‘Woh Lamhe’ is said to be based on the past relationship between director Mahesh Bhatt and the late superstar of the 70-80’s Parveen Bhabi. According to Mahesh Bhatt the film is an almost identical account to what transpired between him and Parveen behind closed doors. However some may say that Mahesh depicting the late actress and the details of her personal life in such a manner is callous and cruel, but Mahesh looks at it as a way to give vent to all the personal feelings that are bottled inside him. He also hopes that it will have a cathartic and healing effect on him. The story revolves around the life of a glamorous and successful actress; everybody wants to use for their own selfish purposes including the struggling director who wants to make it big at any cost. But though the actress seems to have everything on the outside, she is a lonely, scared and insecure woman on the inside. This loneliness and insecurity threatens to engulf her in its clutches and slowly drives her to the brink. Whether the film is actually a true life account will perhaps never be known, but it definitely depicts a fascinating, gripping and touching drama.
Woh Lamhe can be termed as a romantic drama directed by Mohit Suri and produced under the banner of Vishesh Films. The story has been written by Mahesh Bhatt and the screenplay has been done by Shagufta Rafique. The film stars Kangana Ranaut as Sana Azim, Shiney Ahuja as Aditya Garewal, debutant Shaad Randhawa, Masumi Makhija, Purab Kohli, Anita Wahi, Ram Prakash, Preeti Kopikar and Abbas. The music has been composed by Pritam.
The film starts of with filmmaker Aditya getting a call that well known actress Sana who had disappeared from the arc lights is in hospital after attempting suicide by slitting her writs. Aditya goes to the hospital to find the woman who was once his lover and one of the most beautiful, talented actresses’s lying in a coma. The film then moves into flashback mode. Sana Azim the beautiful and talented actress is the most wanted and happening actress’s currently. Her boyfriend Nikhil too is a superstar but she is forced to be with him despite his cruel and atrocious persona. Nikhil uses Sana both physically and also to make some big bucks. But nobody knows the personal trauma that Sana is going through as she always portrays a strong and glamorous persona to the rest of the world. Meanwhile struggling director Aditya is trying to make it big in the film industry and he will do just about any thing to make it in this ruthless film world. And so like everybody he too sets out to use Sana for his own personal gains. Through manipulation he gets Sana to agree to do a film with him. Sana falls for the bait and is provoked into accepting his offer and she leaves Nikhil after a showdown.
While shooting for their film together, Aditya discovers another side to the strong and cold Sana Azim, a vulnerable and lonely girl who desperately wants to be protected. Sana and Aditya have an affair and Sana soon falls for the arrogant Aditya. But Aditya being a practical man decides to just go along for the ride. Their film together is a big hit. But now Aditya witnesses a different side to Sana. She hallucinates that an imaginary woman Rani (Masumi) is stalking her and is out to kill her. She is slowly driven to the brink of insanity and despair. However everyone is banking on Sana, her film producers, people who have invested a lot of money on their films with her, her selfish mother and even the desperate Nikhil. They even try to give her shock treatments to revive her sanity. At this time Aditya who is touched by her dilemma and plight comes to her rescue.
Aditya has no choice but to take her away from this crazy film world where everyone only wants to use her and also to sacrifice his own career. So together they go away from this world where Aditya takes care of Sana and is always by her side. Here they enjoy days and nights of blissful love unaware of the world except their own dream world that they create. Until one fine day it all comes crashing down when Sana suddenly and mysteriously vanishes. Now will Sana come out of the coma, will she make it, will Aditya ever know why she ran away from him?
Woh Lamhe depicts an extremely touching love story; it depicts emotions, relationships and the fragility of all relationships. Mohit Suri has managed to capture the intensity of relationships and emotions very well. Mohit has managed to bring more than a love story to the fore with his adept handling of the entire film. He is aided by a touching story given by Mahesh Bhatt and also a brilliant screenplay by Shagufta. Mohit has managed to portray the complex nature of the love story and the complex travails of the protagonist with extreme finesse in spite of not being the one to actually witness the events first hand. He depicts the aspects of a mental disorder Schizophrenia with extreme clarity. For a director who is directing merely his third film, Mohit Suri’s Woh Lamhe is compelling, fierce, hard hitting and incredibly good.
The pace of the film tends to get a bit slow at times, also a lot of the situations are left to the audiences to presume or comprehend without it being depicted. A few questions are left unanswered towards the end which could have been avoided and tied together in a more tight and precise manner.
The film is replete with extremely poignant sequences in the film right from Sana flinging her undergarments at a party to the insanity that drives Sana over the edge. The sequence where Sana is physically and emotionally raped is an absolutely chilling sequence which actually leaves a palpable feeling amongst the audiences. The music of the film by Pritam is very touching, poetic and beautiful. ‘Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai’ and ‘Chal Chale’ are extremely touching numbers. Cinematography by Bobby Singh is quite good too and manages to capture the essence of the film. Dialogues are apt and performances by the lead actors are outstanding.
Kangana Ranaut gives an absolutely heart wrenching and terrific performance, her outbursts, her emotional breakdown and even the pain conveyed through her facial expressions are first rate. After Gangster once again she delivers a brilliant performance. Shiney too stands out in his role and manages yet again to hold his own against Kangana’s performance. The actor is subtle yet fierce in his performance. Shaad as the newcomer too gives a fairly decent performance. Masumi Makhija is quite competent in her performance and Purab Kohli is fair.
Woh Lamhe is definitely a film with intensity and depth. The film has an able script, the execution is handled deftly and the performances are power packed. At the box-office, multiplex audiences may be more drawn towards the film due to its intensity and emotion based content. The film may do an average to above average fare. Nonetheless the film is definitely worth a watch.