March 19, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Lahore is 2010 Bollywood Hindi movie by director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan with Aanaahad, Shraddha Das, Ashish Vidyarthi, Nafisa Ali, Farouque Sheikh Sushant Singh, Mukesh Rishi in lead roles. Read the film review at CalcuttaTube.
Lahore- An excellent effort
Rating: 3.5 out of 5*
Starring: Introducing Aanaahad, Shraddha Das, Sushant Singh, Mukesh Rishi, Ashish Vidyarthi, Nafisa Ali and Farouque Sheikh
Director: Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan
Sometimes you go in for a film with zero expectations and you come out pleasantly surprised, Lahore is one such film. Despite no big stars the film completely works thanks to its direction and acting and excelling in all its technical departments and most importantly for being a very good sports film.
Dheerendra Singh (Sushant Singh) gets selected in the national kickboxing team for the Asian kickboxing tournament in Kuala Lampur thanks to the efforts of a no nonsense coach Rao (Farouque Shaikh). But in his combat with the Pakistani opponent Noor (Mukesh Rishi) in the final match, Singh loses his life. Though technically, it is declared an accidental death, its actually foul play by Noor that leads to his death. His younger brother Veerendra Singh (Aanaahad), a professional cricketer awaiting his chance to the National team, switches sport to avenge his brother’s death when the Indian team is invited for a friendship series between India and Pakistan. As fate has it, Veerendra meets Noor in the final match.
Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan has woven a tight screenplay never once deviating his story’s main focus to anything else. He also well exposed bureaucracy that ails Indian sports and diplomacy angle between the two warring nations. There are hardly any lip sync songs as well to waste any time. The film is a huge treat for sports fans as not only kick boxing but cricket matches too are shown leading to a nail bitting finish. The climax of the film is just not what you may have expected and it is what makes the film a notch better than any good sports film.
Anaahad couldn’t have dreamt of a more impactful launch pad. He completely fits the part what with his chiseled physique and kickboxing skills and is competent in the acting department as well. Sushant Singh who was also a boxer before joining films, proves his mettle both in the kickboxing as well as acting department. Mukesh Rishi personality and physique both contribute to making his character a dreaded one. Newcomer Shraddha Das playing Pakistani’s team’s psychiatrist and Anaahad’s love interest is very impressive. Sabyasachi Chakravorthy, Jeeva, Ashish Vidyarthi, Saurabh Shukla and late Nirmal Pandey excel in their parts as well. Farouque Sheikh is just superb. Nafisa Ali playing the hero’s mom is nice.
Outstanding background score by Wayne Sharp, detailed sound design by Nakul Kamte and excellent cinematography by Neelabh Kaul raise the film to a completely different level altogether. Tony Ching Sui Tung’s action will win him many fans.
Lahore is an excellent effort that deserves a bow from the audiences and critics alike. Don’t miss this film if you are a true sports lover.
Lahore – takes spirit of sportsmanship across the border
Rating: 3 / 5
Combining sports and politics is not an easy thing to do. But then it’s not that difficult either, considering the two are inextricably intertwined specially in the Asian subcontinent. Debutant director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan dares to visit the forbidden territory.
‘Lahore’ is about sports and politics and characters from both the spheres getting embroiled in a terrible fight to the finish.
The script accommodates a great deal of the sporting spirit as seen in the perspective of Indo-Pak politics. Within that ambitious framework, Chauhan weaves in the human relationships that make a leap for warmth and then stay stuck in semi-sterility. The film has too much to say on sports, politics and human nature. It isn’t able to say all of it in a lucid language.
Chauhan has chosen a unique sport like kickboxing to spotlight the process of cultural assimilation that underscores all the perverse politicking that goes on at the surface level between the two countries.
The Indian and Pakistani coaches played by Farooque Shaikh and Sabyasachi Chakavarty are seen to be sportingly at loggerheads, but ‘Lahore’ takes the spirit of sportsmanship across the border with more seriousness of purpose.
In the boxing ring, the game gets deadly when the Indian kickboxing champion Sushant Singh is delivered a deadly blow by his Pakistani opponent. A churning point in the narrative is arrived at in restrained rhythms.
This is where Chauhan’s narrative comes into its own. The dilemma of the deceased kickboxer’s younger brother Veeru (newcomer Aanaahad) to preserve his sporting spirit in the midst of high-voltage mutually-destructive Indo-Pak politics is built into the plot with architectural astuteness.
Not all of the material outside the central conflict, where Veeru forsakes cricket to pursue his slain brother’s dream in the kickboxing arena, works on the scripting level.
Does Veeru only want to use the boxing ring to avenge his brother’s death?
Though the characters falter in quantitative excess, the opposition of sports and politics and politics in sports is put into a persuasive perspective. The rest of drama tends to get tedious mainly because there are too many characters swarming the Indo-Pak map.
Veeru’s romantic attachment to the Pakistani girl (newcomer Shraddha Das) is skirted across in a few scenes where they exchange veiled pleasantries. Passion is seriously forfeited in the flurry of squeezing in a large canvas of characters.
It’s in the kickboxing scenes that the film exudes blood, sweat and tears. Aanahaad and his opponent Mukesh Rishi reveal a skill in the ring that cannot leave the audience unaffected.
Aanahaad does well in the sports scenes, but needs to brush up his skills in the emotional moments.
Of the rest of the cast Nafisa Ali, Ashish Vidyarthi, the late Nirmal Pandey and several other talented actors are wasted in sketchy roles. The film’s surface is over-populated. But its inner life suggests a sincerity of purpose.
Wayne Sharpe’s background score and Neelabh Kaul’s cinematography are first rate. They add to the feeling of a film that goes beyond sports, but stops short of making a statement on life lived on the border of hostility.
‘Lahore’ is not only about kick-boxing. At times you wish it was.