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  • My other title for this review was "this is a pretty good film for such a mess". Director Ahmed Khan throws in just about every directorial style and most of the plot contrivances that he can think of, no matter how minor or unrelated to the main body of the film. The "problem"--what makes this a pretty good film despite that fact, is that on a detailed view, he's good at all of those styles (aside from a few moments of supreme cheesiness, perhaps), and if you are patient enough, or concentrate enough, to bore into the basic plot, the story is decent, with potential to be great. But this is a film that could strongly benefit by being cut down to about an hour and forty minutes, rather than its current almost three-hour running time.

    The story, which doesn't really kick into gear until after an hour has gone by--credits still appear about 20 minutes into the film--is centered on a "gangster family of orphans", curiously enough. Although I'm not quite clear on some of the details, the leader of the family is the eldest son, Arjun Rana (Sunny Deol), who looks and acts an awful lot like an Indian Kevin Spacey. He also has a brother, Karan (Sohail Khan), whom I believe was the biological son of their gangster father, and an adopted sister, Bindiya (Nauheed Cyrusi). I don't recall (or it wasn't said) what happened to the father. It's also not said just what the family does--what kinds of criminal activities, presumably--to sustain their wealth. And at one point, I was getting very confused by the fact that everyone was calling everyone else "brother" (presumably there was some slight inflection difference between "blood brother" and " 'spiritual' brother", but that's a generous guess).

    At any rate, the Rana family is eventually contrasted with two brothers (these two I know were blood brothers), Saahil (John Abraham) and Sanju (Sunil Shetty), who are from the "wrong side of the tracks", economically--the side where Arjun had his roots. Sanju is a mechanic and has a mostly benign street gang of his own, and Saahil is a college student--he goes to the same school as Bindiya and Karan. In addition to all the kitchen sinks (which I'll detail a bit in a minute), the film also gets into some of the gangster stuff you'd expect, but eventually it's much more of a love triangle film, with Bindiya placed between the love of her brother, Karan (this is one of the "forbidden lines" of the title), and Saahil.

    There's a line of dialogue, in Main Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon (2003), I believe, where someone in the film business says that sometimes Bollywood films start shooting even without a script--they just assemble a cast and make it up on the fly. Whether that's true or not, Lakeer begins as if that was the case. The first hour plays more like a director, cinematographer, editor or production designer's reel--a reel of unrelated clips put together to show their skill in a wide variety of styles which they hope will get them work--than it plays like a film.

    In this first hour, the cinematography is technically impressive. Johny Lal uses a lot of cutting-edge "extended techniques", including different film stocks, changing speeds, swooping crane shots, skewed angles and so on. The production design is lush and beautiful, loaded with intense colors and textures, from the sets to the costumes and props. The editing is varied and also employs a lot of modern "extended techniques", including "MTV-styled" quick cuts. The songs are unusual and catchy.

    The scenes in this section rapidly change from slower sections establishing the Rana family at home to car racing sequences straight out of The Fast and the Furious (2001), modern Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) song and dance sequences that feature the gangster family all smiling and dancing, singing "What's Up?" while others rap, Basketball sequences that shout--"Hey, look how modern and hip we are" but that can't convey any drama or sense of the game, extended cheerleading songs, updated Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) stuff, and so on. It's clear that a lot of this stuff is intended to capture the youth market (and a quick glance at the voting demographics so far suggests that it may have worked--Lakeer is much more strongly liked proportional to how young the viewer is). But as impressive as a lot of this stuff is technically, it's not very coherent as a whole, and it feels like beating around the bush until Khan thinks of a story to tell.

    More curious, once he does think of a story to tell, shortly after the hour mark, he largely leaves the showboating technical stuff by the wayside. He occasionally gives a backward glance at it--his memory isn't that bad--but the cinematography, production design, editing and so forth become more conventional, or even pedestrian, for the rest of the film. The story becomes good enough to carry the proceedings. The gangster material is especially good, but unfortunately, it's more flirted with than engaged in. This could have been a great, gritty film, but it's too schizophrenic for that.

    Also, once the showboating calms down, it lets other minor problems come to the fore. Some many will not notice--such as the sound design, which has "punch" sound effects when a character grabs another by the lapels and goofy "swoop" sounds to accompany cinematographic and editing manipulations. Some many will be more prone to notice, like the occasional overacting, often resulting in humorously scrunched up faces--intended to show "emotional anguish".

    But overall, Lakeer isn't a failure as long as you can slog your way through the chaff. There's at least one compelling story and a lot of admirable style at the film's core. I would recommend the film with caution proportional to your age.
  • Wyldesteele17 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    Each of the two previous reviewers has a point but I'm more inclined to agree with Sherazade. I'll start with the positive sides of this film: a) Some of the songs are a delight, case in point 'Nachley' (gotta watch it again to learn all the moves...) and the basketball dance was outrageous, b) Nauheed Cyrusi is a promising actress who does what she can with her role (and she's the one who seemed to overact least) and mood-wise, some of the scenes (on the beach for instance) brought Miami Vice and Saundra Santiago to mind, and that's always good... anyway, that's about it. As has been said, the first quarter of the film is a mishmash of scenes not really connected to each other. What the hell is the point with the car chase?! As the film progresses, the overacting starts to annoy you. More than annoying are many of the scenes and recurring gimmicks that are downright laughable. As an example of the latter I present "Arjun's ominous walking music" - you might miss it the first time around but when Arjun gets up for the MILLIONTH time to beat sb up or to act threateningly and the silly music begins again, you can't help but to laugh. And the beatings are frustrating to watch. One punch is shown 1-4 times from different angles, maybe in slow mo, to really soak up the sweet violence on offer. What is the point? Was there a director present on the set?! And yes, the family relations were confusing for me too - what, Karan's courting her sister?! All in all, it took me about five days to finish this film. So it's not like it had me nailed to the couch.
  • Asbohra1 February 2007
    Lakeer is okay as a movie. Sunny Deol shines in the first half, but then he is sidelined in the second half only to show up later in the movie before the climax. The way the movie went, Sunny should have just been in full action. Anyways, the story overall is not too bad, as it does have the 2 biggest action heroes in Bollywood: Sunny Deol and Sunil Shetty. The scenes between them are worth watching. Also, Sunny's avatar is somewhat different from his usual action hero avatar, but he amazes in all areas. I wish that he had more footage in this film. This may not be exactly the best movie, but it is a decent time pass, if you ever do catch it on TV.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am trying to think about something good to say about this film, oh! okay, John Abraham and that's it! You know when people tell you never to judge a book by its cover, or when they say don't go see a film just because of the cast, this film is a perfect example for that! I don't even know where to begin! The plot is not even sure whether it wants to be 'The Godfather', 'Mother -er Father India?' or a really bad soap opera! The actors over-react in almost every scene, they OVERACT, their lines are unbelievable, the songs mostly suck or the playback-singers voice does not match the face of the person miming to it! The whole movie is just one big mess! Suniel Shetty (he plays Saahil's older brother) and Sunny Deol's (He plays Karan's uncle and underworld leader Arjun Rana) acting talents are wasted because even they don't know what to make of the script, it's almost like they are just reading their lines because the script is so bland! One thing that confused me a lot was, all through, I couldn't understand what the relationship between Bindiya and Karan was? I mean why was he after her? wasn't she his sister? I just didn't get the whole mess of a plot! The only consolation was getting to see John Abraham as a young and sexy (yet brainy) teenybopper named Saahil who gives Karan a run for his money and who's just the right dose of goofy, charming, pout-y, angst-y and yet adorable boyfriend material! It's no wonder Bindiya can't resist him. My favourite scene was when John (Saahil) goes to practice basketball only to find out that the cheerleaders have taken over the court for their cheers practice, he waits and watches them, then his crush Bindiya (and yup you guessed it! she's the head cheerleader) comes over after wards and they start looking at each other awkwardly, not knowing what to say to each other. She says "hi" and he smiles and says "Hi" back, then silence. This repeats like 5 times until Bindiya coyly changes the subject. That scene was the best part of the whole movie! This is the sort of film you see, purely because you're a fan of John or any other actor who's in it, just so you can say you've seen all their films! Skip it, if you would rather spend your time watching a quality film instead.
  • silvan-desouza25 June 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Ahmed Khan a choreographer debutted with Lakeer, the film is a multistarrer sadly however none of them were able to pull crowds. Strangely the film released few weeks after the superhit Main Hoon naa(Choreographer Farah Khan's debut). Lakeer tries to be everything, it tries to be a college romance film, tries to be an action film(courtesy Sunny and Suneil) but ends up a mismash. The film hardly moves in the first half and we are subjected to some stupid scenes especially in college scenes, there is overdose of style which gets irksome, Sunny Deol's scenes are well handled but do tend to get too much at times.Suneil Shetty bashing Sohail is superb and also the scene later and one would expect the film to become an actionner but instead it tries to be a romantic film and the film gets prolonged till the end, The ending is superb though it's ruined by overdose of Sunny Deol Bashan.

    Direction by Ahmed Khan is okay technical wise, even some dramatic scenes are well handled, but he has a long way to go Music by AR Rahman is okay, many songs are used from his Tamil work, yet Shehzaade is catchy though too many songs hinder the pace

    Sunny Deol's role is an extension to his role of Arjun(1985) but there's nothing new to see in it, he has done such roles many times though he is good in dramatic portions, surprisingly he is sidelined in the second half. Suneil Shetty looks amazing in his new look, those days he experimented a lot with his looks, sometimes having a goatee and blonde streaks, while here also has tatooes and he does well in his part John Abraham(first time used his voice) does well though he appears too stiff in some scenes, Sohail Khan is good in his role but he overacts towards the end. Nauheed Cyrusi is okay, Apoorva Agnihotri for once shines in his negative role, Vrajesh Hirjee is good, rest are okay including Avtar Gill, Raj Jhutsi

    though he gets sidelined
  • Why did I watch is boring movie is because there were some actors that I like a lot

    I hated the ending so much it was so terrible

    i was disappointed when one of the male lead actor was a villain

    the actor was not even fit for the negative role he is only suitable in positive characters like comic , supporting, and the main protagonist

    I did not like the background music much

    In my point of view it is a big flop i give 1/10 or 1/5 rating