Luck must have sounded good on paper. A motley group of unusually lucky people take part in fatally dangerous games orchestrated by the betting king pin Mussa Bhai.
The contestants who mange to stay alive make Rs 20 crore in 20 days. We’ve got sexy South African locales, high-octane stunts, lots of wind blown hair, high speed shots, helicopters, trains, guns and money - basically everything you need for a roller coaster action thriller. Unfortunately, much has been lost in translation.
Luck, written and directed by Soham Shah, is essentially a 1980s film repackaged as reality show. It’s superbly silly with a climatic twist so far fetched that you will split your sides laughing.
The movie borrows sequences from similarly themed films like the Spanish Intacto and the French 13 Tzameti but its essence is pure Bollywood masala.
So, we have a courageous Army Major with a dying wife who must participate in Mussa’s extreme sports so that he can pay the hospital bills.
We have rape prevented by the entry of the hero in the nick of time. But most of all we have relentless dialogue-baazi. Nobody has a normal conversation in Luck.
Everyone makes pronouncements, usually about luck, such as Insaan aur luck, dono ka koi bhorasa nahi hai. Mussa’s right-hand man tries to convince the hero, Ram played by Imran Khan to participate in the game by saying: Tu khud hi ek ATM hai. And this one was my personal favourite: When a death row convict survives hanging because the rope slips, he is told: Tera luck tujhse bhi harami hai.There is only so much conviction the actors can infuse into dialogue such as this. In any case their main job is to look sufficiently cool. Imran, as usual, rises above the material. He tries to bring some texture to his character of an average joe forced into horrific life-and-death games.
Ravi Kissen is nicely hammy as a vicious serial killer while Sanjay Dutt does his routine macho gangster act wearing velvet coats over pathani suits.
Star daughter Shruti Hassan is singularly attractive but her acting and dialogue delivery is painfully awkward. And like everyone else in Luck, Shruti is saddled with an underwritten character. Soham tries to give each one a backstory but it’s so choppy and rushed that we have little sense of these people and therefore no emotional investment in whether they live or die. Luck has some nice stunts orchestrated by Allan Amin and a few smart lines.
It might be unintentionally funny entertainment on a slow night when you have nothing else going on. So I’m going with two out of five stars and recommending that you wait for the DVD.