10 Years of Luck By Chance: The Finest, Most Self-Aware Movie About the Movies Ever Made

Bollywood

10 Years of Luck By Chance: The Finest, Most Self-Aware Movie About the Movies Ever Made

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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etween late January and the end of February, Bollywood has geared up for more innovation than we’ll end up seeing all year. Leading from the front is the insane hype around Gully Boy, Zoya Akhtar’s latest film that explores the seething underbelly of Mumbai’s grassroots rap scene. It’s a film that doesn’t inhabit the upper-class, slightly dysfunctional world her previous films have, but in many ways this story of ambition and self-esteem might be very close to her first film – which completes a decade today.

For many of us, Luck By Chance was Akhtar’s finest work, a subtle drama exploring the meaning of ambition and happiness in the film industry, before she internalised the need for conventional happy endings and (at least) a small degree of formulaic storytelling. Ten years ago, as now, Luck By Chance remains path-breaking, but in a quiet, understated way. Its popularity has only grown, mostly through word of mouth – first, on Torrents (remember those?) and then on online streaming platforms.  

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