Woh Lamhe

 

After having listened to, and loved, a mix version of Kya Mujhe Pyar Hai for ages and ages now, I finally got to watch Woh Lamhe this weekend.

This is latest Mahesh Bhatt movie about his relationship with the beautiful and tragic Parveen Babi.    (There were two or so other  Bhatts involved in the film as well.)

Parveen Babi enjoyed great success in the 1970s, in movies like Deewar and Amar, Akbar, Anthony, but as the ’80s got into full swing, her star descended and eventually she left Bombay to live in New York.   In the interim, she began to exhibit increasingly erratic behaviour that seemed to suggest she was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia  - at one point saying that Amitabh Bachchan was trying to kill her – and following a return to Bombay, she died alone in her apartment in January 2005.

Shiney Ahuja plays Aditya Grewal, the Mahesh Bhatt prototype.   (With names like Shiney and Chunkey in Bollywood, I think people should lay off Demi Moore and Gwenyth Paltrow for their unusual choice of names for their offspring in recent years.)   Parveen, or Sana Azim, as it were, is played by Kangana Ranaut, who already starred with Shiney in Bhatt’s  Gangster.

Kangana has an unconventional beauty, and features, when she’s shot at certain angles, that sometimes actually don’t look all that beautiful.   Two of her strongest physical assets are luxuriously long and  curly hair, and a fantastic figure, both which the film use to great advantage.   In the first half hour of the film, when it’s established that Sana  is a famous actress and model, we see her in a variety of  revealing costumes, accessorized with lots of jewelry, even in her hair, and I don’t mean the  usual traditional tikkas and such.

Sana, whose mother is only concerned with her  famous daughter’s image and wealth, is in an abusive relationship with fellow actor, Nikhil Rai, when she is insulted and challenged by struggling filmmaker, Aditya, at a Bollywood party one night.   Intrigued, she agrees to work on Grewal’s debut picture, much to the objection of her money-grubbing manager and various male hangers-on leeching off her.    

Soon after Sana dumps her boyfriend.   And yes,  of course, next thing up, she falls in love  with Aditya  while on location in Dubai.   This movie is not as typically discreet as most Bollywood fare is, and so not only do Aditya and Sana lock lips, they also have a fairly explicit (by Hindi film standards) love scene, and it’s plain throughout the rest of the film that they bed down together without the benefit of marriage.   (There’s also a discreetly filmed, but explicit in its own way, rape scene.)

All that said, the main focus of the film is Sana’s mental unraveling while Aditya’s (and his moviemaking partner, Sam’s) career soars.   Alarmed at how her mother and entourage want her treated, he intervenes, thinking he can care for her better, but, this being the Parveen Babi story, it’s a losing battle.  

Woh Lamhe is a little over two hours in length.   As I looked at the counter on the DVD player and saw that the movie was almost over, I jotted down the word “hollow.”   In spite of the supposed great love between Sana and Aditya, I felt nothing.   It was like watching one of the hundreds of MTV India music videos about some  boy pursuing some girl.    I wasn’t moved, and I didn’t find anything I saw between the couple as anything more than empty posturing.   Speaking of music videos, I found Chris Isaak and Helena Christansen more involving as they rolled around on that volcanic sand for the picturization of Wicked Game.  

And one other thing.   Can’t someone with an attention to detail get involved in these films for overseeing the subtitles, please?   At one point, after he’s first bedded Sana, just after she utters those three words no guy wants to hear after a fun and meaningless romp, he swings his feet over the side of the bed and says, in English,  “Sh!t!   It’s 4.30!”   The subtitle onscreen, however, read: “Sh*t!   It’s 2.30!”

On a positive note, the film does contain translations of the song lyrics onscreen during the picturizations.

See it or skip it?

This is a tough call.   If you’re happy to look at a very pretty girl in some pretty settings with her handsome love interest, go for it.   If you’re looking for more, and actually want to be moved by the story, you should  probably pass on this one.

And whenever Shiney goes to remove his shirt, don your sunglasses.   The man is paler than milk-fed veal and is, I believe, capable of reflecting light.

Comments

  1. 15

    Kumar Kapil (KK) says

    i can’t tell the emotions and love about this gr8 film, wen i saw this movie i really fall in lov bt still am waiting a lover like Sanaa Azeem (Kangna Ranaut).

    Tere saath jiye jo pal – Kuchh unse nahi bad kar,
    Teri khatir saans mein loon, Teri khatir jita hun,
    Marne ki tamnaa B tere saath mein rakhta hun,
    Tu hai jine ki wajah kar mera aitbar…
    -
    -
    -BIN
    TERE
    KYA
    HAI
    JEENA

  2. 16

    naureen says

    hi
    i like this actress n actor spec in Ganster
    she is cute smart gal
    her acting normal she looks modle she has 2 participate in competition of modle ya

  3. 18

    Ruby says

    I REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS MOVIE JUST COZ OF SHINY AHUJA…COZ HE IS A COOL LOOKING GUY…I LIVE IN FRANCE…AND I DREAM TO MET HIM SOME DAY SITTING JUST BESIDES HIM..HAVING A GOOD CUP OF CAPPACHINO ……..
    DAIKNAY KO KHAWAB HAI MAGAR DIL KO LAGTA AACHA HAI !!!

  4. 20

    Bill says

    i love kangana-ranaut who appeared in gangster ………….she is so attractive girl and a good actress but bollywood producer dont know how to present this girl in films……….she is losing her time here.

  5. 21

    sumeet says

    HEY. THIS WAS THE GREAT MOVIE THAT SHINY AHUJA HAD EVER PALYED AND KANGANA (YOU R LOOKING REALLY SEXY IN THIS MOVIE)
    I LOVE U KANGANA.

  6. 22

    D says

    Contrary to what this revie sums up, I liked the movie. It had a well poised storyline and was brilliant from concept to personification. We need more such movies like this to show intricacies and scabrous truths life can produce. Nt only the emotional setups were adeptly executed but the movie never detoured from the theme.
    A job well done.

  7. 26

    Jay says

    Two things.

    (1) I really dislike Mahesh Bhatt. He is the most pompous man on Earth. Listening to him spout off about the evil of the West in interviews, whilst he makes his cheapo and tacky Hollywood rip-offs, makes me utterly pre-disposed to dislike his movies without watching them. I just detest the man.

    (2) My girlfriend is in love with Shiney Ahuja. So I don’t like his movies.

  8. 27

    says

    Beth, yes, like water drops on stone, we must persist! :-)

    TBS, yes, KMPH is one of my Top 10 fave filmi songs of ’06, just listened to it twice this morning en route to office.

    On the acting, one thing that really slayed me was Shiney’s abrupt switch from “Hey let’s just roll with this ’til it runs out of gas” over to “I love Sana with all my heart and will do anything I can to save her.” Talk about 180 degrees.

    And I don’t think I have heard “Maula Mere” but will go post haste to check it out. Thanks!

  9. 28

    says

    Interesting – I read your review, thought, “it wasn’t really that bad, was it?”, went back and read my own piece, which was perhaps a bit more sympathetic, but not much, and went, “oh well”… its succinct, but could have been emoted better. I think the script was tightly pulled together, but it was let down by some amateurish acting.

    Having said that, I’d have to agree that the music is the best thing about this whole movie…I LOVE “Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai”, and have it on repeat most days…

    PS have you heard “Maula Mere” from “Anwar”? I recently found that song, and its my current all time favourite…

  10. 29

    says

    Ha! If we keep at it long enough, the subtitling sub-industry is going to have to pay attention sooner or later!

    I’m intrigued. A trusted advisor says the music in this is fantastic, although I’ve never heard him mention the movie. I guess I can just listen instead of watching giant butterfly costumes….

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