Answering for Lamhe

01 Sep
Answering for <i>Lamhe</i>

Sridevipalooza is long over and not even a hangover remains, but that doesn’t mean I can’t chip in at this late date. Here I am, anyway, whether you want me or not – and I come bearing Lamhe.

Yash Chopra’s favorite child that fell flat on its face during the race to the top of the box office at the mega-hurdle called “incest”, Lamhe is the movie that endeared Chopra to an entire generation of tender-hearted young girl children who’ve remained his die-hard base ever since. Nearly two decades after its release, Lamhe is the Chopra movie most likely to be called a “cult-favorite” or “overlooked masterpiece”.

As an unapologetic member of that cult which deems this movie its favorite (although, to be fair, I belong to a number of such cults so I’m probably not the fervent convert of quoteworthy fame), I have to say it is a gross exaggeration to call this movie a masterpiece. Overlooked, yes. Masterpiece, no.

Lamhe is actually the beginning of Yash Chopra Lite, the expression of a gentle sentimentality that would eventually devolve into the hollow shell of Dil To Pagal Hai (which recycled a number of this film’s lesser ideas) and the overwrought Veer Zaara. Conversely, though, Lamhe is thus the best of these movies and it shows its quality – in its performances like Anil Kapoor’s earnest confession at the climax or Anupam Kher telling his best friend off; in scenes like the one in which Pallavi’s husband gently informs her about Viren’s feelings and advises her to continue her friendship with him or when Anita first recognizes that Viren and Pooja aren’t exactly platonic.

In case you’re one of the few who haven’t seen this movie, here’re some things you should know:

Q. Is Lamhe really about incest?
A. Nooooooooooooo! It’s about this guy(Viren) who falls for the daughter (Pooja) of his first True Love (Pallavi).

Q. That doesn’t sound too bad. What’s up with the incest thing then?
A. Nasty imaginations at work! Okay, so Viren became Pooja’s guardian after Pallavi died in childbirth and she looks exactly like her mom. You know, the one he’s never stopped obsessing over. But! The thing to remember is that he never laid eyes on Pooja for those 18 crucial years when she was growing up into her mother’s double and all the day-to-day raising was done by his old nurse (Dai Jaan). Besides, she‘s the one who chases him, the hussy!

Q. Hmm.
A. Quite.

Q. So it’s like a Bollywood Lolita?
A. More like this awful thing but with 100% less rape and 100% more awesomeness like this:

Q. Moving on, what does Lamhe mean?
A. It means Moments. You see, Viren spends his whole adult life hoarding the few moments he spent in Pallavi’s dazzling presence and Pooja threatens to do the same with the few moments she spent in Viren’s considerably less dazzling presence, and then Viren realizes that all the dazzling moments he spent with Pallavi have been supplanted by Pooja’s dazzling presence. Razzle dazzle!

Q. You know, I don’t think I like the sound of Viren and Pooja.
A. On paper, you’d be right! Viren is a sentimental idiot who needs a good shake and a swift kick up his ass while Pooja is a total pile on with daddy issues that absolutely nobody is interested in addressing. But when Anil Kapoor and Sridevi play these two fuckwits, they’re impossibly aww-worthy.

Q. OMG is this the movie with the clean shaven Anil Kapoor?
A. Yes! It is how you differentiate between the callow youth who fell in love with Pallavi-who-looked-straight-through-him (Moochless!) and the fuddy duddy who falls for the fun and energetic Pooja-who-idolizes-him-even-though-he-ignores-her (Mooch!).

Q. How many times does he slap his co-star in this?
A. Just once but he makes it count!

Q. Who else is in this movie?
A. There’s Waheeda Rehman who is a total darling. Anupam Kher is great, especially if you didn’t know that this was going to be the character he plays in every single YRF movie from then on. Deepak Malhotra as Pallavi’s husband and Pooja’s father is hilariously wooden. And then there’s Dippy Sagoo as Anita the woman-who-ought-to-have-known-better-than-to-spend-years-mooning-over-a-wet-blanket. I’m very sad Dippy Sagoo’s career never took off. Too bad, Dippy Sagoo!

Q. Should I watch this?
A. Do you like happy endings, older men, spunky young women, Sridevi and Anil Kapoor? Lata Mangeshkar warbling in the background and warm woolens in England? Then this is the movie for you! Otherwise, not so much.

Q. You really like this movie, don’t you?
A. Do not judge me.


Posted by on September 1, 2010 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Movies, Review, Video


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26 responses to “Answering for Lamhe

  1. sindiantadka

    September 1, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I, honest to God, LOL’ed. Great Review. Must see once (at least), I feel.

  2. Veena

    September 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    ha..ha..I remember this movie as the one that ruined Deepak Malhotra’s career, and probably life.

  3. Beth

    September 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    1) I’m not sold on the film despite clean-shavenness and woollens in the UK but 2) I love this format and am going to steal it shamelessly.

  4. Broom

    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    i LOVE LOVE LOVE Lamhe. And so does every like-minded gaysi I know. So I was very enthu to show TG the movie and she absolutely hated it. 😦 I still don’t understand why!

    Confession: I own the DVD. (and also the Dil Toh Pagal Hai DVD) Don’t judge me.

    • Broom

      September 1, 2010 at 5:31 pm

      Uhhh – I meant desi (not gaysi).

      • V

        September 1, 2010 at 9:41 pm

        Humm…..for a moment i thought gaysi was a new term for gay desis :))

        • V

          September 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm

          And whatdyaknow it does !!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. shweta

    September 1, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    You’re so right about all girl children loving it 🙂 i was totally one of those 🙂
    i have seen it tons of times, and continue to love it- the only bit I will never come to terms is the casting of Deepak as the 1st Sridevi’s husband- urgh. His calling her “Pallo” in the most affected way possible scarred me for life; at least a little 🙂

    • Banno

      September 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

      I know, that’s one bit of film I’ll never ever forget, Deepak Malhotra calling out ‘Pallo’ across the yard. It was hilarious.

      ‘Lamhe’ is one of those making-yourself-sick-with-junk-in-the-afternoon kind of films. Secret vices. 🙂

  6. Rohini

    September 1, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Awesome Q&A. Still giggling 🙂

    Lamhe was the end of Deepak Malhotra’s career as hot, male model. Once he opened his mouth and squeaked out ‘Pallo’, his hotness quotient plummeted so fast, it probably made him dizzy 🙂

  7. sachita

    September 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    “Masterpiece, no. ” – thank you, coz that was what I was made to believe for a long time and then i watched it, it was blah. Incest angle is little low key, from whatever i rem. most of the time it is the jr. sridevi who is chasing so it isnt so jarring.

    but since I saw the movie, I found the style of film making itself difficult to get around.

    • sachita

      September 2, 2010 at 5:44 am

      “since I saw the movie just few years ago”

  8. Kanan

    September 1, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    LMAO! I loved this post. I like the movie too. Hahaha.. seriously for all the entertainment and specially for the moochhad Nil-bhaloo-Kaps!! He looks so hot with wee bit of gray hairs here and there and the mooch is to die for!

    Q. How many times does he slap his co-star in this?
    A. He makes us count is.
    Total count = 26 😀

    I totally love the scene where Siddharth drops Pallavi on the rocks at the end of oh yaad nahin bhool gaya. I am mean, I know. 😉

    Aside from all the fun-making, my most favorite scenes are the ones with Anupam Kher in them, when he talks serious stuff.

  9. munimma

    September 2, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I liked the movie when I saw it. which was a long time ago. Even Sridevi-1 looked kind of askance when she had to run to deepak 😉 And I remember shedding a few tears for the un-moushed bachoo. The songs and dance were always of course, some of the best parts of the movie.

    Reminded me a bit (a very small bit) of the book Mango Walk that I read looong back.

    But inspite of not having Sridevi and the songs and dance, kaanamaryaathu (mammooty/shobana in malayalam) was my first love of the daddy long legs adaptations. I so drooled over mammooty in that. It was telecast during those days of sunday afternoon regional language movies (anyone remember that?), and so they had subtitles.

  10. pitu

    September 2, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Womygod, I love this movie. It’s probably my favorite Yash Chopra film (hee!), along with mega awesome Chandni. I remember having the most massive crush on Deepak Malhotra when this movie came out- I think I was 11? And I spent HOURS rewinding and rewatching that “Panchi baadal premi ke pagal” song locked in my room, sighing. LOL and I LOVED it when he said “Palloooo”, you know what I’m talking about 😀 But also, Anil-Sri are magnificent in this movie. My favorite scene is that “Ye sab cheezein tumhari hain? NAHO POOJA NAHI, ye tumhari MAA ki hain” AIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!! *insert heartbroken weeping*

  11. ajnabi

    September 2, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I would NEVER judge your Lamhe love, since I share it. It is melodramatic and ridiculous and I cannot look away at any point.

  12. Radhika

    September 2, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Hilarious post! While I was reading it, I remembered Mausam – another of those where the former-love’s-dead-ringer-of-a-daughter falls for her mother’s lover – and how we all wondered – was she his daughter or was he only repulsed by her advances because he felt paternal? I mean, Sanjeev Kumar, not mooshless wonder.
    Lamhe – doesn’t sridevi look godawful in it with those ghasly 80s puffed sleeves and flouncy skirts? And why is WR called Daima – was she a midwife or what?

  13. Amrita

    September 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    @ Sinindiantadka – i agree!

    @ Veena – poor poor Deepak Malhotra and his wooden face! LOL!!

    @ Beth – no seriously! If you’re going to start on Sridevi movies, then Chandini followed by this is a must! As for the other – go on, go on! I’ve stolen from you enough!

    @ Broom – it’s amazingly 90s-fabulous I’m afraid. you have to really enter the spirit of the thing or else you have you be from that era. 😀 Try her with Chandini. It might be an easier fit.

    @ V – check out the site!

    @ Shweta and Banno – the Pallo that I can’t forget is the one in their bedroom right after he tells her about Viren being in love with her and right before they make out: “Palloooooooooooo” he says lovingly, and I laugh every.single.time!

    @ Rohini – you know, I was so young when this came out, I didn’t even know until years later that Deepak Malhotra had this hot career as a model. I thought Lamhe was his career and it was shocking to find out that the poor man had basically destroyed himself for a role as a glorified extra. I laughed of course.

    @ Sachita – It’s sort of a “you had to be there” kind of movie. You have either like the genre or watch it when it came out 😀

    @ Kanan – this was the first movie in which I found Anil attractive and I don’t think it’s ever happened again! 😀

    @ Munimma – I’ve never read mango Walk but I’m always glad to see a fellow Daddy Long Legs devotee! I was so mad when I saw the Leslie Caron Fred Astaire version because it was just not good. If the Mammooty-Shobhana one is good, I’m gonna try and get a copy of it. I need to see a good version!

    @ Pitu – that is TOTALLY my favorite scene too! And the scene in which he finds out she lied about getting married! OH MY GOD – I have to go watch this right now!

    @ Ajnabi – soul sister!

    @ Radhika – The difference being that Mausam was actually good but not nearly as addictive! Sri basically looks like a sausage through most of this and yet manages to make you forget it! It’s amazing.

  14. Shalini

    September 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Awww, I love “Lamhe” too…even made my American college roomate watch it. Her reaction? Does the woman who is singing (Lata Mangeshkar) always sound like a little girl?!:-)

    My favorite scene is of course the climax, but I also love the epilogue with the helicopter and Pooja in the fur coat.:-D

    • Amrita

      September 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      I always wonder what it must feel like to hear Lata for the first time, towards the end of her career singing for a young woman. 😀

      • Beth

        September 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

        I can speak to that. It’s horrifying 🙂

  15. sitaji

    September 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    This filum was a really mind-bending experience for me. I remember thinking for the first part, “but no, that’s not good, it’s like she’s your daughter, how SICK!” and then making the mind leap of, “no, she’s not your daughter, she’s only a younger version of your dead lover, it’s OK, LOVE her! LOVE HER!” Yash Chopra works majic in my brain. And that SLAP! Dang! As I recall, the slap was replayed in sucession about 30 times, well maybe 15 time, but still, a lot as it’s burned in my memory. I loved this sick, sick, romantic film! LOL on “Yash Chopra Lite.”

    • Amrita

      September 24, 2010 at 3:17 pm

      This movie was when I realized Yash Chopra had powers. Serious powers. 😀

      • 'bling in the BG

        September 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm

        I’m way more math-challenged than your other more illustrious readers here (say, sitaji), but the SLAP is what stands out for me (too) in Lamhe (which I remember loving, overall). I saw it on cable when I was in 11th std, at my friend’s house in Trustpuram (Chennai) — she lived next door to Vairamuthu (Guzar of the south. *Ducks* Gulp. Good. No brickbats or anything.), so whenever we were not goofing off OD’ing on holly/bolly movies on cable (while we were supposed to be doing combined studies for quarterly exams), we stared out the window at Vairamuthu’s house to see who came and went.

        • sitaji

          September 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

          WHO did you see coming and going from the home of ?!?! Now I’m curious.

          • (war)bling in the background

            September 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

            Wow I hadn’t wiki’d Vairamuthu in like, ever. This definitely throws light on his non-filmi work that I’ve never heard of, thanks!

            And to your question, so sorry to disappoint sitaji, but that was one useless stakeout session! We saw zilch. Nada. And the only things that moved (from our vantage view) were window curtains! Perhaps prolific poets prefer perversely solitary acts (e.g. encouraging a less-than-eager pen to straddle a slippery sheet of paper) to pontificating with people who’d potentially ruin an otherwise (re)productive afternoon?

            I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility this wasn’t his primary residence. Because he owns the house doesn’t necessarily mean he lives in it.

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