Film Reviews

Lamhaa - Movie Review

Lamhaa shows us, how, despite so many years post-partition, the valley still isn't over the muddled moment and sure if it's actually gotten what it wanted.

Published: Wednesday,Jul 14, 2010 21:40 PM GMT-06:00
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Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Anupam Kher, Kunal Kapoor
Director: Rahul Dholakia

Lamhaa- Let go, live free

Lamhaa, as projected by the promos, revolves around Kashmir and the many power hands playing to get the bigger piece of this pie, called 'heaven on earth'.

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The story is complicated and swings wildly between Sanjay Dutt (who plays an intelligence officer), Anupam Kher (who is the leader of a political party) and Bipasha Basu ( the adopted daughter of Anupam Kher). Sanjay has been sent to Kashmir to sniff any major trouble, as it's the election period. He does sense trouble, but the problem is he needs to find out the mastermind behind the plans and not just the sacrificial pawns.

The movie is blunt with its approach. You see children getting trained for jihad and their bodies being stuffed with bombs. There are explosives and expletives in plenty. The good thing about the film is its pace…thankfully this is one movie that challenges you to 'keep up'. Even the romantic sequences don't look out of place and are justified.

When Lamhaa's tagline went – 'The untold story of Kashmir', it inevitably pushed many to wonder what new can be told of this disputed, distressed place that hasn't been captured by so many movies and documentaries before. The good news is –there is something new!

The film has captured the 'Kashmir state of mind'. With no one you can really trust you still need to run your life. Who is on your side? Military…really?? – all these questions are definitely etched on a Kashmiri's mind especially in the present situation where a curfew has only recently been lifted from the valley and by the time this article runs may be imposed back again without really surprising many.

The movie establishes the one fact, which we already know but just sort of remain indifferent to. The lives lost in this battle are just the innocent ones'. And not any wise politician or vile master-jihadi's.

A few days ago reputed journalist Barkha Dutt tweeted– 'India-Pakistan relationship of schizophrenic extremes. Either Sentimentalism or Suspicion. Desperately seeking a saner middler ground'. So true!

Let's not wash people over with the sentimental requirement for peace. Let's not even provoke each other with thoughts of suspicion. Let's do the sane thing. Respect each other's boundaries, values and identities and just go on with life without really pissing each other off. That would be so much profitable…both in a humane sense and in the economic sense for India and Pakistan.

Even though a normal citizen can't spring into productive action…the least one can do is say a silent prayer for this hell on heaven to get over with…

The cinematography is not all ooh-la-la. It's shaky and there's a glitch with lip sync at times. Like there's a reporter who keeps saying –I'm from Zee news, but his mouth hardly ever pulls to the shape that happens when you say Zee! Also, some scenes bear a striking resemblance to those from Oscar winning movie The Hurt Locker. Editing is crisp, doesn't make you yawn. Music is good, soothing.

However, coming from the director of Parzania, the movie as a whole was just a bit disappointing.

Sanjay Dutt looks so ruggedly handsome, mashallah! He is a natural actor and easily pulls off his part. Bipasha Basu has come of age in this film. Her acting credentials have gotten spruced up! Anupam Kher is convincing. Kunal Kapoor could have been better. His expressions do it, but his voice doesn't match up to the pain or passion of the situation. Maybe he needs dialogue delivery lessons.

I'm not from Kashmir, have never been to. So can't really vouch for the authenticity when it comes to portrayal of people's emotional state in the valley or the research done for the film. So here's a request. If you are from Kashmir, please do watch this film and post your feedback. Because even as Anupam Kher's character accuses the media saying– Aapki media ko Aishwarya ko chand dikha ya nahi isse khabar banti hai. Hamare yehan kitni beewiyon ne apne khaawind ko saalon se nahi dekha, iski koi parwah nahi – the media really needs a stronger shake from real people to wake up from the apathetic sleep. This, of course applies if and to those who are.

This is not any entertainment movie; this has a cause as the reason for its make. Anyone who takes things seriously about the whole Kashmir (or war) issue should definitely give it a dekko.

Rating: ***

Reporter and Author: Susan Jose

Bipasha Basu Sanjay Dutt Rahul Dholakia Anupam Kher Kunal Kapoor Lamhaa 

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