Lamhaa 2010 Movie Review

Movie: Lamhaa 2010

During the showcasing of LAMHAA at the recently held I.I.F.A. in Sri Lanka, I was compelled to ask director Rahul Dholakia about the catch line of the film: 'The untold story of Kashmir'. Obviously, I was curious. What was Dholakia going to narrate that we, the viewers, hadn't witnessed in films earlier or read in newspapers or watched on news channels? Dholakia gave a convincing response, justifying the catch line, but obviously not revealing much about the film.

As LAMHAA unfolds, you realize that Dholakia may've borrowed a few incidents from life, but as it moves forward, it comes across as a typical Bollywood enterprise that harps on being real, but ends up being a masala film that we have witnessed over and over again. The catch line, in my individualistic opinion, is quite misleading.

Dholakia seems to have researched extensively on the issue and LAMHAA does boast of some razor-sharp moments, but the viewer is keen to have an insider's viewpoint on Kashmir, something that we haven't read/seen [on news channels/films] earlier, which LAMHAA just doesn't provide.

Just one word for this film: Disappointing!
The Military Intelligence gets a whiff of a plot that is likely to disrupt and possibly paralyze Kashmir. Vikram [Sanjay Dutt] is sent to investigate this highly confidential mission and he assumes the identity of Gul Jehangir. The same day that he lands in the valley, Haji [Anupam Kher], a top separatist leader, survives a blast. Is there a connection between the blast and the operation?

To solve this conundrum, Vikram teams up with Aziza [Bipasha Basu], Haji's young, aggressive and outspoken protégé. The intensity of their beliefs and their will to survive against all odds creates a special bond between them. They embark together on a journey to uncover the truth.

First things first! LAMHAA has been filmed in Kashmir and you're awe-struck by its beauty, with DoP James Fowlds doing a splendid job in capturing the scenic locales on celluloid. The constant shaking of the camera also gives a real feel. Unfortunately, LAMHAA, though controversial in nature, merely touches the tip of the issue, instead of going all-out and narrating a story that offers reasons and perhaps, a solution to the crisis.

The problem clearly lies in its scripting, the written material [screenplay: Raghav Dhar, Rahul Dholakia]. Like I pointed out earlier, Dholakia should've stuck to realism, instead of trying to strike a balance between realism and make-believe. The viewer is told at the very outset, and also at regular intervals, that 'something big [read destructive] is going to occur'. But the entire conspiracy comes across as too trivial during the final moments of the film and therefore, the impact is missing.