Luck By Chance poster

Luck By Chance

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)

quick review:

Romance and the usual things that ensue. Clever lines amongst preachy ones. Clichéd characters yet deeper too. There's equal scope to let go and enjoy or to observe and ponder.

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Director: Zoya Akhtar
Running time: 150 minutes
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Luck By Chance - Preview

NOT A REVIEW - just wondering if it will use spoofing "Bollywood" as an excuse to repeat stereotypes all over again...

Khoya Khoya Chand gave us an insider's view of the Hindi film industry in the 50s-60s and Om Shanti Om did that for the 70s-80s. Now it is time for the audience to know what the scenario is like at present.

As I can see it things haven't changed much. There's the struggler and the star. The clueless director and the money-minded producer who cares two hoots about art in cinema. The jabs on superstition in the industry and the status of starlets. Luck by chance has it all too. All the clichés are taken care of in the promos. Hopefully they wanted to be done with them at the very beginning and the movie will take it from there.


I thoroughly enjoyed Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. and am very eager to see what Zoya Akhtar who was executive producer on that one does as a director with Luck by chance. Especially because she's trying her best to reassure us that they are not out to uncover the industry's belly -

it's not an expose of the industry, it is a story about people and human behaviour.

Like all fans of Hindi cinema, I look forward to any film Farhan Akhtar touches, in whatever capacity. Same goes for my eagerness to watch whatever little role Konkona Sen Sharma plays. It is the Farhan-Konkona combination that is the most intriguing. Whether it works or not - we'll know soon enough.

I must admit, Farhan in a circus lion-master costume on a poster intrigued me instantly. Yeah-yeah, as if I need an excuse for a movie to get me interested but as my eye moved to other people on the poster the costumes and make-up became more and more interesting.

There are other small things that I read about the movie that make me eagerly wait for tomorrow. Eg. This quote by Anurag Kashyap

(It has) the best title sequence i have seen in a long time

Sounds like a good start to me...

- meeta, a part of the audience

I can imagine Zoya Akhtar taking notes every time she saw a person from the industry behave in a "typical" industry manner. She then smoothened out the edges of these rough mental sketches, deepened them ever-so-slightly, gave them a thick outline and ta-da...script ready. That's the Einstein-moment when she realized she needed a story. Damn! Back to the storyboard to weave all these characters together into a coherent plot. If it were left to her, she'd have been very happy to just continue playing around with her characters and their peculiarities for a couple more hours without ever getting to their story. And she'd have done well too.

That's not to say that she didn't do justice to the story, it's just that it had nothing spectacular about it - a love story with gray characters most of whom are ambitious. And she does tweak the simple storyline a bit too. And those tweaks might not make the movie very popular but I enjoyed them the best.

The foreground of Mumbai's filmy world has all the clichéd elements any movie based on the industry could be expected to have. And yet there's charm in all its characters. Rishi Kapoor is the industry stalwart and yet has his share of insecurities. Dimple Kapadia, a Diva in her era hasn't had enough fame and is intent upon continuing to live her aspirations through her daughter. Isha playing the daughter is almost clueless but knows her way around too. Juhi Chawla's character enjoys her status in this world even if it is mostly in the name of a trophy-wife.

All these "stars" in real life mixed with Manish Malhotra, Mac Mohan, Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, Kareena Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Abhishek Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan playing themselves. Anurag Kashyap aces the list, I couldn't resist giggling throughout his two scenes. Don't let this list bring back bad memories from Om Shanti Om though. Even if their cameos are to multiply the glamour quotient, there's a reason for them to be smartly woven in the movie and it's not just to shake a leg or two.

This smartness runs as an undercurrent through the movie. It starts off with one of the very few non-Khans at the 'top' in the industry, Hrithik Roshan being named Zaffar Khan. Then we see him discussing a break from the mould he is set in as an he can work with Karan Johar.

Farhan Akhtar's character, Vikram has been written with great thought too. The transitions he goes through are not perfunctory or a result of an inspirational one-liner. But, you can see the build-up towards the change. We see him get vulnerable-emotional and conniving-calculative. The credit goes as much to his growing talent as an actor as it goes to the way his character is written.

On the other hand, I feel a little bad for Konkona Sen Sharma. Since she almost always picks well-written roles, this one seems like yet-another-well-written character. So even though she performs well and gets the nuances across it feels like 'What's the big deal? We know she can do that.'

Yet in this medley of little good things there are stretches of "got it, let's move on already!" There are spans which have absolutely inane-quotes-from-an-email-forward dialogues. I suppose they are meant to inspire. But such lines almost always end up patronizing in a very annoying sort-of a way. The saving grace is that they are amidst some witty one-liners.

Luck By Chance is the kind you can sit back and enjoy. And at the same time it keeps your gray cells at work. Not because of a powerful plot or any such thing. But more because the characters are thinking and talk like people do. So by any chance, if you miss it in the theaters make sure you catch it on DVD...only when it is officially out though ;)

- meeta, a part of the audience

35 reviewers(?) - 31 yays 4 so-so 0 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by noyon jyoti parasara, AOL INDIA : ...LBC gives the impression that debutant Zoya Akhtar is testing waters with something she knows about well.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhil Kumar, Apun Ka Choice : ...The characters in ‘Luck By Chance’ seem plucked straight out of B-Town.... full review

Thumbs up, by Roshni Mulchandani, Bolly Spice : ...The tight and clean script along with natural performances from the star cast makes this movie a must watch.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sanjay Ram, Business of Cinema : ...From celebrity linkups, growing distances between friends, love to the insecurity of stars the film shows it all.... full review

Thumbs up, by Abhishek Mande, Buzz18 : ...aved Akhtar's dialogues are brilliant as usual. His wit and sensitivity comes across in every other scene... full review

Thumbs up, by Deep, Deep's Home : ...It is surely a paisa vasool movie and worth watching in the theatre.... full review

Thumbs up, by Aniruddha Guha, DNA : ...Luck By Chance is Zoya Akhtar's long awaited entry into Hindi cinema. And she seems to have done almost everything right, be it with the script or roping in the biggest stars... full review

Thumbs up, by deepa garimella, : ...Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia have major roles, and both are wonderful, while an over-the-top Juhi Chawla, who plays the role of Rolly's wife, shockingly messes up every scene she's in... full review

Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The film then is a deeply layered portrait of an industry quite unlike any other, a sharp observation of the grime behind the glamour, the insecurities behind the smiling faces.... full review

Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, IndiaFM : ...Leave aside everything and hitch this joyride called 'Luck by Chance'. It would be sacrilege to miss this one!... full review

Thumbs up, by Gaurav Malani, indiatimes : ... Anand Subaya’s editing is crisp and he makes good use of montage mixture at several instances.... full review

Thumbs up, Indicine : ...Dialogues by Javed Akhtar are brilliant. His sharp wit and sensitivity just adds to the grace of the movie.... full review

Thumbs up, Intermission, The Bookeazy Blog : ...Surely worth a watch for exceptional screenplay, dialogue and killer performances from any and everyone on screen... full review

Thumbs up, by Namita Gupta, MiD DAY : ...Applause for Zoya Akhtar for extracting good acting talents from everyone. Worth a watch!... full review

Thumbs up, Movie Talkies : ...Luck By Chance is a coming of age film. It is about growing up, looking at life anew and moving on... full review

Thumbs up, by Anupama Chopra, NDTV : ...Luck by Chance is a perceptive portrait of our dream factory. I recommend that you make time for it.... full review

Thumbs up, by Ashok Nayak, Now : ... Luck By Chance is a satirical spoof of the Hindi film industry with definitive moments that does all the talking... full review

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Now : ...It is easy to fall in love with every performance in this intimate yet generic insider's look at the workings of the entertainment industry.... full review

Thumbs up, by Jahan Bakshi, Now : ...Zoya Akhtar makes you smell the celluloid in a magical montage that is as much a tribute to the movies as it is to those people behind them who we mostly overlook, by chance.... full review

Thumbs up, by Tanul Thakur, Passion for Cinema : ...The movie raises so many questions through its funny but dark lines that it would be a crime to ignore them.... full review

Thumbs up, by Medha Dutt, Passion for Cinema : ...A film that was expected to be a good one - and lived up to its expectations heart and soul... full review

Thumbs up, by Avinash Singh, Passion for Cinema : ...Luck by Chance by Zoya is by far the best debut film of the last decade by any filmmaker including Dil Chahta Hai... full review

Thumbs up, by Joxily John, Planet Bollywood : ...Watching the opening credits, you know that LUCK BY CHANCE is not going to be the run of the mill stuff... full review

Thumbs up, by Goher Iqbal Punn, Radio Sargam : ...Farhan Akhtar is emerging as a worthy star in Bollywood after delivering magnificent acting performances in both of his movie – ‘Rock On’ and ‘Luck By Chance’.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sampurn, real bollywoood : ...Zoya for her directorial debut deserves a huge applause for making a brilliant film which manages to strike the fine balance between art house cinema and a commercial entertainer.... full review

Thumbs up, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Luck By Chance is about all things related to the film industry, it's refreshingly subtle in its obsession... full review

Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...LBC does not mercifully focus only on the stars and instead, dives deeper into the workings of the industry... full review

Thumbs up, : ...Zoya Akhtar has utilized the talent of each and every member of the cast... full review

Thumbs up, by Harshita Kohli, StarBoxOffice : ...Zoya hasn’t shown anything new but she has executed it with such precision and attention to detail that you almost find yourself as a member of her line up and not just a viewer in a theatre hall.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nikhat Kazmi, Times of India : ...Rather than adopting the tone of an indulgent spoof as in Om Shanti Om, Ms Akhtar gets more realistic, life-like and soft-toned.... full review

So-So, by Martin D'Souza, : ...This film is a docu-drama on the film industry and though the attempt is sincere, it falls flat in places... full review

So-So, by Sulakshana Biswas, Passion for Cinema : ...The music is good, the cinematography is good... full review

So-So, by Rusted Rick, Passion for Cinema : ...A brilliant first half, strewn with inside jokes, songs and a dozen guest appearances leave you elated... full review

So-So, by Film Bear, Upper Stall : ...All in all, watchable for its treatment and Rishi Kapoor but otherwise an average film that had the potential to be there.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: None
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A couple of suggestive scenes.
  • Concept: The journey of an ambitious man in the world of Hindi cinema. Fame and the cost at which it comes.

Luck By Chance - Cast, crew, links

Costume Designer:
Art Direction:
Running time:
150 minutes

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