Lamhaa: The Kashmir issue deserves better

July 16, 2010

lamhaaThere have been several films made on Kashmir and the problem of insurgency but few have managed to catch the pulse of the issue.

If you think “Lamhaa” is one of those few, then you are mistaken. As with most issue-based films, Rahul Dholakia’s “Lamhaa” tends to simplify and dumb down reality, reducing it to jingoistic dialogues and clichés, when in fact it should be exactly the other way round.

I have said this before — issues like terrorism, insurgency, racism, are difficult to handle in real life, let alone on film, so when you do choose to make a movie on these issues, there is a very thin line you are treading.

Dholakia, who made the critically acclaimed “Parzania” goes the “masala” way of making a issue-based film, adding songs, fight sequences and clichéd characters to the mix.

Sanjay Dutt plays Vikram, a retired army officer who is sent into the valley on a dangerous mission. He meets Aziza, the adopted daughter of a prominent politician who has ambitions of peace in Kashmir but doesn’t agree with her father’s method of getting it. She is also in love with a young politician (Kunal Kapoor) whose goal is to bring democracy and development in Kashmir.

Dholakia’s aim must have been to align the fate of the three characters with that of Kashmir but instead we are confronted with a baffling array of characters and motives and people sporting the most unoriginal dialogues one may have come across.

The plot is so convoluted and solutions provided are so simple that you want to laugh out loud.

Of the cast, Sanjay Dutt doesn’t do much except saunter in and out of the frame and flaunt his peroxide blond hair. Bipasha Basu tries to smoulder and look unsatisfied with the world but looks out of her depth. Kunal Kapoor is clearly uncomfortable with his role and doesn’t once look convincing.

Whatever Kashmir gets, it certainly doesn’t deserve such a bad film.

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