The unbeatable team of Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and the composer trio of Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have always enthralled the music lovers all over the world with music that is not only entertaining, innovative but at the same time intellectually fulfilling. Right from their first film DIL CHAHTA HAI to their last, ROCK ON!!, the music department has been brilliant. Even films like LAKSHYA and HONEYMOOON TRAVELS PVT LTD, which did not do as well (commercially) as their other ventures, had memorable music. S-E-L's last film, the super-hit ROCK ON!!, based on rock music, has assumed the status of a cult movie and paved way for many more small budgeted, lesser known star cast films to follow.
The trio have never feared to experiment and their move to introduce Farhan as a singer in ROCK ON!! (when they could have gone in for any top singer!) proved to be a masterstroke in the musical as well as commercial success of the film. Their next film, LUCK BY CHANCE, becomes all the more special as it marks the (delayed) directorial debut of Zoya Akhtar, sister of Farhan Akhtar and daughter of Javed Akhtar, and thus this is an all family affair. Moreover, the banner (Excel Entertainment) has the support of Big Pictures, a reliable production house, and so once again expectations are sky high from the versatile team. So, let's go ahead and check out their latest musical bonanza!
S-E-L rope in their friend and colleague, Shekhar Ravjiani along with Loy himself for the first track of the album, 'Yeh Zindagi Bhi', a trademark DIL CHAHTA HAI title song kind of composition. The hangover is evident especially in the 'mukhda'. The arrangements are minimal and the vocals of the lead singers stand out, especially in the chorus which is absolutely brilliant. The superb display of soft synthesizers, subdued drums, guitar and piano, along with the brilliant chorus make for a lovely situational cum inspirational track. The lyrics are philosophical in nature and they can inspire even the most laid back as they give the message that sky is the limit and one should never give up – 'Choone hain tare isse, Chahiye saare isse, Jo palkon ke tale, Hai apne sapne lekar chale'. Lovely thoughts, sung in a beautiful manner.
The soul enchanting 'alaap', giving the impression of a pure classical offering with superb 'dholak thaaps', tabla, harmonium sounds meet rollicking Rajasthani folk and techno beats and the result is an amazing fusion (trademark S-E-L) track in the form of 'Baawre'. This fusion is enhanced as the song takes on a rockish hue which meets desi Rajasthani folk and to top it all there is a superb qawwali touch in the 'antara'. Shankar is at his vociferous best as he superbly ups the tempo with his rendition (we mean 'sur') which changes with the change in the 'taal' and 'lai' but at the same time it?s in keeping with the momentum of the track. The support singers (Loy and the Khan group), especially in the background and the classical part are the jewels in the crown and they match the lead singer, Shankar note for note. As this song is a group composition and so the laurels should be shared by all.
The 'Baawre-remix' is space filler and there was absolutely no need to tamper with the amazing original. All said and done, the remix is a job well done!
Vikram gets his break, not for a side role, but for the lead. He makes his move with the heroine, Nikki Walia (Isha Sharvani). The press gets a whiff of the story and before his release; the 'dirt' has been splashed. Sona gracefully moves away, rejected a second time. Vikram shifts gears into his newfound stardom. Somewhere he realizes that he misses Sona. But she has made up her mind.
It's touching at times and at times, a spoof. It drags, as well as amuses. For an audience fed with a daily diet on the working of the film industry through articles and interviews and 'scoops' from 'sources' not only in film glossies but in dailies as well, this is nothing new.
Farhan is maturing into a fine performer. Konkona, somewhere I get the feeling, is repeating her PAGE 3 act too often. She is too talented an actress not to break the shackles of playing a woman wronged much too often. She needs a refreshing new role. Dimple Kapadia as the scheming star mother is wonderful. She brings across her pain of her years as an actress, making sure her daughter, (Nikki) does not make the same mistakes. Rishi Kapoor as Rolly the producer is impressive. Aly Khan as Sona's producer friend is impressive as well. So also Vikram's two friends (one an assistant director and another a struggling actor).
But for me, the surprise has been Sanjay Kapoor as the failed actor turned director. He puts zest into the role to make it absolutely real. Somewhere, his own pain at not being able to make it comes across and your heart goes out to him.
Commercially, this film will find it tough to break the box office shackles. If you view it as an Art film, you won't be disappointed.