"Right now I am ready to bet whether Luck will do well or not. Kaal did not do well and was delayed unnecessarily. But I take all of this positively", says an optimist Soham Shah. Then he cracks up by saying, "I've been giving fitness tips to Imran ever since we met and I hope he starts working out now." Soham Shah has made what you could call a Hard-R action flick that recalls the violent action flicks made in the early eighties that avoids political correctness or anything of that nature. This film also happens to have one of the biggest star cast in the recent times coming from all age group.
Yes, this is basically a big and loud popcorn flick but it is fun and it also has some of the scene-stealing performances by Imran Khan and Ravi Kishan. So after spending fifteen minutes talking to one of the newest finds in Bollywood direction, I found out that he came across as a laid back guy who really loves action movies. Call 'Luck' almost his love letter to those films that were unapologetic about what they were trying to be. With some rhyme, reason and regard for his co-actors Soham puts himself in the lucky spot with us.
Bets on Luck
"Let's hope that Luck proves to be luckier than Kaal. We've worked really hard on the film. Luck isn't a dark film. It's a proper commercial masala film. It's an engaging film too. Actually, while we were shooting in South Africa for Luck, there were a lot of casino's and I remember placing the bet on one of the roulette. I won and I hope the film does the same."
"If you cast faces that are bigger than the film, the audiences seem to be more interested in them than the story. The roles written for various characters in Luck were of a mixed age group. Roles were written for old age people like Mithun and Danny. Shruti and Imran fitted the new school types. All the actors are very unpredictable. You don't know how Imran, Shruti, Danny and Mithun will come up with. The only actor you can predict in Luck is Sanjay Dutt."
Inspiration from the West
"At one point when I saw 13 Tzameti, I thought that the concept of the film was wonderful. The only thing common between 13 Tzameti and Luck is the gun sequence. Beyond that there is no similarity. The Condemned rumours are absolutely rubbish. There is no similarity whatsoever."
Big Budget and recovery
"A lot of money is put into making Luck. A lot. The way the film is shot and the way the action sequences are executed, the film looks much bigger. The scripting was such that the film would not have been made in India because the concept was such that the film had to be made believable. We also have a lot of international casting in Luck. Actors from South Africa and U.K are a part of Luck too. The entire film is based in South Africa. An average director would've taken 120 to 150 days of shoot. We've shot the film in 64 days. The economic planning helped us too. So in terms of recovery, the film will have to have a good opening and that's a gamble all producers and directors have to take. I'm sure the film will recover its money put in."
Chitrashi - the boy
"The character of Chitrashi was earlier written for a boy but as we started casting, I thought of this Chak De girl and said, "She is like a boy" and had that attitude. A girl doing the action and things which a boy can do adds on to the film and that's why Chitrashi was cast."
Casting of Shruti Hassan
"We didn't land up casting anybody else before Shruti. When we started the casting of Luck, Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na had not released. So whenever I used to meet Imran I was reluctant in telling him that I wanted a girl who could match up to him and his freshness. That's when Imran suggested me to meet Shruti. Imran too wasn't sure whether Shruti would be the apt choice. But after meeting her, I found out that she was the fittest babe in Bollywood. She had a great body; she is a great singer and is tough gal."
"Imran has his own style and character which he tries and brings in to his movies. You need to handle him the way you want. He has a wide range of personalities. He can play the sweet looking boy to a tough man depending on how the director would use him. He has a very adjustable personality and is a boon to any director."
"The role that Ravi Kishan is playing is almost parallel to that of Imran's. Ravi's character has a lot of grey shades. We needed somebody who could perform variety. We were looking out for a guy who could scare you, who could make you laugh, etc. My wife used to see Big Boss a lot and put my notice to this character called Ravi Kishan who according to her was an interesting guy. When I met Ravi Kissen, I realised that he is not the Bhojpuri kind of a person the industry has made him to be. He is a terrific actor and needs to be tapped in a lot. I was convinced that Ravi only needed an image change in a very stylish way for Luck."
I've always been a fan of Mithun because I've seen him doing action roles throughout his career. Lately, he has been playing it a bit mellow by doing father type roles, etc. The character he plays in Luck was written for a sixty year old retired major. So I needed somebody in that age group, who could carry off lot of style, is fit today and at the same time was a superb actor. Mithun Chakraborty fitted the bill pretty well.
"Danny is the backbone of Luck. He holds the film and all the characters together. I needed somebody with a very good voice for his part and an actor of his age group. The kind of scenes are happening in the film and the logics that the film has, keeping that in mind, Danny's character had to be played by somebody as senior as him and as experienced as him. His role adds a lot of mystery to the film."
Mithun, Danny and Old school
"Mithun and Danny, being from an older generation of actors, had a superb way of working. Once they are on board for a film, they bring in so much of experience to people like me as they give their valuable inputs to each and every scene. They want to learn every single day the newest of technologies available in Bollywood. Both have a knack of understanding a story line and once they are ready to do your film, they bring in a lot of conviction for the director and themselves. Positivity galore in them. They help you go through the most difficult scenes and working hours by their sheer stamina at this age."
"We had written this character called 'Musa' for Luck. It was granted from day one that we had written this role for Sanjay Dutt because I wanted a guy who fitted the new school and the old school. Sanju was the only hope. He is back to his best."
"Whatever ups and downs come your way, you have to make your film. You have to try your best to get the best on board. Every actor has different issues. Somebody would not want to work on that film, somebody would not like their role, somebody would have money issues, etc. Reasons can be plentiful. You cast somebody by which your film is justified and is not affected by the wrong casting. There is always a back up ready."
"My favourite Imran Khan film has to be Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. For Mithun, my favourite film has to be Gulami. For Danny, my favourite film would be Agneepath and for Sanjay Dutt, Vaastav is my all time favourite."
'No' to lip sync songs
"Luck being an action thriller didn't require any lip sync songs. Suddenly in a middle of a fight sequence, you cannot have an actor singing a song. It can't happen for such genre of films. Luck stays away from lip sync songs. Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na can have them because it would look real there. Lip sync in Luck will be quite unreal."