Lucky

100 minutes 2013

A 10-year-old orphan in South Africa runs away from his village to locate a deadbeat uncle in Durban and ends up being taken in by an elderly Indian woman whose grouchy demeanor hides a warm maternal instinct. This well-intentioned, sometimes affecting 2011 drama evokes silent-era crowd-pleasers in its forthright emotion and broad characterizations; that the boy and immigrant woman must communicate through gesture only reinforces the similarity. Unfortunately, writer-director Avie Luthra (a British filmmaker of Indian descent who's also a practicing psychiatrist) undercuts the fable-like story with a blandly realistic visual style, dominated by the sort of aimless handheld camera that's become an art-movie cliché. In English and subtitled Hindi and Zulu.

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