Lakeer Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film
Jan 15, 2004 By

Mother India lives! And never mind if she’s converted into Brother India and played by Sunny Deol instead of Nargis—may God rest her soul. And the audiences, if they can survive the ordeal of watching this antiquated mafia romance.

Sunny is the protective doting Bade Bhaiyya who turns his Smoking Gun on Flaring Nostril (read: kid bother) when FN, a.k.a Karan covets Bindiya who’s actually Karan’s Bade Bhaiyya Arjun ( Karan … Arjun ….geddit?)‘s little sister.

Incestuous? Arrey nahin re! Karan is the gangster-in-chief Arjun’s adopted kid-brother. And so what if Bindiya and Karan grew up in the same house, and probably shared nappies in childhood?

In the dark and ever-flaring world of gangsterism, everything is made possible by the conventions of crime.

Flare is the key. So off goes little Bindiya to college, where her heart beats only for the dimpled dude Saahil (John Abrham). Saahil looks bulky but is a poet at heart. He sings mooney Rahman ballads for Bindiya during off-hours, which essentially means ‘all’ hours.

If in the trendy college campuses of Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra the students romance rock ‘n’ roll in Lakeer they use it as wrestler’s ring: jump into the college grounds and go….wham bam slam ….Crushed bones and bloodied faces are the canteen specialities. Then there’s a basketball court where the students pretend they’re characters in Bend It Like Beckham . Bam bam!

And then of course, there’s the ham. Oh, lots of it! Everyone from Flaring Nostrils to Glaring Eyeballs (Sunny Deol) looks daggers-drawn. Sometimes the daggers change into guns. But what difference does it make? At the end of the day all dead bodies look the same.

And some of the, er, actors in choreographer Ahmed Khan’s directorial debut look distinctly dead. Not their fault. The script is dismayingly stale… and stupendously symmetrical. If Karan has a Bade Bhaiyya ready to kill for his little kid-brother, then Saahil has streetwise Sanju (Suniel Shetty) who talks in that biddu …bole to language which Munnabhai made into a fashion statement.

In Lakeer every character and scene is a bash-em statement. If one or the other character isn’t venting his rudderless spleen on screen then it’s the background score screeching wailing and otherwise, simply getting a restless crowd of men to roar across the soundtrack in a shrill show of masculine solidarity.

Oh, didn’t I tell you?… This is another film about male bonding. Hence Bindiya who’s loved madly crazily and uncontrollably by two campus macho-men Karan and Sahil hardly gets a tender moment with them since both the boys—Flaring Nostril and Crinkled Eyes—keep clutching their respective big brothers so close to their heart you fear for their palpitations.

One or the other he-man Big Brother is constantly baying for blood. Whose? Did you ask? It all depends on star availability. Since there are a clutch of them to be put into various permutations, director Khan simply shoots with whoever is available…and leaves the rest to the gods of all scrawl things.

Regrettably the scriptwriter goes back to every mafia movie you’ve seen from Scarface to Vaastav to Gang without bothering to put a fresh spin into the genre. Speaking of spins, the choreography in a film directed by a choreographer is shockingly poor.

Mafioso concepts of family honour, impartial retribution and yes, respect for women (not a single frame is rude to the leading lady) seem hopelessly out of step with the cinema being made today.

Unlike that other choreographer-turned-directed Farah Khan’s Main Hoon Na , Ahmed Khan takes all the cliches of formulistic cinema dead seriously. There isn’t a single humorous moment of homage to the spirit of masala cinema in the mawkish way that the two sets of brothers bond with one another.

No, instead of a chuckle in our funny bone we’re meant to get a lump in out throat at the purportedly grave goings-on. A pretty hard thing to do since the film rapidly moves

  Below Average