Kashmir has always been a favourite topic with Indian filmmakers. But most of the films we came across, till date, either talked about India-Pakistan divide or terrorism. Rahul Dholakia, whose last outing PARZANIA was based on the hostile Gujarat environment during the 2002 riots, now comes up with LAMHAA, set in the Kashmir valley. The film has been in the buzz from quite a long time.
Vikram (Sanjay Dutt) is sent to investigate a highly confidential mission using the identity of Gul Jehangir after the Military Intelligence intercepts a plot that is likely to terrorise Kashmir. The day that he lands in the valley, Haji (Anupam Kher), a top separatist leader, survives a blast. Aatif (Kunal Kapoor), Haji’s ex-apprentice, now wants to have his own party. Vikram teams up with Haji’s daughter Aziza (Bipasha Basu), to investigate this baffling and ominous plot.
The film tries to touch upon many issues, from scheming politicians, to the appalling condition of the army men, to sex scandals, and what not thus ending up being convoluted. The sequence of events is so bewildering that at the end of the first half, you don’t really know what the intentions of the characters are. The climax is predictable and fails to create any impact.
Vikram isn’t from Kashmir but his knowledge about it is impressive. The romantic angle between Vikram and Aziza is ludicrous. They are having a serious conversation and out of nowhere, Vikram says that like Kashmir, Aziza too, is beautiful.
The screenplay by Raghav Dhar and Rahul Dholakia isn’t smooth as the sequence of events defies logic. Editing is hideous. It seems that they have just patched up different scenes which make little sense. Mithoon’s music is soulful. Kashmir looks even more beautiful in the song ‘Madno’. However, the perpetually shaky camera movements are superfluous and get on your nerves.
Sanjay Dutt is decent in the film but we have seen him playing similar roles in the past. Also, his character seems shallow. Bipasha Basu is pretty convincing in her de-glam avatar. Watch out for the scene in which she is humiliated for going against her former party. Kunal Kapoor is good but falters while delivering his political speeches. Anupam Kher is impeccable.
Apart from bringing some already prevailing issues of Kashmir to the big screen, LAMHAA doesn’t offer much to rave about.