LUCKY – Sundance Documentary Review
LUCKY, the latest feature documentary from Jeffrey Blitz (who also did Spellbound), looks into the world of lottery winners and gives an in depth portrait of some of them. Lucky introduces us to one couple who won more than 110 Million dollars, a vietnamese immigrant who was among a group who won 390 million dollars, a homeless guy who won the lottery with his last two dollars, a socially awkward mathematician who won the lottery even knowing the odds and an old man who won and lost all of its money on stupid things. There is also a portrait of an avid lottery player who although has never won, plunks down $70-100 a day on lottery tickets (yes my jaw dropped too when I heard that).
Lucky is the perfect documentary for anyone who has ever imagined what they would do if they ever won the lottery. It gives an honest look at the lives of these past winners but also the behind the scene mechanics that power the whole lottery industry. Therefore Lucky ends up being educational, entertaining and also intriguing as it challenges our own assumptions of how things might turn out if we won the lottery.
I think the biggest takeaway from Lucky is that winning the lottery does not change who you are; it only changes what you can do. Whatever personal problems and character defects you were struggling with before winning don’t get resolved with the money; more often than not, those get magnified. That theme is readily apparent throughout Lucky.
In my opinion, Lucky is a mandatory viewing for anyone who has every played the lottery and who intends on playing some more. Whatever you think you know about the lottery, you will definitely be surprised by what Lucky will teach you about it. I sincerely hope that it gets picked up and released to theaters.
PS: After watching Lucky, someone asked me if I would ever play the lottery again. After hesitating for a few seconds, I concluded that more likely than not, I will play the lottery but as of today, I will do my best to only play when the stakes aren’t too high so that way I don’t have to worry about my life being turned upside down.
If you want to find out more about Lucky, go check out the Official Sundance Web Site for Lucky.