Sunday, November 3, 2013

Of Fascinating Details in Luck By Chance

After every few months, I get into my I-love-Luck-By-Chance phase. I have written so much about that movie and yet I cannot get enough. If I have to make my list of favorite films, I will include it in top five for sure. It is a gorgeous film. After writing here and here and here and here and talking about it in almost every post, I have to write one more post because it always surprises me, just like Dil Chahta Hai (on which I still have to write that long piece, have only a page as of now). This time when I watched Luck By Chance, it just stunned me. I saw a very fascinating detail in all the scenes of the movie. Yes, every single scene. I will write about it in the end. Before that, some other observations.

As I had written earlier, 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..

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

I had not understood earlier what these birds mean. This time I got an interpretation. I think the birds are referring to the ambitions of both Vikram and Sona, that they want to become big stars. They want to reach the sky and fly high like the birds do. To reach the top, Vikram who is a two-faced person will do anything to get there. That is why he picked up the bird that was also bi-colored. That is why he wears a shirt that has a bird that is bi-colored. Now, I came to this interpretation because Zoya places birds at many other times in the film. In one scene, there is a shiny bird behind Sona when she is shooting. Just before the Baware song, there are two shiny birds on the table with faces opposite to each other. The shiny dress of Niki matches with that of the birds. Niki is a star and Sona is a struggling actress. Sona wants to become that shiny bird, she wants to gain that elusive sparkle, and that is why I think the birds were referring to attaining those heights. Zoya very inventively puts these parrots in the frame, which of all the birds are known for their imitation. Beautiful. 

Shiny Parrot

More Parrots

Continuing on the birds further, after Vikram's film becomes a super hit at the box office, he meets Shah Rukh Khan in a club. You know what is he wearing this time? A shirt in which the birds are flying. Because Vikram has attained stardom and that is why the birds are flying.

Flying Birds

Finally, in the film's last scene, we see a shot of birds flying over Vikram's poster. He reached where he wanted to be. Isn't it an absolutely fantastic reference by Zoya?

More Flying Birds

The other thing to note in the film is that there are numerous meta-references. Wikipedia defines meta-references as a technique that uses self-reference to draw attention to itself as a work of art, while exposing the "truth" of a story. Or something called self-referencing. As I had written earlier in the post on Lootera about the painting in the movie. Luck By Chance is a film on films and it also has a film being made in it, Dil Ki Aag. That is a very obvious meta-reference. What struck me the most was that Zoya puts in numerous other things to tell us about the movie in a movie. At one point, we see Ranjit sitting and reading a magazine. The table besides him is an exact replica of the way he is sitting. Even the way he is dressed is like the table. Self-referencing, right?

Chair in a Chair

In another scene, that I had written about in an earlier post. There is a sun-like thing made of iron. If we look closely, it is of the same shape that is present in the box below. Again, Zoya uses self-referencing technique here.

At one point in the film, Sona is shooting for a TV scene and she says, "vo sahi kehta tha, zindagi me agar kuch paana hai, to udhar haath badana hoga, udhar kadam uthana hoga". This was again a meta-reference where Sona wanted to say these things to Vikram. Using a TV scene as a proxy, Sona says her feelings of the heart. 

At many other instances, we see references where the difference between fiction and reality blurs. It is as if we are watching some reality unfold before us and as Wiki says, truth is coming out. Like the scene where Nina Walia says how she was abused by producers when she was sixteen, similar to Dimple's own story. Or the similarities between Vikram and Shah Rukh - a boy from Delhi who comes to Bombay to become a big star. Or the similarities between Zafar and Shah Rukh itself - Zafar Khan persona. Or similarities between Sona and Konkana itself - dark complexioned girl.

At another point in the film, we see a cage in which Romi and Satish Chowdhry are sitting. I think it was a reference to Piya Tu Ab To Aaja song. Beth thinks that the cage is a reference to the olden time of 1960s where Romi Rolly is stuck.

In one scene, Zoya shows 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?

That is why she shows later, Abhi and Vikram playing a game of Chess. They are the two opposing sides of the film. At another point in the film, when Vikram's film becomes a hit, she shows that Abhi is standing outside the cinema hall with Vikram inside the hall as all that he can now do is watch Vikram's film rather than his own.

Lost Dream

Finally, now I tell what stumped me the most. Each and every scene (well almost more than 90% I am sure) has something related to flowers. Whether it is the clothes of the characters, or some background item, or the clothes of the extras - every scene in the film has something related to flowers. It cannot be a coincidence I am sure. It was intentional on Zoya;s part. What do they mean? I still have to think about. I saw this in a few scenes and then when I tried to think more, I was stunned to see the pattern in each scene of the film. Yes, every single scene. In some scenes, she deliberately stops the camera at the flowers. This clearly shows how much effort has gone into making that film. These are about 30 photographs of flowers out of the total 100 that I collected.

Black Dress

Girl's Dress With Flowers


Sona's Cushion

Journalist's Dress


Flowers Outside

Aunty's Dress

Flower Paintings

Sofa Covers

Singer's Dress

Flower Pot

Sofa Cover and Pinki's Dress

Sona's Hair Band

Sona's Dress

Flowers near Rani's poster

Nikki's Dress

Flowers at the Table

Background Extra's Dress

Nina's Dress and the Cups

Sona's Dress

Cushion and Photo Album

Card behind Sona

Sona's Dress and Laxshmi's Hair Band

Pinki's Dress


Nina's Gown

Sona's Dress

Nina's Bed

Sona's Flower Ring

Computer Cover. Yes!

Seat Covers

Nikki's Dress

Sofa Covers

Bedsheet, Curtains and Flower Pots

Wall Design


Flower Pot on the Table

Flower at the Back

Sona's Dress and Bed Sheet

Pinki's Saree

Nikki's Dress

Wall, Sofa, Table and Nina's Dress

Sona's Dress and the Table Card

Flower Pot

Flowers on the Extra's Dress

I still have to understand some of the finer nuances of the film. It gives me goosebumps that how can anyone make such a deeply, deeply thoughtful film where every scene means something. It is one of those movies which I can watch on silent mode and only look at the background. Someday, I wish I get to meet Zoya and ask her how she does that. It is my dream to meet her. Some people have a wish of making films, directing films, I have one - to read films. Till then, I will keep waiting for her films and I hear that her next is a Ranveer-Priyanka starrer :)

More later.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Vo sahi kehta tha, zindagi me agar kuch paana hai, to udhar haath badana hoga, udhar kadam uthana hoga."
 - Sona, Luck By Chance


  1. Now this wants me to watch luck by chance all over again. Loved the detailing u went into in both this post as well as the ddd


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