Luck is a 2022 animated film directed by Peggy Holmes. This new fantasy comedy film on Apple TV+ is written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. Created by Skydance Animation along with Apple, this is an adorable tale of an 18-year-old orphan named Sam Greenfield (voice acted by Eva Noblezada). She considers herself to be the unluckiest person in the world because of not having been adopted by anyone until this age. However, now that she has become legally an adult, she needs to move out of her orphanage and start living on her own. That sets up the first obstacle in the narrative – trying to manage her duties on her own while not knowing how to.
Sam starts off her new independent life on a messy note. From her bath to breakfast, many regular activities become major tasks for her because things keep going wrong in one way or the other. Even at the store where she works, she can’t perform her duties seamlessly. Sometimes a whole cabinet of products falls down or the other time the stairs fall down, leaving her hanging somewhere on the top of the cabinet! Her feeling of unluckiness is highlighted through such situations while making her narrative of adulting relatable. Yet, what the focus of Luck seems to be, through its non-expository narration, is an investigation of luck as a concept through the journey of Sam’s character.
Despite all of these obstacles, what makes Sam endearing is how selfless she is. While her life isn’t ideal, she hopes Hazel (her friend from the orphanage) gets adopted soon unlike her. She believes she is unlucky until she comes across a black cat who leaves a penny for her. After getting hold of this tiny piece of metal, all her problems seem to disappear. This transition to a gleeful, conflictless world is conveyed as good luck – where all the things go just the way one would like them to. It is an overly simplistic division of this concept that I don’t believe in in the first place. However, what keeps the boat afloat for me is the film’s compassionate approach.Sam realizes not long after about the nature of this penny and comes across a portal with the help of the same black cat, which takes her to a different place. This new place consists of cats and leprechauns who live in this land of luck. She learns the name of this cat – Bob (voiced acted by the hilarious Simon Pegg), who takes her to fulfill her request of getting a penny on the condition – that she will leave their world forever.
Scottish (where such a cat is considered lucky, unlike the stereotype). In this land, the job of its inhabitants is to manufacture good and bad luck for humans. This silly simplification does not go well with the narrative’s bigger goals but somehow feels believable in its goofiness. It makes the viewers root for Sam to fulfill her ambition and get out of the cycle of bad life.What doesn’t work for Luck as a film is its convoluted middle part of the plot besides an overly simplistic, overly expository closure. Through an ongoing series of conflicts, or as the film wants to put it – bad luck, there is a learning for Sam, that goes along with the feel-good nature of Pixar films – but feels more verbal and inorganic. Don’t confuse that with ‘unrealistic’, which would be a stupid complaint to have from a fantasy film! But the way the film’s narrative ties its knots does not feel emotionally earned.
The reason for this is the shaky build-up to this point, which overcomplicates Sam’s path without being smooth in terms of narration. Another aspect that goes wrong is how the film loses its very intent midway. Sam’s understanding takes a back seat in order to give the world-building inside the land of luck its limelight, which in itself isn’t particularly engaging either. Neither does it reveal more about Sam’s character, nor does it go deeper into its core theme.What still goes right for Luck is a trademark feel-good nature of conventional American films. The solid first half when Sam navigates her way into the real world builds her as a figure that you can empathize with. And who wouldn’t want Simon Pegg being his hilarious self while lending his voice to a mischievous, yet adorable cat? That is what Luck relies upon for most of its runtime – which makes it an entertaining yet non-exceptional watch.