Saturday, May 5, 2012

Of Luck By Chance: Part 1

Yesterday, Anupama Chopra in her new show, The Front Row, that airs every Friday on Star World, said :
"I don't know if this happens to you but when I watch a good film I kind of become giddy with happiness. I have a sense of elation and privilege that I was able to expereince something so wonderful."

I totally agree with her. Watching a good film makes brings so much of happiness to me that it is so difficult to put in words. As she says, I also feel privileged to watch a finely crafted story. If that film contains some references, I love it even more. I have said it so many times before and I will reiterate once again about my absolutely all time favorite movie - Luck By Chance. I adore that movie. If I have to make a list of films that one has to watch, I am sure it will rank in my top 10. Every time I watch that movie, I learn something new that I hadn't seen or noticed before. So, in a two part series, I try to recall why I love that movie so so much. 

The film opens with a scene where Sona Mishra, a girl from UP, is sitting in the office of Choudhury, a producer of B-grade cinema. He says to her:

It is all destiny..सब कुछ  यहाँ लिखा होता है (pointing to the forehead!) Maker की आँख camera होती है..Artist और maker एक  दुसरे  को  समझ ले यह बहुत ज़रूरी है , तुम समझ रही हो न मैं क्या कहना चाह रहा हूँ.  Possibly a reference to the infamous casting couch.

Looking at the office of Chodhury, we see a poster of Lady Detective, probably a B-grade film..and a poster of a film with the initials Kalap and some photographs of people.

And then begins the song...Yeh Zindagi Bhi.. Oh! if you haven't seen the song yet, I think you are missing something. People who are actually associated with the movies. I fell in love with the movie at that instant can anyone make such a song..Just watch it below...

Exist :) So true!

I loved this scene in the song..Actually, I loved every frame of the song!

The lyrics..

जो पलकों के तले
है अपने 
सपने लेके चले है 
कहदो वोह चले संभल के 
न करना कोई गिले 
कहीं जो ठोकर ऐसी लगे 
के सपने टूटे आसू छलके...

The entire premise of the film is on Luck! How do you succeed in life? And as the song ends, we see a cinema aptly it is named as "Kismet Talkies"

And this is my absolute favorite reference from the movie...If you look closely, Sona's apartment is full of birds. The entire shelf contains birds.. pigeons, parrots..

She has paintings of birds on her wall..

At one point, Vikram comes and picks up the bird that had fallen off..

More birds at the extreme right end of the picture below..

And whoa!! Vikram is wearing a shirt that has a bird!! And that too, it is two-colored - purple and white!

How brilliantly everything is so connected! What do these birds signify? I thought about it a lot..maybe a reference to migration..both of them have come from different cities with dreams in their eyes..they have left their homes..Interestingly, Vikram's shirt has a bird of two colors probably symbolizing his shrewd personality or the duality in his personality..even the bird that he picked up was multi-colored..very still thinking about the birds..

And spot the reference.. the game that I love to play..

So here is Kagaz Ke Phool..

Another one old film Humayun..(at the right)

The film Aan...

Manish Malhotra and Romi Rolly talking with the poster of Anokhi Ada and Amar Prem in the background..

Raging Bull in Abhi's apartment...(top right)

I love the background below..could identify only two films from the posters - Pyaasa and Range De Basanti..

References I am still wondering about..

The pink elephants in the not Mayawati :)

What is this girl? No idea!!

And why are these Sadhus running in the background?


Another brilliant scene..where Sona says she has no complaints with Mr.Chodhury as he has helped her a lot..
Vikram says:

कामयाबी और नाकामी इंसान खुद ही चुनता है.. Success and failure are choices we make..

And this scene bowled me over..Vikram's friend required a grandfather when the watch is taken, the place, where the watch was, is shown to be white surrounded by brownish dusty walls.. any amateur director would have not have realized the difference in the color of the respect for Zoya increased even more..

The imaginary films in Luck By Chance that I would love to see...

Sona's Teer aur Talwar

Sona's Roma Darling..

Ranjit's A Fistful of Rupees..

Even The Good, The bad and The Worst! ;)

Ranjit's office table has some horses..bringing out his love for the cowboy in him!!

Rani and Akshay's Pyaar Hua Tumse..

Chodhury's office now has another B-grade movie Pyaar Ka Ehsaas...

Vikram was a very smart person. He knew what he wanted in life and strategised everything with such detail that you couldn't help but get amazed by his thinking. In one scene, he promises his friend that he wants to meet Nikki Walia...and his friend laughs at what does he do? He goes and says hello to her mother Neena and flirts with her. He says to her, "I am in this world because of you as my parents were big fan of yours and met while watching your movie." Then he goes onto say that his dad once told him that "Neena Walia is one of the most beautiful women he knew" and then he adds that, "tonight I will call him and say that she is still the most beautiful person in the room tonight." Awesome..who wouldn't get flattered?!?! A meeting that helped him get a film!

Or another one where his friend, who was an Assistant Director with the Bhatts, required a grandfather clock immediately. He started smiling when he heard this..took this as an opportunity to get two things done - get into the good books of his friend who will help him meet the Bhatts and impress Mohini Massi..brilliant..

And he took his chances..he knew that if you have to get lucky, you at least have to try things..don't expect things to be given to you just like that scene when Sona says तुम्हे क्या लगता है यह फॉर्म भरने से मुझे fridge मिल जायेगा.. and then he says, मुझे लगता है की अगर तुमने यह फॉर्म नहीं भरा तो fridge जीतने का तुम्हारा कोई chance नहीं है..

In one scene, Zoya hows us that Abhi, Vikram's friend, is enacting a play called Doraha...two ways. I think the play's name is actually a reference to the central premise of the movie..would you do things by going against your grain? Do you believe in only luck and destiny? Which path will you choose?

The one which Chodhury suggested to Sona..or the one which Vikram sums up beauitfully..
इतने दिनों तुमने किसी और पर भरोसा किया..अब अपने आप पर भरोसा करो..मौके मिलते नहीं सोना, बनाये जाते हैं, कामयाबी हम तक नहीं आती, हमें कामयाबी तक जाना होता है..अपने रास्ते पर चलते रहो..चलते रहो..धीरे धीरे सारी दुनिया तुम्हारे रास्ते पर आ जाएगी..

Or as Nand Kishore Sir says "यहाँ talent के साथ साथ luck भी बहुत बड़ा factor है.. You have to be at the right time and at the right place.."

When Sona says to Vikram, that Abhi is such a good actor, he would get a break anywhere..then Vikram says he hopes that as well..but he adds..He is content..उसमे वो आग नहीं है..Doraha is actually a symbolic reference to the two characters - Abhi who was a much better actor but he chose contentment..and Vikram, a good actor but ambitious one, ready to do anything to get what he wants!

He is so confident that when Sona points out that he has an eyelash on his face and what wish he would like to have..he says, I don't need us more insight abut his philosophy that a man makes his own luck..or Fortune favors the brave

Another classic scene below where Zoya tried to show us Doraha or two ways..where some street chidlren see Zafar and rush to his car. Zafar starts playing with them. It actually shows two worlds separated by glass boundary..Maybe, Zafar had also come from very humble beginnings..that is why he could probably identify with the children. I loved this scene!! I actually want to know how this scene was shot..the camera spans across from the outside to inside so smoothly..very difficult scene to execute!

And as I said before, even Vikram's shirt has a two colored bird - Doraha! Fits perfectly no??                                 

More on this in post 2 but I always get reminded of my conversation with A, that is so so similar to what Vikram says

I feel being ambitious and contented are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have both. And I'd prefer to be contented than being the former. Being ambitious will force me to change myself to what I am not..and I am not ready for that at least now!.

Zoya has created such wonderful characters and art direction by Abid T.P. give us some extra insights about them. It is just out of this world!

For instance, Zafar is proud and too full of one scene, he says is an icon for millions..and therefore, we see that his apartment is full of his images.

Another photograph on the wall..

And to give us more details, the wall has some luxury cars and some cool toys signifying his love for them.

In the scene where Zafar says to Romi Rolly that he won't be able to do the film Dil ki Aag, he says, " तीन साल से मैंने कोई break नहीं लिया है..Mechanical हो रहा हूँ मैं..I am working like a machine." And, at that moment, we see a mechanical robot in the background as if supporting what he is saying!! It is such layered details that make me wonder in amazement..stunning!

Neena..her house is full of flowers..the walls...the sofa covers.the pillow covers..

The curtains.. symbolizing that she doesn't want to get old..always wants to remain pretty and fresh...

Chodhury's desk has a black animal signifying his dark intentions..

Pinki..the one person I really felt terrible for..she understood everything but was afraid to confront reality..always living in the shadow of elder sister or the evil husband.

Mohini Massi..she is all so arty types..the paintings on the wall..the sculptures..and most likely she seems to be reading an arty book.

 More sculptures is fitting that a grandfather clock will be found in such a house!

And another detailed scene here..outside the window, there is a sun-like thing made of iron no? And if we look closely it is the same shape that is present in the box exquisitely layered.

Romi Rolly..loved the scene where he starts crying, when he says no one respects him one scene, she says...thora grace leke aao..Saroj Khan, no?

And somehow this look reminds me of the Hatter in Alice in Wonderland :-)

This is the first time I want to put a post on Facebook..want to tell people to please watch and understand this layered movie..but as always I chicken out by the judgement of people. Should I? Don't know..Will continue in post 2

Dialogue of the Day:

"सपने तो सभी देखते है लेकिन सिर्फ वही सपना साकार होता है जो लाख समझाने पर भी इंसान भुलाना नहीं चाहता " - Anand BabuLuck By Chance


  1. dude seriously...this is one awesome post...i don't think i could have found so many details about a movie even in a 100 years...RESPECT...BTW how many times have you actually seen 'Luck by Chance'?

  2. I love researchers.. and you are one big researcher I came across, I consider my self a movie geek too.. nice to read your posts and this one was period.. loved it.. one more thing, I too love this film called "Luck by chance".

    Keep writing great posts like this in future...

    Amritt Rukhaiyaar

  3. @Dipankar Thanks so much :) :) I don't know how many times I have watched it but I love that movie like tell..about any scene you liked/disliked or you remember..

    @Amrit Thanks :)

  4. So great reading all your interesting comments about one of my favourite films, and to know that there are others out there that appreciated it like I did.

  5. Hi Pankaj, Fantastic research and thoughts. Fab read, a favourite movie of mine, Arnab


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