25 July 2009

Luck - Bollywood Movie Review

Luck 2009 bollywood poster

I'll confess, Luck isn't my first Bollywood movie (and neither will be it my last) but then, Hindi language movies often play here in the local theaters, with English subtitles. The dialogue is frequently peppered with English words and lines, including the word Luck. I simply love watching foreign films (especially if English subtitles are available) for they portray a part of the culture from their country of origin but what really enticed me to watch the film was partly due to the slick,promising trailer and mainly due to the presence of the pretty actress Shruthi Hassan in her debut role.

Luck begins with a rapper-style bling music video of Karim Moussa (Dutt) rolling in money with dancers providing eye-candy . We then get to know Ram Mehra (Imran Khan) , a man under abject financial problems as well as a sick mother requiring urgent medical aid. With his attempts to procure a US visa repeatedly denied, and a looming bank order, an ATM robbery seems to be the only way out. With the security on his tail, a mysterious stranger arrives with his car and rescues him. The stranger introduces himself as Tamang and tells him he is blessed with incredible luck, something which is proven when they try their hand at gambling that night. He is then informed he has been chosen for his luck along with other people who have luck and then and is "transported" to South Africa where they it is revealed that gangster Kareem Moussa (Sanjay Dutt) has taken gambling to an altogether new realm where millions of dollars are placed on the lives of the contestants as they battle it out fortheir lives. Needless to say, not everybody's luck is good enough to survive the 4 rounds.

Check out the trailer

The rounds which include jumping from a helicopter with defective parachutes among the them , having to find the right keys from a bunch for 300 as contestants chained to a cage are lowered into shark-infested waters are watched live by hundreds who have placed bets on the odds of survival. While the story is engaging at it's best (and preposterous at it's worst) , the film hold the majority of your attention for only the first half. While the movie does have its moments, the comedy scenes and else (including the club scene in the first half) the action scenes are poorly choreographed. Much of the characters are undeveloped and the chemistry between Khan and Hassan is flimsy. Somehow, the purpose of having a multiultural list of participants (China,Africa, Britain, Australia) is lost when all non-Indians except for a Pakistani girl fail to survive.
Shruthi Hassan in Luck 2009 Roaring Siren dot blogspot com

The dialogue of the film manages to include the film's title in every sentence in philosophical contexts and is extremely irritating. For instance, check this one out {Luck only favours those who play with their heart}. If any aspect of the film does not have heart, it's got to be the acting. Hassan, who's parents are acting legends in the Indian film industry, plays a highly stoical role. Hassan manages to avoid allegations of "excessive flaunting", a charge most Bollywood débutées are guilty of, as a poolside scene of her does not seem to be meretricious. The action scenes are somewhat disappointing, for most of the time, the editing is apparent : one exclusive shot of a huge dirty shark seaming through the water, and another of a Brit lady screaming without actually showing the two of them together. One exception is the opening train seuqence in blind-folded participants evade fast moving trains. The action culminates with the contestants now hunting each other on a moving train that is headed towards an oil tanker conveniently parked in the rail-tracks and Hassan is tied to the front of the train. Even here, there are several inconsistencies : a serial killer (Ravi Kissan) fires ceaselessly from an automatic gun at a running Mehra, yet none of the bullets manage to even scrape him. As is the norm with Bollywood movies, there is plenty of in-movie songs in there which are generally good (especially the opening music video) .

Over, and all, the film has several "moments", scenes worth watching and generally entertaining though that does not include all the action scenes. A slick, action thriller that pays more attention to action oriented scenes than to its characters, it'd be wiser to watch Luck rather than the mediocre Harry Potter 6, unless of course, you are an HP fan.

*Story : 7/10
*Action :6/10
*E! Factor : 6.5 /10
*Overall :6.8/10

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