‘Welcome to Kashmir’- that is the tag line of Lamhaa, and illustrates the film is about the life and traumas of the people residing there.
Lamhaa is the latest offering by National award director Rahul Dholakia. He is known for the critically acclaimed hard-hitting Parzania, a 2005 movie about the 2002 Gujarat riots. Produced by Bunty and Jaspreet Walia of ‘GS Entertainment’, Lamhaa stars Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor, and Anupam Kher among others. Buzz is that Karisma Kapoor was the first choice for the female lead but she was uncomfortable filming in Kashmir, consequently Bipasha was roped in.
The crew had some tough moments shooting in the Kashmir valley due to the hostility of the locals there. In fact, they even had to cancel shoots because of several incidents including mob disruptions, and interventions by locals that feared the movie was showing them in bad light. Dholakia held a press conference to clear the doubts of the people, but working against odds was tough. In the end it was decided that those scenes of the movie would be shot in sets in Mumbai. A disturbed Dholakia went on to remark, “the dream of Kashmir being a paradise for film units remains just a dream.”
Bollywood’s connection with religion and terrorism is not a new one. Movies like Mission Kashmir, and Roja have delved into this topic however Lamhaa is different. “Lamhaa is different from other films made on the plight of Kashmiris. This film is not from the point of view of the government or the politicians, it is from the point of view of the people of Kashmir,” Dholakia told reporters here.
Considering the sensitivity of the subject, the censor board is being extra cautious to ensure the film does not provoke or distress sentiments in any way. The board, initially rejected the promo that was released earlier this week, but a revised committee reccomended certain changes and those have been incorporated. Couple of the critical alterations included the removal of the word ‘sabse’ from ‘Duniya ki sabse khatarnak jagah Kashmir’ and ‘farji’ from ‘farji elections’. Well, if the promo raised so many eyebrows, we can’t wait to see what happens when the movie goes under the censor’s knife.
Check out the theatrical trailer to see what’s in store for you on July 16th!