Luck By Chance Does Fluffy Bollywood Satire


The Mumbai-based Hindi-film industry (or, as we’ve colloquially cheapened it, Bollywood) and its epically kaleidoscopic formula—singing, dancing, action, broad comedy, genteel romance in wet sarees—is ripe for an insider satire. Alas, Zoya Akhtar’s showbiz drama kicks off its perfunctory behind-the-scenes references with an amusing title sequence (crew credits match up with tableaux of each occupation being performed) and boasts 20 big-name cameos (assuming you know your Aamir Khans from your Shahrukh Khans), but remains a fluffy fantasy as trivial as an episode of Entourage. Wide-eyed Delhi newbie, Vikram (the writer-director’s brother, Farhan Akhtar), arrives in Bombay with stardust dreams, boozes with his buddies, and dates a struggling actress from the apartment next door. After charming his way to the lead role in a B-wood blockbuster, he then ditches his peeps for fame, fortune, and the lovin’ of his nubile co-star, daughter of a domineering ’70s superstar. At a not untypically lengthy 155 minutes, there’s time for our hero’s predictable fall-and-then-some, from tabloid glossies printing sensational lies to ugly breakups and apologies to the little people who helped him when he was nobody. Expensively polished, with portions shot in the now-notorious Taj Mahal hotel and a bombastic techno-poppy soundtrack currently getting raves in India, the film mostly just makes one nostalgic for Bollywood classics.

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