28 March 2019 | Prashast_Singh
The film's excellence alone proves why films like this can't be Box Office hits.
Lamhaa is a dark film. A very dark film indeed. You're not supposed to expect romance, comedy and dancing here. This politically charged action thriller marks Bollywood's departure from the usual love stories and family dramas that have been given prominence over realistic action flicks. I was not surprised but for some time, disappointed to realize that this film bombed at the box office. The makers were disappointed, of course, as per what I read in an article.
The one thought I'm constantly getting after watching this film is that they (Bollywood directors) don't make movies like this anymore. It's not that Lamhaa is the most original film you'll get to see but it's made with heart and the realistic treatment is one of the most impressive aspects for a film that released in 2010: an year that definitely didn't belong to such serious-content movies. Critics bashed it (not all) and many viewers found it "boring" because it dared to go against the typical Bollywood standards.
I'm not sure if it's based on a true story, but by the time Lamhaa ended, it was hard to believe it's not. The director has stayed true to the story and has created a dark, dystopian atmosphere while keeping the film jam-packed with action and suspense. Sanjay Dutt plays his part well, and I must write that his character and the film's overall look and feel reminded me of Matt Damon's action thriller Green Zone that released the same year. Both stories happen to have the same kind of a protagonist sent on the same kind of a mission, both of them feature excellent action sequences involving guns, and both of them were sadly commercial failures.
But other than that, there's plenty to embrace in the film. You get some soulful songs (luckily not stretched as much as their original duration in the soundtrack), many excellent action sequences, some impressive camerawork and the depiction of a political conflict set amidst a dark atmosphere. And I forgot to say this but Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher also deliver strong performances. Editing is top notch.
And then we have this climax that I wasn't expecting to be this great. The final set piece is alone to prove that Indian audiences weren't used to such dark stuff at that time, and still aren't today. It's almost hard to forget the ending that doesn't intend to go in the escapist zone. Lamhaa is one rare action thriller from Bollywood that dares to break the boundaries most Bollywood films are confined to. I saw it on a high quality VCD (yes you read that right) and started recalling the time when its promos used to play on television, and rather so much that this film got my attention. Must watch!