Lakshya: Because it Took Him 24 Years and 18000 feet to Find Himself

Till a while back, the stand-off between multiplexes and Bollywood producers seemed like an amateur diver delaying his routine plunge into the deeps. Just when PVR introduced its much sought-after cheap deals, the customer realized that there was “no flick which would click”. At a time like this, when the average movie buff screeches outside the theatre to return back to pavilion, DVD’s become god sent saviors. And believe it or not, in the past one month, the frequent viewer was busy micro-waving ACT 2 popcorns, slouching on his bean bag and “re-viewing” the fond classics.

Amidst all the serious negotiations, I decided to watch a few “fauji” movies, undeniably my favorite genre! When Farhan Akhtar decided to follow up his cult-classic “Dil Chahta Hai” with “Lakshya”, back in 2004, it made me forget that a Border, a Loc Kargil or a Major Saab ever existed.

I won’t claim myself to be a die hard “duggu” fan but there was definitely something about the army man in Hrithik that made sit through the movie a good six times. As cliché as it may sound, I have no qualms in saying that imagining someone else in Captain Karan Shergill’s role comes quite close to being impossible. The transistion from his “half-hand-swaying below the bed” to his crisp military march is unbelievably suave! His wrinkled t-shirt in the first half transforms into a perfectly ironed camouflage uniform in no time. His failure turns into inspiration and that’s the essence of Lakshya!

When movies belonging to this “war” genre are running, they receive frequent criticism from my fauji father who without fail points out the flaws in the ranks that the desi heroes adorn. But Lakshya hardly saw him commenting, and that I thought was a commendable achievement for Akhtar.

The movie sees Farhan’s perfect amalgamation of reality and entertainment. Lakshya goes beyond adopting the Kargil war as its central theme. For us youngsters, we can comfortably view it as the story of clueless young man searching for direction and discipline in his life, a clear aim, a Lakshya! It becomes a story tracing the gradual maturity of a young man. And while most of the first half revolves around the angst of this young man, the second half tells the story of a soldier and his victorious plunge into the battlefield.

At no point in the movie does Farhan sideline Romi. For me though, her character went over board in an attempt to bring to the viewer, Bollywood’s Barkha Dutt. She remains a woman with an undying presence of mind and voices her opinion with confidence, which others her age lack, but her character loses charm because she is not Romila Dutta, but a replica of someone who we already saw on NDTV!

I have to mention that Amitabh Bachchan looks oddly cast in the role of a field commander on the battlefront. Without doubting his extraordinary acting skills, one has to agree that he seems unfit for the role. But here too, I’m sure he managed to charm his fans by his absolutely immaculate Marathi accent.

Even before the movie was released, when one was asked whether the album met all its expectations, all we heard was a resounding yes! There were a few songs which had “chart buster” written all over them. My favorite has to be “agar main kahoon”. It’s more of a conversation between Karan and Romi and has that unusual country-style feel to it. If there are corny lyrics that you would want to put into a text message and send it to your boyfriend, this song will definitely come to your rescue! Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy did complete justice to the monstrous expectations post DCH. They not only met these expectations, but did better and raised the bar!

Lakshya manages to fulfill all pre-requisites for a likeable movie. It’s off beat, technically sound, visually striking and most importantly, tells a story! It has evolved from being a “frequently watched” to a “my favorite” and that could very well take a few years to happen. It’s obviously not in a theatre near you, but is comfortably sitting on the shelves of quite a few music stores. It is often aired on UTV movies too. So now that you have run out of excuses to not watch it, you might as well lay back and enjoy the following two and a half hours for my rating remains a well-deserved 8.5/10.

Aditi Malhotra

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