I don’t know what bad ‘luck’ had befallen upon me last night that I went to see the latest release ‘Luck’. What bad karma did I do in my past life that in this life I was destined to go through such a disturbing movie? Never before in my entire life did I walk out of a cinema hall without finishing the movie. No matter how stupid a film has been I have seen it till the end but this film hurt my sensitivity as a human being so much that I couldn’t sit there anymore.
What kind of demented psychopathic sadist must have made such a film? The film was so disturbing from ethics and human rights point of view and so dumb and sloppy from cinema point of view, I don’t even have words to express. To put it in one line - a soul less mash up of crazy demented ideas conceived while smoking something funny.
The movie plot is about a betting industry set up by a guy called Mussa (played by Sanjay Dutt) which puts money on people’s death. I have seen many violent films but the insensitivity of such a concept was so disturbing it beats them all. Let me describe just one scene for you – So you have this one big hall where hundreds of people are betting on the players (various characters played by Shruti Hasan, Imran Khan, Ravi Kishen, Mithun Chakraborty etc.) like in a typical horse racing ground. On a big screen in that hall you have images of the players standing in a desert somewhere. A message flashed “Betting closed, Game begins.” The game is that all these players will have to jump off from a helicopter 2000 ft above a hilly terrain, each one is wearing a parachute but only 6 out of 9 parachutes are in working condition, the players don’t know who picked what. The people who’ve put their money on the players are watching anxiously on the big screen to find out who lives and who dies. Suddenly one of the player’s parachute fails and he crashes into a tree. His dead body is shown hanging from the tree on the big screen, camera moves and cash money is shown to move from hand to hand amongst the betters.
In another scene about 15 players stand in one round circle each putting a gun at the person standing to the right and shoot a bullet into the head. Like a typical reality show with each game some players are eliminated, in this case they are simply killed. Once the bleeding bodies fall the game crew standing in the background come and carries the dead bodies away.
What kind of savageness is this? We hear these horror stories of human rights violation from Taliban, inhuman torture from sensitive war zones, we’ve heard stories of the holocaust, but it beats them all to see that a commercial film is being made out of this sadistic pleasure without having any sensitivity woven into it to dilute the brutality.
I am not saying it is a complete impossibility that people might agree to such life threatening games and even enjoy, we never know what adult people might do but in Luck there was a 15 year old girl too amongst the players.
We have heard of the cowboy gun fights where people voluntarily risk there lives and the winner by all means kills the loser, but there was a heroism factor involved in that. Traditionally gun fights were the means to settle disputes and not something done for fun. But in this film the players are not brave or heroic, they are not even doing it voluntarily, if any player says, “I don’t want to play this game, I want to back out, the Mussa guy comes and kills him.” I mean can it get any more sick.
In ‘Fight Club’ too consenting adults were shown to be engaged in activities inflicting pain upon themselves, but again there was a volition factor in it. There were rules and ethics in the Fight Club, “if somebody says stop, you stop”. But the game of life and death shown in Luck is sans all such sensitivity, logic, reason, ethics, intelligence and above all bravery.
The film although titled luck is actually about chance. There is a difference between luck and chance. The little game Gabbar Singh played before killing his three men who came back empty handed from Ramgarh was chance – 6 shots, 3 bullets 3 empty, 3 men. But luck is more than chance, luck is a condition.
The 15 players were chosen because of their good luck, now if one has a good luck no matter how difficult the situation is one would survive, right? But that didn’t happen in Luck. Keeping 3 dysfunctional parachutes in a pack of 9 made it obvious that three players would die, and they did die. There was no surprise good luck factor in it. They could have shown that even though the parachute failed something else happened and the player survived because of his good luck.
Even assuming it is a piece of fiction and trying not being judgmental about the concept or story, from a film making point of view, it is a complete failure. The script and direction are so bad that you don’t feel anything for the characters; they all just look like morons who can’t act. You don’t get it why they are playing the game in the first place, their reasons are not convincing.
Some of the reasons – 1) Army Major who says ‘Koi shaq’ at the end of every sentence, needs money for wife’s medical expenses; don’t they have army hospitals? What about Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi if not anything. 2) Another dude needs money because his father committed suicide leaving crores of loans for son who is being threatened by a police inspector. Son thinks he will go to US to make “Ek ka chaar,” whatever it is supposed to mean, but can’t get VISA. Ultimately Mussa forces him to agree to the betting game reluctantly. 3) No reason given for why the other guys were there, like Ravi Kishen or that Chak de girl. Not a single element in the entire plot was real or believable.
For a while I laughed at the sloppy and immature way the film is shot, the camera angles were so poor like the director haven’t ever held a camera before, I don’t know what were they trying to do by keeping the camera behind the actors back making it appear like we were peeping from behind. Dialogues were poorly written and of course horrible acting. The stunts were so artificial, even a simplest thing as jumping from the helicopter is pathetically shot. After a certain point it all became disturbing.
I shouldn’t waste anymore of my time talking about this pathetic movie. I’ll just say that I am usually not the kind of person to criticize a product of creativity; if I don’t like a film I keep quiet about it, or say, no comments; I believe judging a film for what it is and not for what it could be; In the past I have put myself in the film maker’s shoes and enjoyed films like Ugly aur Pagli and Chandni Chawk to China but as it turns out I have my own limits.
Luck was so beyond tolerance that I couldn’t help criticizing it. What is more disturbing is that as always am trying to put myself in the filmmaker’s shoes and trying to understand what kind of demented mind makes such films.
I wonder how such a movie can even pass through our censor board. Are they sitting there only to control sex scenes, don’t they have a responsibility to check other objectionable material. Should films not have any ethics at all?
The film reminded me of the Japanese video game ‘Rapelay’ where players could compete with each other to virtually rape women, they could chose to rape pregnant women or school going kids. There were options by which they could impregnate the woman and even forcefully get her aborted.
Both in that game and in this film brutality is being done for fun and people are enjoying the brutalities. If such a film could pass through censor board why the porn industry is illegal, why Savita Bhabhi is banned? Rape and murder, sex and violence not much difference, no?
Ps. Luck has the potential to be the next cult movie after Gunda