The movie is a simple but moving story of humanity in the South African context, and it gripped my attention right from the beginning – and towards the end – it had the better of my emotions.
Set in KZN, the film revolves around a 10 year old rural boy, Lucky, (SihleDlamini) who, after loosing his mother to HIV/Aids, travels from his remote Zulu village to the city of Durban, nurturing hopes of going to school and making something of himself. But his selfish and dishonest uncle, whom he turns to for help, forsakes him, leaving him to fend for himself.
Lucky then strays into the home of an elderly Indian woman Padma (Jayashree Basavra). The two do not understand each other’s language and Padma makes no bones about her innate distrust of black people, eventually taking Lucky in as she would a stray dog.
However, Padma’s motives are not entirely pure. She uses Lucky to obtain a government orphan grant of R200.00 a month and when Lucky’s scheming uncle finds out, he yanks him out of school, steals the grant money and assaults Padma who, after a series of events, manages to rescue Lucky and take him back to his rural Zulu village where the villagers are, at the very least, indifferent to Lucky’s return, leaving no place for him there.
There is a glimmer of hope, however, when Padma learns that Lucky’s father may still be alive, and together they go on an emotional journey to seek out Lucky’s father.
Is he the father of Lucky? Will he take Lucky in? Will he return with Padma?
The movie portrays a potentially promising and unexpected emotionally charged conclusion depicting that despite all odds, love triumphs’ over decades of racial segregation.
Director Dr Alvie Luthra who lived in Durban, ideally takes a look at the impact of racial segregation and the legacy of that regime post apartheid, which was still apparent, although things began to change and previously Indian apartment blocks were becoming mixed, this, producing clear tensions, as Africans and Indians were finally mixing after decades of segregation, but, what happens when an elderly, time-worn Indian confronts this new South Africa head on.
Dr Alvie Luthera also highlights the prevalence of HIV in the rural areas of Natal and portrays his knowledge from first hand experiences.
10-year old Sihle Dlamini makes his debut in this film playing Lucky, was discovered after an extensive search in the townships of Johannesburg and shows a convincing performance showing that he can cry when he has to but prefers an unblinking, intelligent gaze even when confronted with news that rattles his most basic beliefs.
Seasoned stage performing artist Jayashree Basavra portrays her role as Padma brilliantly. She is renowned through out India and has been performing on stage and screen performances in India since she was 4 years old. This highly respected stage and cinema icon has recently made her a Member of Parliament with the main purpose of representing Indian arts and theatre. She is also famous for her singing voice, and is regarded as the best stage singer in India.
Others in the cast include Jabulani played by James Ngcobo and Dumisani by Vusi Kunene amongst others.
Lucky is a “How Town Film Production” effort, and a movie, that resonates present day South Africa, and when it hits the big screens on the 20 July, is sure to bring out your emotions in high voltage.