Banner:Baba FilmsCast:Aftab Shivdasani,Dino Morea,Sameer Dattani,Anuj Sawhney,Raj Zutshi,Mohnish Behl,Koel Puri,Pinky Harwani,Anjori Alag,Usha Bachani,Nauheed CyrusiDirection:Vikram BhattMusic:Lalit Pandit
If you want to be happy, see that you are never unhappy”
This is the message in the climax of LMKK which pretty much summarizes the film’s theme. And let us set it clear at the very onset – LMKK is not a campus movie. Campus forms the backdrop only for the first 10 minutes when the 5 fresh-out-of-college protagonists discuss their ideas about complete happiness.
A 5 year journey is taken by four of them [Dino Morea, Sameer Dattani, Nauheed Cyrusi, Anjori Alagh] to find happiness while the fifth [Aftab Shivdasani] takes it up on him to decide the eventual winner.
Director Vikram Bhat has been associated with various genres of film making in the last few years. While his hits RAAZ and AWARA PAAGAL DEEWANA have belonged to horror and action/comedy genre, his best work till date has been in GHULAM that had drama as its foundation.
Easily LMKK is his best work since GHULAM when it comes to drama genre. He made films like FOOTPATH, AITBAAR, ANKAHEE and most recently RED that attempted to explore this genre but it is with LMKK where he gets it perfectly right.
His intention behind making this film is simple….and honest. Hence he doesn’t worry much about technique or fall into the trap of Bollywood diktats of an item song, skin show or any unwanted tracks. Instead he focuses completely on the basic subject [original], script [quite strong] and narration [simple, yet making a good impact] that makes viewing LMKK a pleasant surprise.
The movie sticks to its theme and never once does go haywire. It sets the context in the first 20 minutes and lets the characters drive the show from thereon as life takes them all through different twists and turns.
For Dino, happiness lies in being successful. And for that he is willing to have a showdown with his elder brother [Mohnish Behl – quite effective and sincere, as always], a successful entrepreneurs.
For Sameer, happiness lies in getting power. And for that he is willing to join a political party led by Yashpal Sharma [yet another good consistent act], work hard and rise to power.
For Nauheed, happiness lies in being famous. And for that she is willing to join Bollywood as her patient boyfriend supports her throughout rise to fame.
For Anjori, happiness lies in being rich. And for that she is willing to get married to a multi-billionaire even if he happens to be a quintessential playboy.
And for Aftab, happiness lies in just avoiding being unhappy. And for that he is willing to lead a peaceful, fairly uneventful life that leads him to marry a girl of his choice and write a book called LIFE MEIN KABHIE KABHIEE.
LMKK is not about these 5 stories coming one after another or being in parallel. It actually takes a step forward in storytelling and has the 5 of them interacting with each other and crossing paths frequently throughout their 5 years period of exploring happiness.
This journey sees Dino’s rise-fall-rise as an entrepreneur, Sameer’s rise from being a party worker to the youngest ever MP, Nauheed’s rise from being called a sleaze debutant to getting acknowledged as India’s No. 1 actress and Anjori’s slow and steady walk up the pedestal to get a rich husband only to find herself ignored in a year’s time.
But are they all happy? When Aftab tries to find it out, each of them realize that they were not worthy after all to win the bet.
Dino got all the success and carried the guilt of challenging his own brother in the business arena. Sameer got all the power but lost sleep as he carried the burden of being responsible for the death of a rival politician. Nauheed got all the fame but in the process lost her boyfriend [Anuj Sawhney] who realized that she was sleeping around (unwillingly though) with a leading actor to move up the ladder. Anjori got all the money but lost a husband who continued with his playboy ways
Each of them realized that they had lost a lot more in the bargain than earning it all and in the end it was just not worth it! How they all aim for retribution takes the film to its well penned and logical outing.
Handling multiples stories may sound like an innovative and an exciting idea but executing it is the biggest challenge that a narration like this meets with. Even if one or two stories fail, it becomes distracting for the audience to loose focus. Thankfully Vikram keeps a tight lash on the proceedings and doesn’t let the graph dip at all. The film reaches interval point quite well and raises hope of a consistent second half, if not better.
To one’s pleasant surprise, the second half is even better as the film dwells deep down the lives of the protagonists. Penultimate 20 minutes comes across a masterstroke as Zubin sung ‘Hum Khushi Ki Chah Mein’ comes at just the right time in the lives of five of them. No wonder, the song is interspersed exceedingly well with the script and takes the film to an all time high.
Cinematography [Praveen Bhatt] remains basic and the background music is consistent. Lalit Pandit’s music goes well with the film and doesn’t disturb the narrative. Costumes have been done well as per the characterization.
Amongst the lead actors, everyone including Dino, Sameer, Aftab, Anjori and Nauheed impress. The role suits Dino to the T as he enhances his body language to dialogue delivery to a very good extent. Sameer shows remarkable improvement as an actor and show maturity while handling a complex role. Stubble look suits him quite well as he takes on something far more serious. Aftab is dependable as always and lets the others take center stage while looking at proceedings from a peripheral. Anjori does well in her debut film though she could go a little easy on her facial expressions. Nauheed is fine while being excellent in the pre-climax as she bares all in front of media.
Amongst the supporting actors, Anuj towers above one and all as he plays the guy-next-door with conviction. Koel Purie seriously needs to look after her makeup as it is all wrong in her initial scenes. Nikita Anand [as Dino’s girlfriend] has hardly a role to play and doesn’t make an impact. Zutshi is surprisingly restrained as he curbs his tendency to go overboard. His ex-wife is convincing in the two scene part.
Where Vikram succeeds is the fact that he doesn’t get into melodrama or forced situations to bring empathy to the characters. His ‘mantra’ is simple – it is the characters who decide what is right in their life and none of them have been forced into any situation. No one keeps a gun on anyone’s head to take a step that could prove to be disastrous. It is actually them who believe that their decisions are just right while life teaches them about how wrong they were!
At the beginning of the film, Aftab’s character addresses the audience and says that the work is original as long as the source can be hidden. Vikram may or may not be having a source behind LMKK but the fact remains that the film comes across as a novel experience for the film goers.
Go for it, you will certainly end up appreciating the film.