Though purists may not agree that cinema as a medium, when it tackles serious issues, indeed reflects the events of time. For Rahul Dholakia's LAMHAA the maxim could not be much truer, as when LAMHAA releases tomorrow it would be a cinematic expression of the violence that seems to go unabated in Kashmir. LAMHAA is the second analysis of the problems that Kashmir is besotted with, first attempt being done by Vidhu Vinod Chopra in MISSION KASHMIR.
Incidentally, Sanjay Dutt is the common link between both the films; between the two i.e. MISSION KASHMIR and LAMHAA his roles getting reversed, from being a police officer to a terrorist.
LAMHAA could also be a film that has shot Kashmir from a different angle. Kashmir so far has been shot primarily during the times when spring sets in and the landscape beckons. However, the real Kashmir is one which lives after the tourists have gone, when the snow falls and colors the landscape with the same brush. The distinction between Dal Lake and the mountains in terms of differentiation through color merges and this is what Rahul Dholakia has couraged to project on to the silver screen.
Incidentally, Kashmir as a backdrop in a very forceful way had emerged into the national psyche through Mani Ratnam's ROJA, and stirred the conscience of the nation about the battle that continues to manifest in Kashmir, though the film was shot in neighboring state of Himachal Pradesh.
As the situation of Kashmir has improved, the filmmakers have started giving some attention to Kashmir, by changing the perspective of the landscape from being a romantic one to being contextual. TAHAAN was another such attempt to portray the dilemma of a child growing in Kashmir.
It is the content of LAMHAA that has also prodded Bipasha Basu to undergo an image change and portray the character of a Muslim woman from Kashmir. It would be interesting to see whether the dilemma that Minissha Lamba had projected in SHAURYA of being a Kashmiri girl in love with an Indian Army man, and the struggle that Minissha faces of balancing her loyalties between her family and her love would be bettered by Bipasha Basu through her role in LAMHAA.
The only pity is that the Kashmiris would no be able to see LAMHAA in the cinema hall, as the only theatre Neelam was closed more than six months ago, and they would have to be content with seeing a pirated version of the same. One wonders what the film industry would have to say about it, as there is no other way the Kashmiris can see LAMHAA.