Movie Recommendation: Lakshya (2004)

For the longest time, Bollywood was for wide-eyed small towners, for the joint families yearning for masala in their black-and-white lives, or for the Sholay generation who still thought melodrama was cool. The urban Indian was happy with HBO. But that was before Farhan Akhtar arrived.

Who knew that a film starring 30-something men with radical hairstyles, in a movie entirely about friendship could redefine the Bollywood landscape? Dil Chahta Hai did just that. It brought the MTV generation to the cinemas, caused the multiplex revolution, and singularly had the biggest cultural impact on urban fashion since bell-bottoms. The movie made Bollywood ‘cool’.

But if Dil Chahta Hai marked Bollywood’s coming-of-age, with 2004’s Lakshya, it was director Akhtar himself who came-of-age. Lakshya was as much about Karan Shergill’s (Hrithik Roshan) quest of finding himself in the time of the Kargil War, as it was about Akhtar’s quest of finding his own identity in the time of Karan Johar. And the ba**s that Akhtar showed by making a film as removed from his debut flick, as Johar is from all known ideas of reality, was not only a sign of things to come from the young director, but from Indian cinema itself.

Lakshya is the story of aimless and directionless Karan, who joins the army because of his love for action movies, and because he didn’t know any better. He soon realises his mistake and runs away to home, only to be mocked by his family and girlfriend, Romi Dutta (Preity Zinta). He soon realises that the only thing missing from his life so far has been a ‘Lakshya’ (goal), and goes back to his training to find it.

Perhaps the only film that does justice to Hrithik Roshan’s potential, Lakshya also showcases the incredible maturity with which Akhtar handles the scenes of the Kargil War – a pleasant change from the melodrama that Indian movies make war out to be. But mostly, Lakshya is a must-watch because it is one of the only movies (until the recent Udaan and Wake Up Sid) that depicts that time of our lives, when we are free to make choices, but have absolutely no idea what to do once we make them!

Starring: Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, Om Puri, Boman Irani
Written By: Javed Akhtar
Directed By: Farhan Akhtar

Note: This recommendation first appeared in MTV Noise Factory, August 2011 issue
Picture courtesy: Google. None of the pictures are owned by the author all rights belong to the original owner(s) and photographer(s).
© Copyright belongs to the author, Nikhil Taneja. The article may not be reproduced without permission. A link to the URL, instead, would be appreciated.

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