Luck By Chance- Review

February 6, 2009


I have never been this close a follower of the Hindi films as I ‘am right now, that I have started feeling a bit guilty about it alltogether. Lately, I had a few real bad experiences at the theater in the form of some bollywood blockbusters which led me to this above mentioned guilty feeling. I wouldn’t have cared to go to the theater for another hindi movie now, if not for all those great reviews everywhere, the good mouth publicity, the ’Akthar’ factor and everything that differentiates this cinema. So, last day I watched ‘Luck By Chance’, and yeah, I was not disappointed. Not a bit!

The safest and perhaps the most appropriate option before any filmmaker on his/her debut is to make a movie on a subject which is very much familiar to him or her, a subject on which he or she has got an immense grasp and a direct involvement. Zoya Akthar has hit bull’s eye just doing that. The movie, ‘Luck By Chance’ is so much of a first person account on the hindi film industry, by someone who was born and bought up in the midst of all those glamour and glimmer, that the entire movie looks almost cent percentage authentic. And perhaps the most important point is that it is not as authentic as it appears. The director apparently knows too much on the subject she is sharing with us. The perfectly executed comical inside commentaries in the movie becomes such an important aspect of the film’s narrative, that it really holds the entire movie together.

But despite everything else, I wouldn’t have loved this movie this much if not for the nearly flawless performance put on by the entire cast of the film. Rarely do you get an opportunity to see such solid acting here in the bollywood. The comicalness, the fun is mostly in the manner how  the actors perform it and not it any dialogues or goofy filmy situations. Konakana Sensharma is sensational as Sona, an aspiring actor, who is struggling to find a place in the industry. It is with such great essence that Konakana actually brings out every tiny little gestures of the central character sona alive on the screen. Rishi Kapoor is hilarious as the big shot movie producer, Romy Rolly. Even Juhi Chawala, in a comparatively smaller role as the beloved wife of Romy Rolly, shines where ever she appears. Farhan Akthar’s performance as Vikram Jaisingh is nothing exceptional. But he too manages to avoid any serious flaws. He delivers such a plain performance, that’s neither too great nor too bad. The script is straightforward and a very well thought out one. Cinematography was fine generally, though at times the visuals seemed largely influenced by the commonly followed prototypes. The songs were incorporated beautifully in the movie that they had a separate beauty in the film. The Bgm used is also very light but is quiet effective.

At the end, Luck By Chance is not an unconventional experimentation of cinema or a pattern breaking attempt on storytelling. It’s just another hindi film, with all those commercial aspects carefully included, like all those fast dance numbers and the celebrity cameos. It follows the very conventions of a normal bollywood movie. But still it’s a good movie. And that’s the point!



On A.R Rahman

November 23, 2008


A.R Rahman

With two new movies, Yuvvraaj and Ghajini, A.R Rahman’s music is again all over the place. And like every time, the music is going to be appreciated and detested with great intensity. It has been some time now, since some people have started groaning against A.R and his works. I didn’t care about all those uproars at the beginning.  But as you listen to more and more of those old classics from Rahman, you would slowly start to contemplate some kind of a ‘fall’ in his present day’s works. I ‘am not good at technically specifying ‘what went wrong’, but I sure can assure you that something is not the same.  It’s with great hope and delight that we are waiting for each new work from ARR. But faithfully, things are not paying like they used to be.

Speaking of Yuvvraaj, the main track ‘Tu meri dost hain’ appeared promising and signaled something greater in the original album. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. ‘Mastam Mastam’ and “Zindagi’ are the only two tracks that can be categorized as ‘likeable’. “Zandagi’ was almost near becoming a real good one, but failed because of its evident similarity with other works (“Lukka Chuppi”- RDB, anyone?). Then there was the fast number, ‘shano shano’ which simply..err… pisses you off! Usually you can’t easily hate a ‘Rahman work’, however bad it may be, but “shano shano” is an exception. “Manmohini morey” is another good composition, but I seriously doubt how many will really like that song.

A very interesting point about the album “Ghajini” is that the best track is the instrumental version of “Kaise Muhje”. But now if you listen to the original version of ‘kaise mujhe’ it’s a letdown (for someone who loved the instrumental). Can’t understand why that is happening.  I wouldn’t go as much to call the main track “Guzarish’ a bad one, but come on its A.R Rahman and you rightly deserves a lot better.
“Guzarish” is however, the kind of song that would get better with each listening (something which doesn’t applies to the ‘Yuvvraaj” tracks). Other songs in the album are just ‘okay’ kind, by the Rahman standards.

In Tamil, “Sakarkati” another recent work from ARR has this fast number “taxi taxi”, which will just make you go like, ‘come on Rahman didn’t do that…’ Maybe that song is not bad as such, but that’s something anyone out there could easily create. Neither Rahman’s magic nor his great experience is needed for such a sunken piece of music. It’s really what you call a down fall. “ADA, the way of life” is the only album in recent times, that could be called as a ‘complete’ work from Rahman.

At some point or another, all these songs would get really exciting and will have that Rahman seal in them, it could be a humming or a fading instrument in the background or anything, but unfortunately nothing is getting complete. Like with all those great guys, Rahman’s greatest competitor is he himself.  His works can never be rated on comparison with the works of another music director. That’s because even the worst work from Rahman is better than the best of many others. Still, when you feel a particular album from him is disappointing, it’s because you didn’t get the kind of delectation that you considers granted with every Rahman songs.

Maybe this so called ‘fall’ is just the invention of some unimaginative and conventional kind of perspectives, which can’t afford to understand the depth of change. Maybe it’s Rahman going in search of music with greater depth.

Whatever, I simply don’t enjoy the kind of intimacy that I used to have, with AR’s music these days, and that is really a bad thing!