Woh Lamhe

I first found this film on iTunes doing random searches for good songs, and when I did, I had to go and order it from zip right away. Because I never fully read what films are about, I didn't really know what to expect, but what I found was nothing short of cinematic genius. Supposedly based on the real life turbulent relationship of the late Parveen Babi and Mahesh Bhatt, director Mohit Suri defies almost all Bollywood stereotypes and gives us a mature film handling such serious topics as schizophrenia, rape and "real" love (as opposed to filmi love) with remarkable sensibility and sensitivity. The way he narrates the story on screen is amazing executing many of the complicated sequences with unbelievable ease. Though credit can not be given to Suri alone. Bhatt himself has not only produced the film but has also written the story, which could lead one to believe that the narrative is steeped in fact - though that's something that really only could be known for sure to Parveen and himself. Nonetheless, it is an intensely entertaining and engrossing dramatic film that lingers long after the credits have rolled.

Though the story stands up for itself, what really puts this film into a higher category than the standard Bolly romantic comedy or masala flicks is the acting. I've seen Kangana Ranaut in only one other film (Fashion), and she stood out in that film for me as well. In Woh Lamhe, Kangana not only stands out but steals the show playing the tormented actress brilliantly. It's hard to believe that this is only her sophomore effort, as she successfully makes the love, the fear, the dementia and the resignation of the protagonist look real. For me, she's one of Bollywood's most artistic leading ladies, and, as Sana, she was able to keep a tight control over overt articulations of expressions, so that when the outbursts happened they have a whiplash effect on the audience. Just as in Fashion we see an actress who isn't scared to strip her soul naked for the camera.

I find it ironic, given his current legal trouble, that Shiney Ahuja should be cast in a movie that shows a rape in it. That aside, I have to say, it's certainly a shame the black cloud that is sure to follow him now, because, as Aditya Garewal, he gives a very convincing turn as the struggling director. It isn't easy to portray a character who must stand by a woman he loves even if she's losing her mind. Shiny Ahuja plays the director like a a therapist who can see his heroine's tortured soul through the lens of his camera and he brings a clenched anguish to his character. This is the first I've seen of him, and it may be enough for me to check out some other roles (if there are any good ones out there let me know!)

A little shout out to the supporting cast. Shaad Randhawa is efficient in his brief negative role as the abusive dominating boyfriend/manager. Masumi Makhija (playing Kangana’s delusion) is definitely effective delivering an adequate dose of crazy.

Lastly, as I said earlier, I originally rented this movie because of the music. Melodiously beautiful, lyrically haunting, each and every song has it's place in the film. If I had to pick favorites (and it's difficult to pick out which ones are musically better than another), I'd have to say I immediately took to Kya Mujhe Pyar Hai and Bin Tere over the others. Pritam once again proves that he's a genius at creating musical masterpieces "inspired" by other's original works!

Final thoughts: If you haven't seen this, find it at watch it immediately. But be warned, it isn't a film for those who believe all love stories are about roses. Often a relationship is based on thorns rather than flowers.

14 Response to "Woh Lamhe"

  1. Darshit says:
    September 20, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    Oh, I just love this movie. For Kangna and for its music. I love 'Bin Tere' and 'tu jo nahi' and most favorite is 'chal chale apne ghar'. Both Shiney and Kangna makes great pairing on screen. And by the way, have you seen Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi, directed by Mahesh Bhatt himself? That movie has same story, i think Woh Lamhe is a remake of that. you must see that if you liked Woh Lamhe.

  2. shell says:
    September 20, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    I read about Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi as I was doing research for this movie. I'm not sure I want to see two movies that are basically the same story about the same people, even if it's directed by Bhatt himself, but we'll see.
    I think this movie has catapulted Kangana up into my top 5 heroines for sure. She is an amazing actress.

  3. ajnabi says:
    September 20, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    You and Filmi Girl both! I have yet to see a Kangana film though of course I've heard lots about her. This sounds like it's worth a look!

  4. shell says:
    September 20, 2009 at 9:31 PM

    I knew that Filmi Girl was a big Kangana fan. I am jumping on that wagon with both feet. She's so wonderful and so is this film. WATCH IT WATCH IT WATCH IT!!!! I'm going to make sure I get more of her stuff.

  5. Filmi Girl says:
    September 21, 2009 at 1:46 PM

    Yay!! Kangana!

    Now you see why I <3 her so much!

    You should watch Gangster... which is another Shiney/Kangana film. Shiney is ok in Bhool Bhuliya but he's overshadowed by Vidya and Akshay - as is everyone else in the film.

    I cannot wait for the Kangana/Prabhas film coming soon... talk about two of my favorite actors coming together!

  6. shell says:
    September 21, 2009 at 2:36 PM

    I didn't realize Kangana was in Gangster - I knew Shiney was though. I'm writing it down.
    It's going to be an expensive trip next time I get to a movie store.

  7. Jules says:
    September 26, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    I really liked this film.. love seeing stories that capture right from the beginning as this one did. I didn't even know it was based on a true story... now I love it instead of just like it!!

  8. shell says:
    September 29, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    The things you learn when you do research! I still think about it in awe.

  9. Rajesh says:
    September 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Nice post on the movie with those clippings.
    Web hosting india

  10. shell says:
    September 29, 2009 at 7:17 PM

    Thank you Rajesh and thanks for stopping by.

  11. Anonymous Says:
    October 7, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    How did I just only find your great blog now. I'll have fun looking through it. I saw this film and enjoyed it a lot, if you could call watching the misery enjoyable. Very nice performances. I always wand Kangana to grow out those brows, the over tweezing distracts me. I think you'd enjoy Gangster too. Though I really like Shiney and found him a great actor and easy on the eyes, I'm now not so keen on him due to this:


    All the best!

  12. shell says:
    October 8, 2009 at 6:56 AM

    Hi Sita-ji! Thanks for the compliment on my blog. There are so many great one's out there, it's easy to miss them (I'm not sure if I've been to yours yet either, though I may have lurked once or twice!).
    When I watched this movie I was pretty sure that this was the Shiney in the news (the credits afterwards confirmed), but even knowing what was going on with him I still enjoyed him and his character. I think I may eventually get around to seeing some of his other stuff.
    If Kangana's eyebrows were distracting to you in this film, what do you think of her new look?

  13. Anonymous Says:
    October 8, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    I was lucky to thoroughly enjoy Shiney in several films before that troubling news came out, so I loved him. Now it will be hard for me to enjoy his performances. Perhaps he's been framed as he said, I hope that's the case, but it doesn't seem likely from some of the stories. Only God knows. I really liked him in "Life...in a Metro," which I did a small post on here:


    That post predates Shiney's real life drama, but I did take a prophetic screen cap of him, hai na?

    I think Kangana is attractive and has a very interesting face to look at, not obviously and easily beautiful, ala Aish, but more down to earth beauty. The most recent thing I've seen her in was Fashion, and she looked very good, but still managed to play her typical hot mess drugged up and/or mentally unbalanced chick. I look forward to seeing her in different types of parts.

    All the best!

  14. shell says:
    October 8, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Life...In a Metro is on my list of films to see, aur haan, that is a slightly prolific picture of Shiney for sure! I think that, no matter what happens with Shiney's trial, he will always carry this with him now. Too bad.

    I really loved Kangana in Fashion. I like her look a lot in the films I've seen her in (which isn't many). Though, as a gori larki, I find all of India's actreses insanely beautiful.