By Arpana, Indo-Asian News Service
Film: "Woh Lamhe"; Cast: Shiney Ahuja, Kangana Ranaut, Purab Kohli and Shaad Randhwa; Director: Mohit Suri; Ratings: ***
Mahesh Bhatt, one of the most prolific and daring filmmakers in Bollywood, has churned out quite a few emotionally charged films like "Arth" and "Zakhm" inspired by his own life.
The latest to join Bhatt's cinematic biographical list is "Woh Lamhe" - an interesting and engrossing tale, which unfolds disconcerting facts about his tumultuous affair with Parveen Babi, one of the most glamorous actresses of the 70s.
Director Mohit Suri, who impressed critics with "Zeher" and "Kalyug", has treated the complicated love story deftly, and it is sure to appeal to those who are looking for a different kind of emotional drama. However, Suri has taken some cinematic liberties in the Mahesh Bhatt-produced film.
Kangana Ranaut, who plays Sana Azeem (Parveen Babi), easily slips under the skin of her character and convincingly brings forth the trials and tribulations of Praveen.
She had shown her potential in "Gangster - A Love Story" and lives up to that expectation with this film.
Shiney Ahuja, who proved his mettle with "Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi" and "Gangster", seems to be slightly overshadowed by Kangana's powerful performance.
The first half of the film is fun-filled. But after the interval it becomes grim and tragic. It reveals the darker side of Parveen's life, thereby ruffling up her fans' sentiments. They find it difficult to accept that their favourite star - Parveen - was mentally imbalanced.
She is schizophrenic. She hallucinates about weird things and her producers make her life miserable by pestering her to fulfil her commitments.
She has a high-profile boyfriend, played by Shaad Randhwa, but he is never there when she needs him the most. He is least bothered about her emotional and physical problems. He sees her merely as a money-making machine.
Then enters a new man in Sana's life - Aditya Grewal (Shiney Ahuja). She is sure that her new boyfriend understands her and is truly in love with her and she depends upon him for emotional and moral support.
However, Aditya, a struggling filmmaker, is looking for his big break in the industry. Initially, he also tries to cash in on his high-profile girlfriend's celebrity status. But eventually he falls in love with her and starts shielding her.
He saves her from everything - greedy producers, her money-minded boyfriend and her mother who feels that Sana should be given shock treatment.
Aditya feels that Sana, apart from proper medication, also needs lots of love and proper nurturing and decides to elope with her.
It is not an easy job to translate real life stories onto screen. Surprisingly, the narrative is smooth and young director Suri manages to tackle complicated issues with confidence - he hardly falters or meanders from the subject.
The film has Purab Kohil, earlier seen in "My Brother Nikhil" as Sanjay Suri's best pal. He plays Aditya's friend and doesn't disappoint fans. Newcomer Shaad looks good in the negative role.
The film's music is one of its high points. It's a treat to watch "Kya mujhe pyaar hai", a well picturised fun song.
"Woh Lamhe" is a well-packaged entertaining film. Not to be missed.
Bollywood.com Rating: 2.5