Lamhaa: A film by Rahul Dholakia – A sordid tale of battered souls


‘Kashmir’ isn’t about political turmoils anymore; it is a quicksand – the more your try to resolve and recuperate, the deeper you get sucked in to the bludgeon of fear, conspiracy and nepotism. ‘Welcome to the most dangerous place in India’ is a blatant statement with immense grit and dissipates humanity from religion. ‘Lamhaa’ is a film imbued in the gruesome stories woven around all those who are conspicuously attached to the bizarre series of events.

Rahul Dholakia has captured the streets of Kashmir in a nonchalant bliss; the camera moving around relentlessly to snap the oblivious is all so evident. There are numerous characters indulging in unscrupulous events and not to mention those who have been shamelessly raving about the freedom of Kashmir with the utmost of bravery and content. All the characters look sane; the intent is to make the viewers think otherwise. And I believe that to some extent, all this showcasing business is a ploy to diminish transparency and create an aura of peace and justice. The film is a documentation of the tyranny that has been vehemently imposed on the people of Kashmir since 1989. The two nations involved are credulous enough to admit that this is not a war to be fought; it’s a calamity that ceases to relinquish itself from the bane of ruthless administrators and politicians who claim Kashmir to be a ‘Company’, immersed in vested interests and insurmountable greed.

The director has shot the film with minimum paramedics and that gives a classy look to the entire set up. James Fowld’s cinematography is commendable; Kashmir still looks like a patch upgraded from an earlier version of heaven. For a film which is more of a biopic cum documentary, the editing is exemplary. The music is restrained; background score is effective in patches.

The performances make this film special. The principal characters get in to the skin and the outcome is quite credible. Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu and Anupam Kher deliver with panache; Bipasha’s matured histrionics says a lot about the hard work she has invested in ‘Lamhaa’. Kunal Kapoor lacked the usual zest of a militant turned politician; his voice was a let down and has to work very hard if he has to bag such author backed roles in future. The supporting cast is a huge list; mostly on the impressive side.

The best aspect of ‘Lamhaa’ is that at no given point of time, does it aim at fulfilling the mundane criterion of complete resolution. The last 50 years could not see the face of emancipation; the vicious circle would continue to torment us for eternal years.

"Jannat-e-Kashmir, mujhe maaf kar de".

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