As a director, Deepu Anthikkad shows a lot of promise, though his debut film is wildly uneven when it comes to its tone and impact.
One of the kids in 'Lucky Star', shooting a video on a mobile camera, exasperatedly comments that these days almost all birdbrains have become film directors. Deepu Anthikkad, director of 'Lucky Star' however quite confirmedly ascertains that he doesn't fall into the above said category. As a director, he shows a lot of promise, though his debut film is wildly uneven when it comes to its tone and impact.
'Lucky Star' talks of Ranjith (Jayaram) and Janaki (Rachna Narayanankutty), a tailor and his wife who used to work as a junior artiste in films, who are based in Chennai. The couple dreams of making it big someday, and has plans of starting a garment store soon. Meanwhile, Swapna (Pooja Ramachandran) and her beau, a couple from the US of A, land on the doorsteps of Dr. John Chittilappally (Mukesh), an infertility specialist, seeking his services to find them a surrogate mother who could bear their child.
All said and done, the first half of 'Lucky Star' is engaging, in that things happen at a rapid pace, and there are at least a few occasions when you laugh whole heartedly. The buildup is quite charming, and you almost feel like Jayaram finally has a winner in his hands.
All the while, however you keep thinking of Shoojit Sircar's 'Vicky Donor' (2012), and wonder how far 'Lucky Star' has been inspired by the Hindi film. While Sircar's film talked of a man who turns to sperm donation to make both ends meet, Janaki in 'Lucky Star' decides to rent out her uterus to make some quick and really needy bucks.
More than Janaki, it's the doctor who keeps reminding us of the Hindi film. Mukesh's Dr. John Chittilappally is indeed Dr. Baldev Chaddha (played by Annu Kapoor) of 'Vicky Donor' and even their mannerisms are quite similar. Not forgetting to mention that its them that keep the spirit lively and animated in the first hour of the film.
The semblance between the two films ends as 'Lucky Star' completes its initial running hour, and from then on, it starts feeling like some other film that has absolutely no inkling of the sparkle that made the former proceedings enjoyable. It wheezes and whines, fits in two odd looking songs into its midst and leaves us fidgeting in our seats.
When there is a surrogate motherhood involved in a film, it has become customary on our part to keep our fingers crossed, hoping all the while that it all doesn't eventually lead to a custodian battle. Unfortunately, this precisely where 'Lucky Star' ends up in, and you shake your heads in disbelief, wondering how it could possibly go this wrong.
'Lucky Star' does bring under the spotlight two amazing fresh talents - Rachna Narayanankutty and Pooja Ramachandran - and both of them deliver outstanding performances in their debut Malayalam film. Rachna is undoubtedly one of the most natural performers whom we have seen on screen of late, and I truly believe we are bound to see many a stellar performance from this actor. Pooja, brings in such astounding believability to her character of an NRI, and thereby saves it from becoming the laughing stock of the audience. You do feel for Swapna, unquestionably the most underdeveloped of the three major roles, and it's thanks to an extremely credible performance from the actor who plays the part.
Jayaram very comfortably occupies the back seat in the proceedings, and is quite at ease playing Ranjith, who displays the attributes of several characters whom he had played earlier. The child artistes do their jobs remarkably well.
'Lucky Star' starts off on the right note, but ends up real messed up after the initial hour wears off. Yet, Deepu Anthikkad does announce his arrival with elan, and provided with a better script that gets its acts together, could spring another surprise on us, without doubt.
2.2 out of 5 (Okay)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Okay
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good