!

8/10
Author: Rahul Ojha from India
30 January 2009

Are you fascinated by the place that is the Hindi Film Industry? Have you obsessed about the superstars there and religiously followed what's happening in their lives? Have you ever wondered how this Industry works? Have you ever secretly harbored ambitions of being in this dream land? If yes, what are your chances of surviving and making it big? Zoya Akhtar's maiden directorial venture 'Luck By Chance' is a thumping answer to these and many more questions!

If Om Shanti Om was a take on Hindi Cinema of the 1970s then 'Luck By Chance' is a highly authentic take on the Hindi Film Industry in the modern era. It's a fantastic behind the scenes journey into this dream land known as Bollywood. No wonder that this authenticity could have only come from one of the well known families of the Industry - the Akhtar family, who are the makers of this film. The tale is essentially of their own immediate environment and it is a story that is told well!

The screenplay revolves around the two central characters played by Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sharma trying to make it big in Bollywood. Farhan comes to Mumbai from Delhi, lives in his aunt's house and borrows money from all quarters whereas Konkona is in a 'mutually beneficial' relationship with some producer to get a lead role and also has a friend who is a homo-sexual, BUT wait, before you scream 'cliché' and think that this will go the Madhur Bhandarkar way, you realize that the treatment is not as sensationalistic and hovering around extremes as Madhur Bhandarkar's movies. Luck By Chance is subtle but highly effective!

The two lead character's lives take us inside and up-close to the scenes behind the camera. We have the Desi producer played by Rishi Kapoor, a yesteryear's starlet (Dimple Kapadia) who is launching her talentless daughter (Isha Sherwani) and apart from these characters we have the who's who of Bollywood playing themselves. Luck By Chance is a casting coup!

The film is an unabashed take on Hindi Cinema and it does not hold back from mocking it. We have one director saying "What the hell do I have to do with the script, I am not making the film for a film festival!" The same director hands over a Hollywood DVD to the film writer and tells him to Indianise the story! It also shows the corporate culture setting into bollywood, the corporates who want to model themselves after the Hollywood studios and describe the script as the main property only to change their stance later and determine whether to finance or not on the basis of which super-star is playing the lead! Hrithik Roshan is a sport, who in an extended cameo charmingly portrays the character of 'Zaffar Khan', a bratty superstar who walks out of a film and creates enormous trouble for the veteran producer. The same role after being rejected by other established actors and after a series of fortunate circumstances, struggle and talent is bagged by the protagonist Vikram played by Farhan Akhtar.

The story of Luck By Chance is well woven. It wonderfully depicts the journey of each of the characters. The negative shades in each of them are shown, not in implausible extremes, but in a true to life way. How charmingly it captures those very real things – jealously and ego battles between friends, relatives who have the word, 'Riddance' on their mind when you live with them away from your home, of how the best of relationships break when individual interests become dominant.

It is surprising to see the high degree of naturalness, intensity and charm that Farhan Akhtar brings to his character. It's an A grade performance which makes you speculate that a few years down the line, Farhan will be known as an actor who also directs and not vice versa. Konkona playing the female lead has a role which was perhaps written with only her in mind and she does an excellent job. The veteran Rishi Kapoor shows us what an enigmatic force he still is behind the camera! Playing the veteran producer his is the most endearing character in the film! The rest of the ensemble cast – Dimple Kapadia, Isha Sherwani, Juhi Chawla, and Sanjay Kappot do justice to their roles. A special compliment goes out to the guy who plays Farhan's friend. The flame of jealousy and complexes that this character is meant to convey are tough to depict but he succeeds effortlessly.

The cameos are brilliantly pulled off, with Aamir and SRK shining in their separate parts. Aamir is shown shooting for a period film in a brilliantly setup set and you wish that such period movies were actually made by the Hindi Film Industry. SRK is in a 2 minute cameo, where in a party, in an interaction with the new star that Farhan Akhtar's character has become, gives the most powerful and defining lines in the movie, lines which were perhaps not given to the dialog writers but have been his own firm values that have made him the biggest superstar of this Industry.

As always, Excel Entertainment brings excellent production values to the film in each department. The music composed by the trio of Shankar Ehsaan Loy surely doesn't disappoint and it slowly grows on you after watching the movie. The track 'Yeh Zindagi Bhi' stands out.

Lastly, hats off Zoya Akhtar and Farhan Akhtar for making a film that they knew at the very outset will appeal to only a niche audience. It is this experimentation and willingness to experiment that is required in this Multiplex era.

Luck By Chance is a feast that is a must see for people who are in awe of the Indian film fraternity.

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14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

About luck by chance and chance by luck (or by flattery)

8/10
Author: Peter Young from Earth
22 August 2009

Many films in the last few years have been centred around the Hindi film industry. Some have portrayed it as a bright world, some have portrayed it as sleazy, and some just used it as a way to tell a story. Luck by Chance belongs to the latter category. It is not as much about the industry as it is about young people who try to succeed in it. It is essentially about people who struggle to carve their own niche in some particular profession and the way they do it. In this case, it is acting. This is the story of Vikram (Farhan Akhtar) who arrives in Mumbai to pursue an acting career in the film industry. He starts dating Sona (Konkona Sen Sharma), who is senior to him in the movie business but is still waiting for her big break. The film is decorated by many appearances by actors and filmmakers who play either themselves or some fictional characters, which is an obvious attempt to make the film more realistic (or maybe more appealing?). And these appearances are indeed very lovely. The film's concept of the rise of one young actor is a bit hard to believe considering he has made only one film after all, but it is quite a common standard today. I found the portrayal of the industry reasonably fair, satirically humorous yet somewhat inconsistent (well, any commercial cinema is really not that crazy about real talents as it is about commercial appeal, but filmmakers very rarely admit it). I did like, however, the way the film showed how complicated making one movie can be and how important (or disruptive) media hype can be. It was all nicely put together with a message: never forget who you are and where you come from.

Farhan Akhtar's performance was not completely consistent and although as a performer he is a natural, he fails to register the growth in his character. The film belongs to Konkona Sen Sharma who is as fine as ever in the great role of Sona. She is natural, convincing, and shows the struggle, disappointment, pain and later on the overcoming her character goes through without having to go to unnecessary extents. Rishi Kapoor is quite funny while Dimple Kapadia is wonderful and beautiful as always. Juhi Chawla, in quite an insignificant comic role, is amazing, beautiful and completely charming. Shahrukh Khan gets a brief but very pivotal role, but Hrithik is annoying as the less-witty-more-arrogant film star. All in all, I enjoyed the film for being basically not very negative as, say, Madhur Bhandarkar, would have made it. The story is narrated well and Zoya Akhtar makes an impressive directorial debut because she somehow manages to poke fun at the film industry and yet leave a nice impression of it. I think those who want to become actors will find the film a bit disturbing though. But as I said, Luck by Chance is essentially about people who struggle to carve their own niche in some particular profession, and it does show some ray of hope. Towards the end, the film becomes increasingly more interesting. We see how people don't let failure deter them. On the contrary, we see how they keep struggling indirectly and how they finally come to terms with what they are capable of doing and what they are just not.

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11 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Bollywood - for real....

8/10
Author: kunalkhandwala from United States
13 February 2009

When a successor hones the talents and legacy of the master, it reflects on the creativity of the apprentice. Zoya Akhtar follows the legendary footsteps of her father and gives us a story so familiar, yet so unique and credible. Her directional debut with 'Luck By Chance' proves to be a writer and director's accomplishment that is complemented by exemplary performances even though they may include numerous cameos. Farhan and Konkana embrace the characters of 2 struggling artists in the Hindi film industry with ease and subtlety.

The film is about Vikram Jaisingh, a sincere young Delhiite whose dream is to make it to the big screen in Bollywood and a struggling 'extra', Sona Sharma who plays brief and meaningless roles in 'B' grade films while making compromises to even make it this far. This story is also about Zaffar Khan (Hrithik Roshan) who is tired of playing the filmy hero for the same producer, Romy Rolly (Rishi Kapoor) over and over. He simply wants a break with Karan Johar's upcoming movie. Khan's apparent unwillingness to work with Rolly finally gives him the chance in Johar's film while our struggler gets lucky by chance as the replacement. So begins the spoof on bollywood film making and the hypocrisy of the stars and starlets.

While Vikram has just found his companion in Sona, the outdoor shoot for Rolly's film brings him casually closer to Niki Walia (Isha Sherwani), the gorgeous daughter of the erstwhile glamour queen Neena Walia (Dimple). Relationships fail, strain and ignite in this film that apart from all stories that lie entangled is about realizing one's dreams in an adverse reality. Then, when dreams turn into reality, one realizes that fame and success are a "dangerous intoxication", rightly advised by ShahRukh Khan.

Luck By Chance is about the Hindi film industry and what makes it 'Bollywood' as we know it. The eccentric individuals, the stereotypical characters posing as experienced producers, veteran actors, unyielding directors, junior artists, hypocritical stars and the real gems in the industry. One has to get dirty to play in the mud and thus it brings success to some. While the chase to destiny tends to derail the dream train of even the earnest, it embraces those who endlessly strive toward it with a bit of Luck.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's music is pleasant and soulful with Javed Akhtar's lyrics. The film opens with a glimpse into the industry with the meaningful and enriching Yeh Zindagi bhi and ends with the soulful O Raahi Re while Sapno se bhare naina portrays the turmoil within a dreamer. Sadly, Hrithik's item song Bawre fails to leave a lasting impression.

Konkana Sen performs at her brilliant best with realism being at the crux of her versatility. Isha Sherwani plays the spoilt heroine convincingly while her on-screen mother Dimple Kapadia looks gorgeous as ever and gives her best after Dil Chahta Hai. Juhi Chawla is lovable as ever while Sanjay Kapoor surprises us with a good performance. Rishi Kapoor enacts the stereotypical Sindhi producer to perfection with his wit and zest while Hrithik underplays his real persona to play Zaffar Khan, an actor in a career ambivalence of sorts. Farhan proves yet again that he can be an actor almost as good as he is a director. Almost…...there are parts where he is totally unconvincing, especially when he is romancing Isha in the lush green outdoors of the Konkan region. But his emotions are subtle in effect and dialogue delivery stronger than that in his own show on T.V. The rest of the supporting cast plays their parts aptly to the script's demand while the cameos by the stars are for the first time, justified in purpose. Even though ShahRukh Khan or Karan Johar might have just a few lines to say, the impact lasts long enough.

But the film's biggest hero is Javed Akhtar. His exemplary writing, part in story and in dialogue is what makes the film remarkable. Zoya's direction could not have done much without such a strong story and script even though it may not show the audience something they haven't seen before. In the end, Luck By Chance wins hearts through its subtle story telling. Even though it may be a mocking tale of 'Bollywood', it never gets loud or exaggerated. While remaining very real, the story never turns into a Madhur Bhandarkar style 'hard hitting' real. Instead, the subtle rendering of the film world's reality and an achiever's journey through it leaves a lasting impact which will appease in the same manner even over a second watch.

Luck By Chance shows typical Bollywood fare in an atypical manner and brings to the spotlight, Zoya Akhtar.

- 8.64 on a scale of 1-10.

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Wow...! Brilliant!

10/10
Author: rajandey from Netherlands
1 May 2009

It makes me feel so happy to see a product like Luck By Chance coming out of India. A land full of commercial cinema! I enjoyed Luck By chance to the fullest. Zoya Akthar made a brilliant debut as a director, I could not find any flaws.

Farhan Akthar is one damn good actor, he expresses so good with his face. It might be because he is a brilliant director himself and knows how to deliver performances.

The cast of the whole movie was very convincing, Rishi Kapoor as Rolly was hilarious but very impactful, Konkona delivers a fine performance yet again, she is one of the best actresses in the country. All the cameos made sense and wasn't commercial just like Om Shanti Om for instance.

The music was used very well, no unnecessary playbacking portions, no misplacement of the songs. Sapno se bhare naina was very beautiful, Pyaar ki dastaan is shot very well aswel.

Zoya Akhtar is one director to look out for, she left me speechless. SRK's cameo is very effective, his last dialogue is very effective.

Awesome with a capitcal "A"!

Well done Zoya, Farhan, Konkona!

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16 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

brilliant movie..

10/10
Author: ankit jain (ankitj.pec@gmail.com) from India
31 January 2009

a lovely movie, coherent script, brilliant creativity and direction. each and every frame (as they call in the movie) makes sense.

the story is optimistic and talks of how taking chances may get you what you desire. having a deep meaning and portraying it in a movie is difficult. however, Zoya does that perfectly. the moral of the story is "fortune favors the brave." something we've seen in lot of motivational, war and heroic movies. but the brilliance of this movie is that it targets the commonness and makes one relate to either of the protagonist characters. be it Farhan or Konkona, both have strong characters and a subtle difference. the supporting cast also shows idealism, hard work, fire and the unsettled mind wanting to achieve something.

In all, a brilliant movie with a strong message. and don't forget some eye candy, too. Isha looks flamboyantly amazing, portraying an important class of character. In all, i am sure every role defined in the movie fits either in one of us and our lives. bravo !! 10/10

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12 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

The movie is superb: For lovers of intelligent cinema

10/10
Author: The_Mighty_Warrior from United Kingdom
1 February 2009

I was completely taken by surprise by this film. I wasn't planning on watching it, but I am glad I did. It is terrific. This is easily one of the best films I have seen recently. It's Bollywood at its finest. The story is an insider look at the Bollywood film industry and the struggle of actors to get noticed in Bollywood. It deals with a range of issues like casting couch, movie business, actors images, hopes and aspirations and showbiz politics. It does so in a subtle and understated manner, yet is incredibly engaging. The film is very intelligently written and the dialogues are sharp and true to life. The characters are instantly likable. They are complex and seem like they are straight out of life. The acting is brilliant from the entire cast. You will find yourself hanging onto their every word and expression.

The most noticeable aspect of this film is how sincere and understated it is. There is very little use of background music and embellishments. The film completely hinges on the superbly-written drama and acting. It's a delight to watch Farhan Akhtar, Konkona Sen Sharma act and their scenes together exude warmth and innocence.

It is difficult to believe this is Zoya Akhtar's directional debut. Her direction is flawless and technically brilliant. It seems effortless in fact. It's as if direction is natural to her as breathing. I also admire how balanced her portrayal of the Bollywood film industry is. She takes some digs at many Bollywood conventions, but never in a cynical or contemptuous way, more as acknowledging the dynamics of industry life. Giving the outsider a remarkable and clean insight on what goes on behind the scenes.

You really should see this film, especially if you enjoy intelligent cinema. This film is immensely likable for its total sincerity and innocence, personified by Farhan Akhtar's character. I would be surprised if anybody disliked it.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Simply Superb - A Movie Worth Watching.

10/10
Author: Pratik Jasani from United Kingdom
1 February 2009

What can I say about this movie? This is one of the best movies that has been released so far this year and it is by an débutant, female director, who has gone on to prove her capability in directing and it deals with a simple story.

A newcomer from the Indian capital, after completing a course in acting, moves down to Mumbai and tries to join the Hindi film Industry (Bollywood) and makes some friends but struggles in getting a role.

Starring Farhan Akhtar, Isha Sharvani, Hrithik Roshan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Dimple Kapadia, Rishi Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Sanjay Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap. This is directed and co – written by Zoya Akhtar, co – written by Farhan Akhtar and the music score is by Shankhar Ehsan Loy. Special appearances by many, including Abhishek Bachchan, Shilpa Shetty, Shahrukh Khan, Karan Johar, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani, John Abraham, Ranbir Kapoor, Akshaye Khanna, Ronit Roy ("Mr Bajaj" in "Kasautii Zindagi Kii" and "Mihir Virani" in "Kyunke Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" of Balaji Telefilms TV series),Mac Mohan ("Sambha" in "Sholay"), Vivek Oberoi and Aamir "Mr Pefectionist" Khan.

This gives the audience an in sight into what sometimes happens when making a movie and what happens in the industry and more when it involves the opposite sex and when you are working together. Zoya Akhtar, sister to Farhan Akhtar and daughter of Javed Akhtar, has done a superb job in her directorial debut in showing that is something believable and has also managed to show how some of the actors struggle when they first try and join the industry and the pains in being involved in a relationship.

Farhan Akhtar, has once again proved that, not only is he a good director of films such as "Dil Chehta Hai" and "Don," but with his second film as an actor, the first being "Rock on," is good. In this, he has portrayed a character that can and should be considered as an ordinary person and is a believable character. The other, being Hrithik Roshan, is also good in his role. Rishi Kapoor as a big movie director is also convincing and as are Juhi Chawla and Dimple Kapadia. The special appearances by the names that I have mentioned do play a major part in this movie and are worth watching. But it made a change to see Mac Mohan after such a long time.

The music score by Shankar Ehsan Loy is worth listening to but the songs are also worth as well and in particular "Bhago Re" and the dance by Hrithik to it and "Jahanmein Sunate Hai." The lyricist and father of Farhan and Zoya Akhtar, Javed Akhtar, who has been a judge on the Indian TV channel, Sony, for "Indian Idol," has also given a good break into playback singing to one of the previous contestants, Amit Paul.

The entry of Zoya Akhtar as a director is a definite "feather in the cap" for the industry.

This is a movie that is definitely worth watching.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A commercial movie without any masala => Great MOVIE !!

9/10
Author: Abhijeet Singh (abhi.aks.singh@gmail.com) from India
1 February 2009

This movie is so far i can remember is the only movie which has all the QUALITIES of "masala" movie, i mean treatment etc (which audience call "bollywood" movie) except the SCRIPT. I liked watching this movie because it was fresh. It's dialogues were the best one. the characterization was the best as each & everyone had a negative shade. Some of the scenes like of Karan johar & Shah rukh khan were really moving one. Ending was different no typical climax kind but what were the dialog's of that scene people must think about it. Music could have been better, it was not of that trio standard. The reason why i liked watching this movie is that it was DIFFERENT. But i still believe it could have been little bit more better. & also I'm scared that half of the viewers wouldn't be able to digest the kind of ending it has shown. It's a must watch for those who has, had or will have an association with Indian film industry.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Beauty as talent

6/10
Author: paul2001sw-1 (paul2001sw@yahoo.co.uk) from Saffron Walden, UK
24 September 2010

A satire about Bollywood, and the struggle that young talent has in a nepotistic world, certainly sounds intriguing. But when the talent is mainly defined by beauty and ambition, it's hard to feel too sympathetic, particularly over the full course of what is a decidedly long film. In fact, satire is too strong a word here: although the inanity of Bollywood plots are gently ridiculed, the movie includes some song and dance sequences of its own (disguised as belonging to films within the film); and the eventual ending celebrates a character who fails to become a star, but nonetheless enjoys success as a leading television actress. Fundamentally, this not a story about real failure at any level, not one character is poor and not one young character is ugly, or indeed, even ordinary looking. A harsher, funnier tale might have been told.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

If it just didn't go on so long

6/10
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States
11 November 2009

"Luck By Chance" has most of the hallmarks of a typical Bollywood production: shimmering visuals, eye-popping colors and costumes, and gorgeous young performers all placed in the service of a slick-fiction melodrama, punctuated by elaborately choreographed song-and-dance numbers that play like glittery shampoo commercials on steroids. The difference here is that since it is Bollywood itself that is the subject of the film, writer/director Zoya Akhtar gets to indulge in some mild self-criticism aimed at a few of the weaknesses inherent in the industry. For instance, the movie questions why nepotism seemingly plays so large a role in the hiring of actors and actresses, an inside-joke, one assumes, since Akhtar chose her own brother, Farhan, to play the lead character in this film. It also makes fun of the fact that no self-respecting mainstream Indian film would be caught dead without at least a half a dozen musical sequences, even though they are rarely germane to the plot or integral to the theme. That doesn't, however, keep the makers of "Luck By Chance" from fulfilling their mandated quota of said sequences. Apparently, iconoclasm will take one only so far when there are box office receipts at stake.

"Luck By Chance" tells of an aspiring young actor named Vikram (Akhtar) who lands the lead role in what is described to us as "a big-budget thriller/musical love story." His sudden success becomes a cause of dissension between him and his girlfriend, Sona (Konkona Sen Sharma), since she is herself a struggling actress and has been unable to pick up more than mere bit parts in unimpressive films up to this point. She also becomes jealous of Vikram's co-star, the lovely Nikki Walia (Isha Sarvani), whose over-controlling mother (Dimple Kapadia) was a famous movie actress herself in the 1970s.

In terms of dramaturgy and audience attention-spans, the story could definitely use some tightening, but it does capture some of the frustration, heartbreak and disappointment of trying to make it in the "biz." It also points out the capricious nature of filmdom success, making the case that it is often nothing more than sheer luck - of being at the right place at the right time or of having that indefinable "something" that sets one apart from all others - that ultimately determines who will make it as a star and who will not.

The romantic scenes are nicely played by Akhtar and Sharma, but there's no getting around the fact that the movie itself runs on for such an unconscionable length of time (over two-and-a-half-hours) that audiences (Western audiences, at least) are bound to lose interest in the story quite a ways prior to its actual completion. That's a shame because there's much that is likable and charming about "Luck By Chance."

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