November 18, 2006

Lakshya - Well, I love it. Bas.

Fahran Akhtar has a pretty good track record with me. Not that there is too much to track yet. But I can wholeheartedly say that so far I really love all he has done. That´s an easy to do statement with Dil Chahta Hai. I´ve yet to come up to a person (apart from my husband) who does not love it. And I haven´t had a chance to watch Don yet.
But there is also Lakshya. And I really love that one. In fact I believe it is the one movie I watched the most so far. That often, I don´t even need the subtitles anymore.

Karan (Hritihik Roshan) is the younger son of a rich Delhi family. He lives a happy go lucky life doing actually nothing. He has a great girlfriend come fiancée in Romi (Preity Zinta). He has lots of other friends. But while just drifting along he´s mostly bored to death. One day one of his friends comes up with the idea of joining the army and since Karan has no better plan (in fact he has no plan of what to do with his life at all) he enrols as well at the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun.

Not that he has any idea as to what could await him there but then Arnold Schwarzenegger looks cool in Comando. Why not? Then his dad outright forbids him to go there, so what does a spoilt rich kid do? Join the army of course. Not that its going the way he supposed it would be there. Of course he messes everything up and after being humiliated in front of everybody he decides to split. But returning home turns out to be a let-down. Romi is so disappointed with him she breaks up the engagement and his father sees his assumption of his son confirmed.

And Karan runs again. This time back to the army and for good. After his graduation Karan gets located in a Kargil regiment. Its 1999 and during a leave where he plans to meet Romi again, he finds out that she is now engaged to another man and during the same night he is called back to his unit as we are right in the early stages of the Kargil war. Karan´s regiment gets the order to recapture Peak 5179 to regain the control over "National Highway No.1".
During these events he meets Romi again. She is in the area covering the war as a correspondent for the TV station she works for.

I probably lower myself in the eyes of many a reader here, but I won´t waver. It is a cool film. Why? Let me give you some reasons:

a) Take the Cinematography by Christopher Popp. Its brilliant. The opening credits part in Leh. Or the song visualisation in Agar Main Kahoon.

b) Hrithik Roshan. His acting is top notch. He is so very much believable in the Delhi parts. And I so can really relate to his aimlessness.

c) Hrithik. Dance god. Not only the "Main Aisa Kyun Hoon" insanity. Its so great to watch the ease he moves himself in "Agar Main Kahoon"

d) Boman Irani. He´s simply great as a father who has no connection to his "good for nothing" son.

e) The characters: Karan himself. Extremely well mannered. I love it that he raises from the couch when Romis mother comes into the room. The way he has so absolutely no own visions. When his friend says that instead of joining the army he will do an MBA in the U.S.A. Karan´s anger is gone in 30 seconds and he is already contemplaiting about doing the MBA himself.

f) Great oneliners. E.g. Karan tells Romy that he intends to join the army. Romy meets that statement with disbelief and Karan conters "I feel my country needs me" in a perfectly pathetic voice. Before that in the gym with his dad: Karan asks him why he is not at the office and to his fathers reply that he never goes to his office on Sundays, Karan replies: "Oh, it´s Sunday?"

g) Now for the problematic part. The join-the-army-become-a-man thing. Well, here´s my take.
That Karan joins it in the first place is just a coincidence and even if he denies it, pure defiance. I think he could have ended anywhere.
His later return to Dehradun happens due to mere circumstances. He, feeling like a failure anyway for running, has his fiancée breaking up with him and finally hears what his fathers thinks about him. And so he breaks down. The IMA, in that moment, is the only place left for him. Now he completely brakes with his former life, and since he is in fact a nice, intelligent guy and who has now also shed his cocky ego, he is able to fit in perfectly.
The way I see it Karan already becomes a man when his life breaks down around him. And when he gathers himself after his breakdown he takes the adult decision to finish his army training. Since that´s all he has got now.

I admit, not everything is perfect in Lakshya and during the war scenes there are some pathetic patriotic statements. Magar I have suffered through L.O.C Kargil (all of it!!) so I´m thankful for every inch of improvement above that one in the depiction of the Pakistan/India conflicts. And the good parts outweigh the "groan" ones here by far.

Lakshya is not everybody´s piece of cake. But I do sincerely believe that you should give it a chance and try to look over the obvious interpretation of the army parts. Especially if the army parts look that good..

Btw. I have lakhs of screenshots from Lakshya but I can only put so much of them in a post, so for additional eyecandy, I uploaded more on to


The Exinator said...

great review. i loved lakshya as well. its one of hrithik's best till date though some of the scenes reminded me of hanks as forrest gump in d army. great music n great movie!

sanjay jha said...

nameste babasko
lakshya was 'new' army film...
loved the songs

Anonymous said...

I liked Lakshya as well. Started watching it on cable, but had to leave so I started the VCR. Time ran out and the ending didn't get recorded. So bought the DVD.

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Totally agreed. Karan is a very well-written, realistic, and likeable guy - a real hero. And I love that he and Romy reconcile before he goes on his big mission. And of course "Main Aisa Kyun Hoon" is one of the best dances ever ever ever. Ever ever ever. Vive le Hrithik!

babasko said...

@alan: LOL now thats bad luck. and dedication.

@beth: i also love the way they reconcile without actually saying anything out loud. sigh.

Maja said...

Re. people who don't like Dil Chahta Hai - I lent it to my friend, but she only watched the first 50min of it and never finished it. She said it was boring. Boring! Sometimes I wonder about the company I keep ;)

I will really have to watch Lakshya again, so far I've only seen it once on German TV, dubbed, with lots of commercial breaks and scenes cut out. Not acceptable! But I liked Hrithik's hair in this movie, and also Preity's short haircut, annnd Main Aisa Kyon Hoon is the awesome, of course.

Off to check out your flickr account now - that was very thoughtful of you :D

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed 'Lakshya' although I am usually not a fan of movies with that much gunfire.
But I thought they should have developed the other soldiers' characters more (I wanted to feel more for them, if that makes any sense), and I didn't 'get' pre-army Karan the way you seem to. Maybe it's just my strict Nigerian upbringing but he just seemed very irresponsible and... blank. Maybe I need to watch it again and look out for his good manners etc.
But the dancing was awesome, the acting was great, I enjoyed the music, and the entire movie worked well.
I didn't realise Akhtar made this, I really like his work.

Anonymous said...

I saw Lakshya only on TV and I really didn´t like the movie. It´s sooo long and dark and green and many idiotic dialogues. Maybe I should see the DVD, on the otherside I don´t want to watch this movie again.

babasko said...

I stayed away from the RTL2 edited version when it was shown as I was sure that they would do a "Swades" on this one. So apart from Maja´s liveblogging post, I have no idea what they did.

Plus I think that especially in the Delhi part, Hrithik´s original voice plays a big part in my loving it.