|DVD Lamhaa: The Untold Story of Kashmir
Genres: Action | Drama | Thriller
Director: Rahul Dholakia
Writers: Ashwath Bhatt, Raaghav Dar
Stars: Alisha, Asif Basra, Bipasha Basu
Indian Military Intelligence assigns their agent, Vikram Sabharwal, to travel to Kashmir. There he is to locate the person(s) behind the violence, under the guise of a press reporter, Gul Jahangir. Once there, he begins his investigation by visiting highly sensitive areas as such as the Jama Masjid, Dardpura Village and Rainawari Chowk. He is accompanied by a tailor, Char Chinar, who sells uniforms to both militants and the underpaid military soldiers. Vikram meets up with Aziza Abbas Ansari, and her mentor, Haji Sayyed Shah, and aspiring political leader, Aatif Hussain. And it is after these meetings that he will conclude who is behind the extremism in this beautiful yet ‘most dangerous place on Earth’. Written by rAjOo (email@example.com)
|Plot Keywords: kashmir, assassination, torture, prisoner, bomb|
Release Date: 16 July 2010 (India)
Here is a filmmaker who has the courage of displaying the truth on screen. It is the story of Kashmiris who are playing by the hands of crooks and leaders. And there is no happy ending to this never ending spin in heaven and hell. They have blamed the forces, they have blamed Pakistan and Lashkar sorts. In a situation like this everyone has their fare share of blames and this has been filmed perfectly. The first movie in my knowledge which talks about Kashmiri Pandits, though the director has not tried to go in much details of their sufferings. But still at least the audience can think about the two sides of the story. Indian audience is not yet matured to come out of Yash Chopras and Johars psyche. Probably thats why I see the drop in the ratings. Otherwise its a good movie to watch.
I don't know how many will take this review in the right spirit, since majority of prior were 1,2 or 3 starred. As i defined the title, this movie is rare, audacious and inspiring.
I have been to Kashmir and can say that director has made sincere effort while writing the content and 90 % of the screenplay was authentic. Some can find this to be an exaggerated stuff but the tone of this movie is the voice of internal politics of valley.
First half of the movie comes up with lots of characters and Second Half sums up all end points and hence make this as a complete circle; yet movie fails to embark any high voltage drama since many of the cine-mongers were unable to understand the climax, it was same what went wrong for Mission Kashmir.
Before i can explain the climax of Lamhaa i think Mission Kashmir needs few lines, Kashmir is a very different state and it is divided in two parts, one wants to be with Pakistan and the second wants complete autonomy.By No means GOI will ever make any judgment which will please the above two categories and hence the only option left is make Kashmir as an International Issue. IN MK (Mission Kashmir)the attack on Hazzart bal (Most reputed Shrine) and the follow up on Shankracharya (Shiva Temple in Kashmir) was shown as an attempt from Terrorist to make Kashmir issue to be an International Issue, and seek UN's Intervention. So one can say that climax made some sense but yes it was not shown properly.
The Current sate of Kashmir is like that non Muslim are not at all welcomed hence this makes Kashmir as a very different place. The plot of Lamhaa was to create such situation in other parts of India and hence make GOI to succumb. Sequel to MK's climax is Lamhaa…. Migrants who left Kashmir in 1989 are in Jammu and Terrorsit planed suicide attack at the rally which was supposed to be reconciliation effort from moder day Kasmiri Muslim. The High point is if any such incidents happens in Jammu, then again it will lead to multiple conclusions, probably People will left jammu to seek more safe and better place or Jammu will become Armageddon (Hindu-Sikh Vs Muslims) or something like that….
Apart from climax, the 1989 holocausts was dealt as if one explains definition, some detailed interpretation would have made this docu-drama better. Editing was bad, some scenes could have trimmed very easily and hence would have made screenplay more effective. The most absurd part or the only thing i disliked about Lamhaa is that it tries too hard to explain small things and left major chuck unnoticed and finally tries to compile and give some solution, this actually questions the intellect of people who are dealing with Kasmir issue for last 20 years.
Yes Lamhaa never explains the scenario in detail, and i think its quite justified because this can lead up to lots of controversies(dangerous ones) and that too which can vandalize the current peace of state in Jammu and rest of J&K minus Kashmir.
In short, Its a true film about Kashmir and gives the insight of what actually happens in day to day life. A must watch affair.
Lamhaa (moment) is a one step below follow-up by the maker of Parzaania, Rahul Dholkia who has taken up the issue of Kashmir with a lot of research work on his part. He has chosen a good script and done his casting very intelligently. Lamhaa is thoroughly engrossing and maintains an air of thrill throughout. It is a fast movie which appears to be even faster because of its short length and proportionately very large canvas to cover. Definitely it is not a classic like his previous venture Parzaania but able to leave its mark notwithstanding.
The story is nothing but the turmoil in Kashmir by the zehaadis with the help of Pakistan to tackle which a military intelligence officer is sent in the disguise of a disgruntled Kashmiri Mulsim. He searches like-minded Kashmiris to strengthen his hands and helps them on one hand alongwith seeking their help in uncovering the true faces behind the leaders of the anti-government forces on the other.
The director has ended the story without offering any solution to the problem or passing any kind of subjective strictures. He has shown his better sense by presenting the status of the things as it is alongwith the mentality of the people of all kinds involved therein. The director's research work and honesty of narration is clearly visible in the movie. It is a movie made with a great effort and toil.
The problem with the narrative is that the director has chosen a very big canvas for his script but made a movie lengthy of hardly two hours. That's why he has attempted at several facets of the problem but fell short of time in dealing with each one of them effectively and meaningfully. That's why certain things (viz. the plight of the Kashmiri pundits) have been just touched and certain things have been treated quite superficially. The maker of Parzaania was expected to be more insightful in his approach. There was no need to make an over-crisp movie and some additional length would have given him room to fill proper colours in all the frames of his outline.
However Rahul Dholkia's effort cannot be underrated by any angle as he has made a fast-paced, action-packed, adrenaline-pumping movie. If you look at it from an entertainment viewpoint, it is an engrossing thriller without allowing the viewer any time to think (though the subject-matter is thoughtful as well as thought-provoking only). You won't regret after watching it.
Casting is very intelligent. Sanjay Dutt has been taken over by age (he is 51 years old now which is clearly visible in his looks). However he is the best choice for the central character tying all the ends of the story together in a single thread. Bipasha Basu has her own fan following in India (perhaps abroad too) and let me frankly tell you the name of one of her die-hard fans – Jitendra Mathur. She is gorgeous, appealing and effective, all at the same time. Among others, Anupam Kher has done well whereas Kunal Kapoor's weakness of character has let him down. Perhaps the director has tried to insert some of his personal views regarding the solution of the problem in the movie through the character of Kunal Kapoor which looks a bit unreal. The complete supporting cast has done exceedingly well.
Songs with the background score, locations and art direction, cinematography, editing, production value; everything is Aclass. The cinematographer has done an outstanding job by capturing the eternal beauty as well as the tormented status of Kashmir in the best possible manner.
The movie is quite realistic in the major part of it and quite superficial and oversimplified at certain places. Yet, one thing is certain that it is thoroughly gripping, from beginning to end. In fact, the style of story-telling in this movie is similar to that of J.P. Dutta in his trilogy of Border, Refugee and LOC-Kargil.
The narrator has shown what the Indian intelligentsia thinks and feels about the Kashmir issue, nothing new. The fact is, the director, despite his sincere research, cannot work like the hero of his story to dig out the all the hidden things. Hence he has portrayed what he himself considers the reality behind the havoc. The secret hidden behind the curtain may be something else. Who knows ?
Now-a-days, the use of explete language is increasing in the Hindi movies in the name of showing the reality as our censor board has got extremely liberal with respect to the language.Lamhaa is also no exception. However I completely disapprove of it as it snatches the flair of dignity and decency from the movie. When each and every reality cannot be shown, why can't we abstain from the use of vulgar language.
Kashmir has been converted into a company delivering profits to several interest-groups and looting the common Kashmiris, has been reiterated quite often in the movie and it appears to be the reality. The issue of flesh-trade of the Kashmiri girls has been quite humanly demonstrated through the statement of them – Hamen To Har Koi Lootata Hai Chahe Wo Military Ho Ya Zehaadi (we are looted by everybody whether it is the military or the militants). The scene of bashing of Bipasha Basu by the mob is heart-tearing.
All in all, a better movie was expected by the maker of a masterpiece like Parzaania. However it is not a disappointing one. I sum up the Kashmir issue in which the biggest sufferer is the innocent, with the words – Ladaai Abhi Zaari Hai (the fight continues).
It starts with a few revealing text captions about the history of Kashmir since 1947. And then comes a provoking dialogue referring to the region as "God made Heaven, Man created Hell". The opening five minutes raise the expectation levels to a great extent. But then what is offered to the viewers till the end is nothing more than a usual conspiracy crime drama made in the background of burning Kashmir.
It seems that the director Rahul Dholkia, after getting his share of appreciation for "Parzania" made on Gujrat riots, simply decided to keep the flame burning by selecting his next project on Kashmir. His only motive of making LAMHAA appears to be as if he just wanted to remain in the news, sitting on another controversial topic in continuation of his previous famous venture. In a very funny way he uses a tag line for the movie saying "The Untold Story of Kashmir".Whereas in reality he has nothing new to expose or disclose about Kashmir other than what we already know. However the only fresh statement he has got to make is that Kashmir is like a company in which everyone is investing from all parts of the world and the issue has every single person involved in it right from the common man to the military and the politicians.
But if we talk about the movie experience altogether, it is a big disappointment coming from the director of "Parzania". LAMHAA is undoubtedly a below average product, which falters in almost all its departments except cinematography. More precisely it has no script as such, written on the relevant subject of Kashmir. The story only talks about a big conspiracy being planned by the militants and the process of avoiding it by some good characters. It neither has any intelligent interpretation of the issue nor has any emotional feel about the innocent people suffering in the present situation.
Besides this, post intermission, very unexpectedly you witness a few scenes highly inspired from the Oscar winner, "The Hurt Locker". The sequences showing a chain of land mines attached to a single wire and plantation of bombs in the stomach of small children are all taken from the famous English flick. Further the climax written around an attack on a leader making his public speech in the midst of a huge crowd also has its similarities with "Vantage Point". Frankly speaking, I wasn't expecting this kind of inspiring act from the talented director. The film which starts off as a mature take on the subject, ends up in an equally immature and amateurish style with a bizarre kind of execution of its final moments. And in the end, you just wake up from your frozen state of mind realizing that it has actually ended all of a sudden.
On the performance front, except Anupam Kher every other name in the entire starcast fails to make a mark. Sanjay Dutt who plays an unknown messiah of the valley, keeps visiting every suspicious venue in Kashmir in his designer outfits and sun-glasses. His performance has only got his style and nothing else. Bipasha Basu, though tries hard but still is not able to impress. The scene of her getting beaten up by the women crowd should have been the highlight of the film. But very strangely the director decides to hide her face in this scene which restricts Bipasha to leave any kind of emotional impact on the viewers. Kunal Kapoor who enters late into the movie, just remains another character of the script and doesn't rise above that. Mahesh Manjrekar and Yashpal Sharma are both wasted in their few scenes. In short only Anupam Kher is able to leave his mark in a fine getup of a Kashmiri leader.
Musically the score has some good and soothing numbers used in their shorter versions in the movie which can be enjoyable as pure love songs alone. But out of all the controversies and propaganda created, the only merit of this reality based flick remains its Cinematography. The camera movements are shaky in order to give it an authentic feel (also on the lines of "The Hurt Locker"). But after a long time the DOP shows us the breathtaking glimpses of the divine valley which were missing on the screen since many years.
In a nutshell, LAMHAA is not at all about the serious issue of KASHMIR. On the contrary it's just another usual below the average Bollywood crime drama which deliberately tries to cash on with its subject revolving around KASHMIR. So you can decide for yourself if you want to see it.