Lamhaa comes with big names, high expectations and delivers just what it was destined to do and you were hoping it doesn't...falls flat.
Sanjay Dutt makes a grand entry in the movie as the undercover agent required by Military intelligence to bust a covert operation to disrupt the peace in the valley. Sometimes, I really think...do the stars negotiate their entry scene when they sign the contract for a movie. Because, from the entry, you can't make out, whether you are watching Kaante, Luck or Shootout at Lokhandwala.
The movie talks about how Kashmir has been turned into a business by politicians, militants & military on both sides of the border. I would like to add TV channels and film makers to the list, with the former competing with each other by creating breaking news of militancy and terrorism in the valley and the latter trying to create shallow films like Lamhaa and hoping to earn box-office success and critical acclaim.
Vikram (Sanjay Dutt) comes to avert an imminent disaster posing as a journalist, gets ready access to all and fools security to enter secure locations, downloads the relevant file in a flash and also protects the beautiful Aziza (Bipasha Basu), who by the way is a fiesty militant leader, who kicks ass of men and jumps out of windows, but turns to be coy, the moment she gets under protective arms of cool-dude Vikram. And don't miss the part, when Vikram pauses to appreciate her beauty in an important meeting...and then, as she walks out of the very important meeting, Vikram says to himself, "Kashmir aaj bhi khubsoorat hai". You get the drift, right?
There is a failed assassination attempt, women as terrorists, children as suicide bombers and mention of widows of Kashmir who haven't seen their husbands for years, who were taken away by the military represented by one sole woman Parveena (Shernaz Patel), who keeps wiping the frame with her husband's pic throughout the movie when she is not knocking on doors. The movie constantly talks about the imminent threat and the big event that is being planned similar to the one that happened in 1989 that brought the onset of militancy in Kashmir. But, when you finally come to know about it, it seems just too trivial.
All the principal actors give poor, unspirited performances. Out of them, Kunal Kapoor stands out in his extremely poor portrayal of a militant turned politician, who inspires the strife-torn masses to come together. He deserves a special mention for his casual, uninterested acting, emotionless expressions, broken / interrupted dialogue delivery and passionless performance who just looks like someone who has gone for a walk in the park rather than living in one of the most dangerous places on earth. If you do watch the movie, don't miss his punching of fists in the air as he addresses the crowd in what looks like reading news from a teleprompter performance. These days, even the news anchors put more passion in their job...watch Arnab Goswami on Times Now daily, if you don't trust me.
While Anupam Kher tries to do justice in his role as the big fish in the Valley. Great actors like Yashpal Sharma, Mahesh Manjrekar & Murli Sharma are wasted in their roles. The direction goes haywire in absence of a proper script or story. Editing is shoddy and looks like lot of patchwork. Towards the end, how Sanjay Dutt an undercover agent gets into commando outfit and leads the operation is clearly not well explained, when he was seen talking to someone in a different outfit. It's clearly a case of "I don't want to miss out on the action" kinda scene. Oh, I forgot...there must have been a changing room or a vanity van nearby. After all being a star has some perks!
This movie tagline is The Untold Story of Kashmir. In that case, this is one story, that could have been better left untold, because, it's been told many times by too many people in many ways and whats being told is not even well told.
Kashmir is once again in the headlines for the wrong reasons. The movie definitely reminds you of what it could have been and the lost opportunity. Am sure, the people and especially the youth of Kashmir have a lot to say about the current situation. But, the movie makes no attempt to tell their story. Just like Kashmir news is mostly about politicians and the big names, the movie tells the story of the stars by film makers, who both live in a different world, completely dissociated from reality.
Suggest not wasting any lamhaa on the thought of watching this movie, if you value your lamhe, that is.