LAKSHYA(2004)

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Lakshya for me was one of the finest Indian war films ever made. It was subtle, it was nuanced and above all it was superbly acted, shot and scored. If you already didn’t know, the film narrates the story of Karan Shergill (Hritik Roshan) who is a lost individual. He decides to join the Indian Army after being inspired by Arnold’s “Commando” and being talked over by his friends. He thinks it to be easy.

preity-zinta-in-lakshyaOnce in the Indian Military Academy, he realizes that it is just not his cup of tea as he gets punished repeatedly for his cocky mannerism. He escapes and comes back home but there too he finds no solace as his girlfriend played by Preity Zinta, who is like a mirror to him insults him for having given up once again and turns away from him. Insulted and angry Karan moves back to IMA to redeem himself. What happens next forms the crux of the narrative.

Lakshya is a soulful journey of an individual from youth to manhood. The film is a slow fuse. It takes its time to gather momentum but when it does, it is unstoppable. Farhan Akhtar realizes that he needs to give the audience and the characters enough time to warm up to each other and hence you will find that the scenes unfold at a leisurely pace. Even a grasshopper speech from Amitabh Bachchan who plays Karan’s commanding Officer in the Kargil war unfolds a notch slower than what we are used to.

Still each word coming out of his mouth is resounding and strike you deep down. Hritik emotes through his eyes in these 310947-hrithik-lakshyasequence communicating how happy and in-debt he was to be a part of the army that he has earned with his skills and determination. All these sequences lead up to the final battle sequence which is tied up beautifully with the Kargil war.

Lakshya is a war film and yet it is not in so many ways. To start with, the film devotes a lot of time in the first half to show the development of Karan’s character and also the reasons behind his metamorphosis to becoming the man that he becomes. There are contributions from his parents, his girlfriend and his self-realizations too which are brought out nicely with time.

Lakshya is gorgeously shot. Great wide angles, pull ups from close-ups as well as close-ups wherever necessary are beautifully mixed to get a grand scale. The exotic locales where the story unfolds is breathtakingly beautiful and the DOP maximizes its effect. The scene where Karan and a team try to climb and insurmountable cliff is simply breathtaking. There is a point when the camera is panned on the group perched on a cliff and then it gradually pulls back to show us a wide view of the gigantic hill and how tiny these men are in front of it. This scene extracts a plethora of emotions thanks to its visual finesse and heart touching background score.

Lakshya-2004-Hindi-Movie3The editing is superb. Like I mentioned before the film takes a slow pace to start with and the same property can be felt in the manner in which it is edited. The shots linger a tad bit longer to get that feel and give audiences the time to react to a certain moment. The action sequences are though a different story where quick edits and smooth actions are used to give the viewers a true feel of the happenings. The film’s music is great. I loved two songs in particular. “Kitni Batein” and “Lakshya to”. While one is a terrific romantic number with meaning and depth, the other is a pulse pounding inspirational which chronicles Karan’s training at the IMA. The background score is apt and suits the mood of the film to the “t”

Hritik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan are the characters in spotlight here. Though Preity Zinta has a meaty role, her character 1__1_never really becomes more than a motivating factor for Karan. The few sequences that are dedicated to showing her emancipation are the only boring points of the film. Hritik Roshan gives a seasoned performance as Karan Shergill. What I loved about his essay was that one can clearly demarcate the two shades of the characters that he portrays and then he very skilfully displays an arc for the character as he gradually transforms. His scenes with his father played by Boman Irani are marvelous as are the ones with Amitabh Bachchan. He shares a great chemistry with Preity Zinta. Preity’s character gets meaning every time she is in the company of Hritik’s Karan.

In Lakshya, Farhan Akhtar has been able to create a believable world which is good enough to marvel at as well as fall in love with. The influences of many Hollywood films can be felt but they never appear as blatant inspirations. I loved this film to the core and chance are every thinking man will love it too.

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