In this, week five of our Yash Chopra flashbacks, we reflect on Sridevi and Anil Kapoor starrer ‘Lamhe’ (1991). In direct translation of the title, the film was filled with magical and unforgettable moments. For many cinema-goers and Bollywood fans, it would be mighty difficult not to have some great memories from the beautiful story and treatment of the movie.
‘Lamhe’ was about Viren, played by Kapoor. Viren meets and falls hopelessly in love with Pallavi (Sridevi). However, he doesn’t end up telling her of his feelings because of his timid nature. Pallavi marries someone else and Viren’s heart is broken. After a very many years, Viren encounters Pooja (also played by Sridevi) who is the spitting image of Pallavi. Therein begins a tale of heart versus head for Viren as he battles between his feelings and society’s view of lovers with an age-gap between them.
The best things about ‘Lamhe’ are hard to explain without giving due credit to the innocence and beauty of Sridevi. Her rendition of both Pallavi and Pooja serves well in highlighting how versatile she is as an actress, playing contrasting characters in the same movie. Her child-like overly-excited scenes as Pooja are particularly endearing. Kapoor’s performance as Viren is also exemplary, portraying a naiive and besotted gentleman and then also a man torn between his head and his heart.
Anupam Kher, who plays Viren’s trusted friend and confidante, proves to be the best catalyst in the movie; always appearing at the right time, saying the right things and encouraging behaviour which helps the otherwise controversial story move along.
The soundtrack of ‘Lamhe’ was typical of a Chopra movie with it’s own flair of romance, traditionality and also timelessness. This is evident through the movie’s track what with the likes of Kabhi Main Kahoon and Chudiyan Khanak Gayi remaining popular over 20 years later.
‘Lamhe’ didn’t fair well with the audiences at the time of its release, probably because Indian audiences didn’t accept the unconventional type of love shown between the characters – more so in the film’s second half. The film also brought to the table many questions which society, at the time, wasn’t quite comfortable with answering.
‘Lamhe’ was, as is often described, very much ahead of its time. Today, the film – as with many of Chopra’s classics – is seen as one of Chopra’s signature best.
Check out previous Yash Chopra classic flashbacks: