Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lamhaa - Go watch it!

I haven't seen Parzania, because I did not want to see it. I did not know who Rahul Dholakia is and was not very interested in knowing his brand of cinema as well. Anyway, in film industry we have got plenty of talented directors these days. Who cares about another new director Rahul Dholakia?

Frankly I did an advanced booking of Lamhaa not because of some Rahul Dholakia directing it, but to see my favorite Sanjay Dutt. Watching the promos of Lamhaa gave me an impression that after a long long time a movie is here where Sanju baba got an opportunity to showcase his acting prowess. However, my views have changed after watching Lamhaa. Rahul Dholakia is definitely a talent to watch out and I don't think I'll miss his next movie!

I guess I don't need to reiterate that the heart and soul of the movie is Kashmir. Lamhaa makes a strong statement out of Kashmir and never tries to give its viewers a fairy tale where everything ends well in favor of the protagonist. Sanjay Dutt is Vikram, an undercover military intelligence person, who goes to Kashmir as a reporter Gul Jahangir. Elections are in hand there and military anticipates potential threat from Pakistan and LeT in course. Sanjay, expectedly, foils the sinister plot and manages to hold the Indian flag high. This is expected of a typical Hindi movie. However, what I did not expect is a realistic view of the plights of Kashmiris. I am stunned for sure. Rahul manages to depict with supreme proficiency the plight of a common Kashmiri and their exploitation by local politicians, militants, police, Indian military and of course, Pakistan.

Normally in any movie on terrorism (including Hollywood) you see an one-sided biased view (in general). Rahul manages with ease to show us the other side as well. Why are so many Kashmiri youths turning to terrorism and against India? Just in the name of religion? I don't take it sincerely. Definitely somethings must have gone seriously wrong there as well. Lamhaa shows us the dark side of Indian polity in addition to our "friendly" neighbor's contribution to Indian peace. Pakistan is definitely to be blamed for all Islamic terrorism in Kashmir (as well as India) for sure. But the truth is Pakistan only exploited the weakness of Indian policy makers and corrupt police-politician nexus. Unless there is a weakness inside, outsiders can never take advantage. Lamhaa is a story based on the same philosophy.

Notable performances come from Sanjay, Anupam Kher and Bipasha. Kunal is ok as Aatif but I felt that he was a let down in the movie. Otherwise all the actors did justice to their roles, whether it is Anupam Kher, as Haji, a sinister and blood thirsty religious leader who sold his soul and Kashmir to Pakistan, to Shernaz Patel, as Parveena whose husband was illegally picked up by Kashmiri police and could never be traced. Special mention needs to made of Bipasha in a truly non-glamorous fire-brand Aziza. She might be misfit for a Kashmiri girl but she did not let down in the role. But the best bit came from the child artist at the very end. The innocent boy was turned to a human bomb to kill thousands in the name of religion and freedom. The last scene really touched my heart.

Lamhaa in nutshell has a very good story and excellent performances to boast of. It is definitely the movie of the year till now. Mithun's music is good and complements the spirit of the movie. Go watch it in the theaters.

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