Sonntag, 20. September 2009

Luck (2009) – Review in English

About the story: A very successful gambler and always ready to challenge death, Karim Moussa (Sanjay Dutt) has become a mighty mafia boss and created his own empire of bets and gamblings where people bet on other people's fates, especially when these people for large sums of money put their lives on stake in deadly games in South Africa. Moussa's man friday Lakhaan Tamaang (Danny Denzongpa) recruits the players for these games – people whose luck can defy death. This time Tamaang gets, among others, Ram Mehra (Imran Khan) who after his father's suicide is left with huge debts, Major Jabbar Pratap Singh (Mithun Chakraborty) who needs money for his wife's operation, young camel rider Shortcut (Chitrashi Rawat) from Pakistan, psychopathic murderer Raghav Raghuvaran (Ravi Kishan) who survived his own execution, and Ayesha (Shruti Haasan) who attends the game already for the second time. Soon all over the world millions are wagered on these candidates, and not just Moussa watches with interest who will win or lose the game with death...

Sigh. Didn't I feel sorry that Sanjay in Dus Kahaniyaan (2007) wasn't allowed more than a rehash of his former gangster roles? Didn't I claim after EMI (2008) that he absolutely should say good-bye to gangster roles which only force him to repeat himself, especially as he is massively unchallenged in such roles? Why on earth doesn't anyone listen to me? Why was this role cliché now again put over Sanjay? We know these poses in the title song from Kaante's Ishq Samunder, we know the deadly and mean don who can be nice too from Musafir, and we know the name Moussa from Plan. The only new and interesting factor this time is once again the Deadly Dutt's outift – he looks absolutely macho in these pathani-blazer combinations. But that's it.

This doesn't mean that Sanjay's performance in Luck is bad. But it's just routine he delivers – good routine, yes, but not more. In the end, he has once again done it for friendship, in this case for director Soham Shah; and Sanjay had asked for just a little guest appearance as his schedule didn't allow him more. But instead of the inch, Shah took the whole mile, expanding the role of Moussa and even giving him the title song for which Sanjay had to shoot midway through his election campaign for the SP in Lucknow early in 2009. In short, he did a solid job – but on the other hand, more was hardly possible due to the flaws of Soham Shah's script and directing.

But these made the other actors suffer too – even veteran actors like Mithun Chakraborty and Danny Denzongpa couldn't really individuate, just as little as Imran Khan who thus for a second time after Kidnap failed to provide evidence that his first success with Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na wasn't just a one-hit wonder. Shruti Haasan, daughter to Kamal Haasan and Sarika and movie debutant in Luck, convinced more with her rocking interpretation of the title song than with her acting; sorry, but even Snita Mehay, the other newbee, showed more presence in her little role of Tamaang's assistant Angela. Chitrashi Rawat, acting refreshingly brash, and Ravi Kishan as the psychopathic madman came across best.

Too bad that Soham Shah didn't make more out of the promising idea of a Big Brother million gambling where people put their lives on stake in deadly games while, all over the world, people watch them live and put their money on them. A little less style and more story-telling would have been good for the movie – and more diligence with the realization (remember the lousy parachuting and the synthetic sharks). Nevertheless, I don't want to discourage you from watching Luck; in the end it's quite a good entertainer. But I wouldn't name it a must-see or a real recommendation.

P.S. By the way, at 10:44 I had a nice little déjà vu: In a gambling automat, three Sanjay Dutt portraits from various films appear (from the unfinished Dus, from Jung and from Pitaah), and all three of them were taken from my Sanjay Dutt fan-site. I'm definitely sure about this, for even if you presume that they could have made exactly the same screenshots from Dus and Jung themselves (and nevertheless you would wonder why of all movies they came upon the 1997 Dus), you'd still doubt that they'd made the same special adaptation of the Pitaah motive as the one which was made especially for my fan-site. Well, obviously I've become a welcome source of material about Sanju... *g*

But it's my pleasure, Soham, to have added a detail to a Sanjay Dutt movie. Welcome back again! :)

Produced by Shree Astavinayak Cine Vision Ltd.; Directed by Soham Shah
140 Min.; DVD: Indian Films, English Subtitles (including songs); Special Features: Making of Movie, Jee Le (Duet Song), Aazma Luck (Shruti Song), Theatrical Trailer
© Diwali

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