Friday, May 30, 2008

Random DVD Round-Up 2 - LAKSHYA / PURPOSE

Main Aisa Kyu Hoon?Farhan Akhtar's first film was the light-hearted but realistic romantic comedy DIL CHAHTA HAI. He returned in 2004 with an altogether different film - LAKSHYA. The film follows a young spoiled man (Hrithik Roshan) who has no motivation or purpose in life, much to the annoyance of his family and his politically aware girlfriend (Preity Zinta.) He joins the army, quits, but is shamed into returning. Inspired by his commanding officer and acquiring a new sense of patriotism he ends up fighting in the notorious Kargill incident.

LAKSHYA deserves praise on many fronts. First, the hero and heroine are fully-rounded characters that show real development as the movie progresses. Preity Zinta has the chance to portray a strong, independent, modern woman - a chance that is all too rare in Bollywood. She gives a good natural performance. But the stand out is Hrithik Roshan as the hero. He makes the transition from love-able fool to man of integrity believable. Added to that, he performs one of the stand-out pieces of dance in modern Hindi cinema - the award-winning routine to the song Main Aisa Kyun Hoon. I was watching a Shah Rukh Khan movie recently just after watching Lakshya and realised just how far ahead of the other Bollywood heroes Hrithik Roshan is. Some actors can dance okay - some actors can act really well (not least Saif Ali Khan) - but few combine the two skills.

LAKSHYA is also a great technical achievement for Hindi cinema. The film-makers seem to have paid a lot of attention to the mechanics of the battle and DP Christopher Popp uses awesome crane shots to depict the mountainous terrain of Kashmir. The Indo-Pakistani border has never looked so magnificent. But what's really great is that the cinematography isn't just there to look pretty but to make a point about the strategic importance of the hill that Hrithik's troops are trying to retake.

Perhaps the only possible criticism of this film is that it is definitely trying to inspire patriotism and some might find that a little manipulative or xenophobic. However, I believe that LAKSHYA stays firmly on the right side of the line between patriotism and jingoism. It's certainly a lot less bombastic than the bloated J P Datta epic, LOC KARGILL.

LAKSHYA was released in 2004 and is available on DVD.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree with you , the patriotism and the rush of blood , the adamant and rightfull attitude to not not to give away an inch of of my ( our ) mother land is right fully justified and portrayed in this movie , the irritating neighbours are slapped on their worthless hind and a subtle pledge of every indian is to not to let a precious holy land into the hands of people incapable of respecting it , as long long as a single patriotic indian is alive with a drop of blood in his nerves its impossible to step and be intact on my ( our ) mother lands chest,
    the movie is a tribute to the patriotic feeling of every such individual