Zoya Akhtar says Luck By Chance didn’t fit the typical Bollywood formula back then; Here’s why
In a recent interview, The Archies director Zoya Akhtar talked about creativity through female lens, competition and camaraderie in Bollywood, and her debut film Luck By Chance.
Zoya Akhtar is currently basking in the success of her recently released film The Archies, starring Suhana Khan, Khushi Kapoor, Agastya Nanda, and others. The renowned Indian filmmaker recently opened up about the seven-year gap between her first script and its final execution in the film Luck by Chance. She also talked about the competition and camaraderie in the film industry and how one needs to find ways to survive in this industry.
Zoya Akhtar on Luck By Chance
In an interaction with Kalli Purie, Vice-Chairperson and Managing Director, India Today Group, at the 20th edition of Business Today's 'The Most Powerful Women in Business' event in Mumbai, Zoya Akhtar said that this seven-year gap was due to the unconventional nature of Luck By Chance and the early stages of the multiplex boom in India.
In a session titled Creativity Through the Female Lens, Akhtar explained that Luck by Chance did not fit the typical Bollywood formula back then. The film, starring Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sensharma, was released in 2009. Its introspective and character-driven approach was far from the commercially successful action and romance genres that were all the rage in the industry back then.
In the 2000s, India's multiplex business was still in the early stages. Modern theaters cater to a different audience with a more diverse taste in films as compared to traditional single-screen theaters. The audience's taste for movies was evolving at a slower pace back then. Zoya Akhtar said that the idea of accepting a unique film like Luck by Chance was less likely to resonate with a mainstream audience accustomed to conventional storytelling.
Zoya Akhtar mentioned that she initially secured support from a few actors before finding backing for her film. This strategy increased the project's appeal and credibility, making it more attractive to potential producers.
Zoya Akhtar on facing rejection in film industry
Zoya Akhtar also added that foraying into the Bollywood industry is extremely tough and that one will have to face a lot of rejection and challenges in the early phases of their career. She said that it is important to talk to trusted individuals about their doubts and anxieties. “You talk it through people you trust. If people are reacting to your work, there must be something there. You reconnect back with passion after every failure or doubt,” she said.
Zoya Akhtar on her routine
Zoya Akhtar said that she finds solace in spending time with her dogs. Speaking about her routine, she said, “I hang with my dogs, I wake up early and spend time reading books, doing yoga or spending time just doing nothing.”
On dealing with peace, she said, “We work in a competitive market and there’s a lot of money that is involved, so there’s a lot of pressure and I communicate well with people to ensure calmness.”
Zoya Akhtar on competition and camaraderie in Bollywood
“Just be kind and nice to people and it is an underrated quality,” Akhtar on loyalty and making sync with new people. Akhtar emphasized the importance of pursuing projects that resonate with your personal interests and passions. On her success mantra, she said, “I hope I get it right. I believe that I have to do what I want to do. I can’t make a project for 2-3 years and I should resonate with the project. I work from my heart and head both.”
Talking about the success of her latest release, The Archies, Zoya Akhtar said, "There is a lot of camaraderie in the film industry. There is competition and rivalry, but we have each other's back."
Talking about success and failures at the box office, Akhtar said that at some stage or another, you will be rejected. "In my industry, you will face rejection. So you need to find ways to survive. You can cry at home, self-help. Just get up and get back on the horse."