Director: Farhan Akhtar
Lakshya left me feeling mixed-up. And not for the extended Dil Chahta Hai hangover. It made me wonder if war and cool can make for a good screen pair. Lakshya isn't hysterical like LoC, the killings are largely matter-of-fact than melodramatic and the capture of peak 5179 is as much a Cliffhangar adventure (fetchingly shot by Christopher Popp) as it is about being an Indian. But in Bollywood, war necessarily means patriotism, Hindu-Muslim-Sikh-Christian secularism and desh-bhakti geet. Very noble, just that they sound jarring within Farhan's understatements. Blame Javed Akhtar's script, Lakshya would have been a better film if only Farhan had escaped populist tokenisms like the Muslim soldier (Sushant Singh) proving himself to be an Indian (John Mathew Mathan did a better job of it with Mukesh Rishi in Sarfarosh). Here the scene leaves you with that cringing feeling.
Lakshya does have Farhan's trademark yuppy style, snappy lines and smooth scenes like Karan (Hrithik) and his friends chosing between army and MBA for a career, Karan asking his brother in the US to send over the Jurassic Park DVD or wondering why Romi (Preity) loves a vagabond like him. But Hrithik's drifter persona seems contrived and a trifle demented, the coolness definitely not as effortless as Saif's in DCH. In fact, it's only after Romi walks out on Karan that Hrithik the actor comes alive and goes on to deliver a very competent performance. Farhan has the ability to create moments, communicate emotions without verbalising them, sometimes making do with silences. Take AB's restrained happiness on the capture of 5179, or Hrithik's conversation with his dad from Kargil. Nicely moving, even if reminiscent of Amir's exchange with his father in DCH. Sad then that even Farhan can't give us a believable filmi journalist. Preity is like a teenybopper trying to do a TV newsreading skit for her college fest. Very tacky! And why is she the only hack in Kargil? When busloads of journos descended on Ground Zero for the first ever televised war in India.
In 1983, Govind Nihalani made Vijeta, a far more acute and intense observation of a young man trying to find direction in life. But Nihalani's air force diary may not be able to talk to the kids of today the way it struck a chord with me, then. Times change, so do the young, their wars and their aesthetics. So why should I complain?
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Courtesy: Film Information