Lamhe (lit. Moments) is a 1991 Indian romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra and written by Honey Irani, with Rahi Masoom Raza. The film stars Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles, along with Waheeda Rehman, Anupam Kher and Manohar Singh, featured in supporting roles. In the film, Viren falls in love with Pallavi, but she marries Siddharth. The married couple die in a tragic car accident, leaving behind their one and only daughter – who grows up to resemble her mother, she meets Viren and falls in love with him.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Yash Chopra|
|Produced by||Yash Chopra|
T. Subbarami Reddy
|Written by||Honey Irani|
Rahi Masoom Raza
|Distributed by||Yash Raj Films|
|22 November 1991|
|Budget||₹6 crore (equivalent to ₹39 crore or US$5.6 million in 2018)|
|Box office||₹20.5 crore (equivalent to ₹132 crore or US$19 million in 2018)|
Produced by Chopra under his production banner Yash Raj Films, Lamhe was shot in two schedules in Rajasthan and London. Over the years, it has been hailed as a classic and possibly Chopra's finest film. Upon its release, the film was highly acclaimed and is considered as one of the greatest Indian films of all time. Although the film did average business domestically, it became an enormous success overseas, bringing in a worldwide gross of ₹ 20.5 crores on a ₹ 6 crores budget; thus becoming the 10th highest grossing Indian film of 1991. It received numerous accolades and features in Outlook's list of Bollywood's Best Films. It has been cited as Yash Chopra's personal favourite of the movies he has done. This was one of the last films that Masoom Raza scripted. He died a couple of months after its release. On the occasion of the Centenary of Indian Cinema in 2013, Lamhe featured among the Top Ten Romantic Movies Of 100 Years.
At the 39th National Film Awards, the film won Best Costume Design. At the 37th Filmfare Awards, the film received a leading thirteen nominations and won the highest five: Best Film, Best Actress (Sridevi), Best Comic Actor (Kher), Best Story and Best Dialogue.
A young Virendra "Viren" Pratap Singh (Anil Kapoor) travels to Rajasthan with his governess, affectionately called Daijaan (Waheeda Rehman) where he meets the beautiful Pallavi (Sridevi) and falls in love with her. Pallavi is the daughter of a businessman who had helped Viren's father when his business had gone down. Viren and Pallavi become friends but he is unable to express his love for her. Daijaan sadly watches Viren's disappointments.
After a property dispute and a major civil court case, Pallavi's father dies of a heart attack. Pallavi goes into depression and isolates herself in a nearby secluded town. Viren visits her to console her only to find her run to Siddharth, the man she loves and is romantically involved with. Viren is heartbroken, but out of respect for Pallavi's father's dying wish, he attends her wedding with Siddharth. However, a deeply saddened Viren decides to migrate far away and moves to London permanently. Tragedy strikes and a year later, Siddharth and Pallavi are involved in a fatal car crash. Their newborn baby girl, Pooja, survives and is placed in the care of Daijaan.
In London, Viren spends time with his childhood friend, Prem (Anupam Kher), who is well aware that Viren's heart pines for Pallavi. Over the course of time, and with much persuasion, Viren slowly hops back into reality and makes new friends, including a girlfriend and business partner, Anita (Dippy Sagoo), who upon finding out about Viren's past with Pallavi, constantly tries to get his attentions and feels envious.
Viren visits Rajasthan once every year for Pallavi's death anniversary, and to buy gifts for the young Pooja and also to say hello to his governess, Daijaan. He never spends time with Pooja because she reminds him too much of Pallavi, which makes Pooja very sad. A few years later, on one of his visits, Viren meets the grown-up Pooja and is shocked to see the resemblance she shares with her mother Pallavi. A couple of years later, Daijaan brings Pooja to visit London. She meets with Anita in Viren's house, and Anita soon realizes that Viren may never forget Pallavi because of how Pooja is a constant reminder of her.
On the other hand, Pooja is completely unaware of her striking resemblance to her mother. Pooja continues to develop feelings for Viren, whom she lovingly calls "Kunwarji". Prem also admires Pooja's bubbly and amiable personality and understands how much Pooja is attached to Viren. Although Prem likes the alliance, he is skeptical since Viren is still living in the past.
Gradually, Anita realizes that Viren might be falling for Pooja so she confronts Pooja and tells her that she is merely a responsibility for Viren. Anita also tells Viren that he should be ashamed of having feelings for a considerably younger Pooja.
In Viren's house, Pooja finds a pencil sketch and misunderstands that it is her when it really is her mother. When Viren returns she confesses her love for him assuming her affections are returned. A furious Viren finally reveals that he had only loved her mother. Daijaan comforts a heartbroken Pooja and relates Pallavi's story to her. Pooja begins to understand why Anita was being so possessive of Viren. A humiliated Pooja asks Daijaan that they return to India.
Back home, Daijaan and the community members start looking for a potential suitor for Pooja. Pooja agrees to marry on the condition that Viren is marries first. In London, Prem advises a confused Viren to marry Pooja, but Viren thinks it to be unfair to Anita who has waited for him for a long time. He decides to marry her but once the wedding invites are printed, he changes his mind much to Anita's dismay. Over a phone call, Pooja lies that she has been married. Viren knows that she is lying but decides to respond with his own lie that his wedding with Anita is also happening.
After many years of living apart and losing touch, a heartbroken Pooja has been trying to get on with her life as a storyteller in the villages of Rajasthan, narrating folktales using puppets. In London, a lonely Viren has been unable to forget Pooja. He travels to Rajasthan where he locates Pooja and Daijaan. Viren reveals that he realized, after she left London, that he had fallen in love with her, Pooja. At last, Pooja and Viren get together.
- Sridevi as Pallavi and Pooja; in a double role (as both mother and daughter)
- Anil Kapoor as Virendra Pratap Singh (a.k.a. Viren/Kunwarji)
- Waheeda Rehman as Daijaan
- Anupam Kher as Prem
- Dippy Sagoo as Anita Malhotra
- Manohar Singh as Kothiwale Thakur (Pallavi's father)
- Lalit Tiwari as Sudheshwar Narayan Tiwari
- Deepak Malhotra as Siddharth Bhatnagar
- Ila Arun as Folk dancer in the song "Chudiyan Khanak Gayee"
- Richa Pallod as Young Pooja
- Vikas Anand as Doctor Vikas
The music was composed by Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia (known together as Shiv-Hari) and the lyrics were provided by Anand Bakshi. The song "Kabhi Main Kahoon" was made from a melody used as background music in Yash Chopra's previous movie Chandni, also scored by Shiv-Hari. In the famous parody sequence, Waheeda Rehman danced to "Aaj Phir Jeene ki Tamanna Hai" – the superhit number from her classic Guide.
The songs included on the official soundtrack are listed here:
|"Yeh Lamhe Yeh Pal"||Hariharan|
|"Yeh Lamhe Yeh Pal" (Sad Version)||Hariharan|
|"Mhaare Rajasthan Ma"||Mohinuddin|
|"Mohe Chhedo Naa"||Lata Mangeshkar|
|"Chudiyan Khanak Gayee" (contains excerpt of 'Mhaare Rajasthan Ma' in the introduction)||Lata Mangeshkar, Moinuddin and Ila Arun|
|"Chudiyan Khanak Gayee" (Sad Version)||Lata Mangeshkar|
|"Kabhi Main Kahoon"||Lata Mangeshkar and Hariharan|
|"Megha Re Megha"||Lata Mangeshkar and Ila Arun|
|"Yaad Nahin Bhool Gaya"||Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar|
|"Gudiya Rani"||Lata Mangeshkar|
|"Meri Bindiya"||Lata Mangeshkar|
|"Freak Out" (Parody Song)||Pamela Chopra and Sudesh Bhosle|
|"Moments of Rage" (Instrumental)||Instrumental|
|"Moments of Passion" (Instrumental)||Instrumental|
Reception, Analysis and legacyEdit
Lamhe was widely acclaimed by film critics and is considered as one of the greatest Indian films of all time. It is one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film despite its moderate business in India. Lamhe is also one of the biggest Bollywood hits in the overseas market and video circuit. Sridevi received widespread critical acclaim for her double-role as mother and daughter, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actress among others. It finds a place in the Times Movie Guide's Top 100 Indian films. It is in the Outlook magazine's list of All-Time Great Indian films. It has been cited as Yash Chopra's personal favorite among his films. Times of India included it in its list of Top 10 Films of Yash Chopra describing it as "a tale of love transcending the boundaries of time and space" while Rediff called it "Quite easily one of his most definitive films, Chopra surpassed his own findings of romance with the insightful, lovely Lamhe". Hrithik Sharma from El Viaje Reviews says "The cinematography is a treat to eyes. Editing is crisp but with nearly 3 hours of run-time, it requires patience to watch the whole film. Only Yash Chopra could create this bold and unheard story in a way, that otherwise would have not been received well."
Sridevi played both mother and daughter cast in what iDiva described as "another double role but it was unlike any played before". Hailed by Rediff as "one of the most remarkable films of her career... often considered a film way ahead of its time", Her performance brought her much acclaim with BizAsia stating that "Her rendition of both Pallavi and Pooja serves well in highlighting how versatile she is as an actress, playing contrasting characters in the same movie". Speaking to Karan Johar about the 'Making of Lamhe', Yash Chopra revealed "When 90% of the London schedule was over, tragedy happened. Sridevi's father died... She came back after 16 days and had to shoot a comedy scene... At that moment she forgot everything and gave a wonderful scene. I understood that is the secret of her success... Why she is what she is". Sridevi's folk dance number 'Morni Baga Ma' became a rage and was placed among the 'Top 5 Songs' of Yash Chopra by Hindustan Times.
Over the years Lamhe has become a cult classic. Critic Rachel Dwyer wrote in her biography of the film-maker "Yash Chopra's own favourite film, Lamhe ('Moments', 1991), divided the audience on a class basis: it was hugely popular with metropolitan elites and the overseas market, which allowed it to break even, but it had a poor box-office response (largely lower class, especially the repeat audience) because of its supposed incest theme". The Hindu reported that "With shades of incest, Lamhe caused more than a flutter and remained the talk of the town" while Sridevi herself admitted in an interview with Rajeev Masand that she found the subject "too bold". Rediff described its failure as "one of those bizarre, unexplained moments of cinema". Many film analysts, including Vikram Bhatt, felt that Lamhe was ahead of its time and if released at a later period, would have been a huge Blockbuster.
- Best Film – Yash Chopra
- Best Actress – Sridevi
- Best Comedian – Anupam Kher
- Best Story – Honey Irani
- Best Dialogue – Rahi Masoom Reza
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- Rediff. "PIX: The Changing Faces of Sridevi".
- bizAsia. "Yash Chopra classic flashback: 'Lamhe' (1991)". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013.
- Yash Raj Films – YouTube. "Yash Chopra in Conversation with Karan Johar – Lamhe".
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- Yahoo. "The Magical Years of Yash Chopra".
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- Ganti, Tejaswini (2012). Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry. Duke University Press. p. 342.
- 1st Filmfare Awards 1953