Luck by Chance. 2009. India. Directed by Zoya Akhtar. Screenplay by Akhtar, Javed Aktar. In her dazzling directorial debut, Akhtar pays loving homage to the backstage melodramas of the 1940s and 1950s while also creating a biting satire of the Bollywood dream factory. An aspiring actor (Farhan Akhtar, Zoya’s brother) and a rising starlet (Kokona Sen Sharma) romance and scheme their way to movie stardom. Zoya Akhtar deftly captures the craft of moviemaking in all its (seamy) glory, and screen icons like Aamir Kahn, Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham, Shahrukh Khan, and Shabana Azmi make playfully self-deprecating cameos. Delightful, too, are an over-the-top, circus-themed musical number and end credits that feature the cheerily hopeful faces of the film’s real-life crew: spot boys and dancers, chai-wallahs and makeup artists. In Hindi; English subtitles. 156 min.
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