New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) The timing couldn't be more coincidental. National Award-winning director Rahul Dholakia's film on Kashmir "Lamhaa" comes just at a time when the state is facing a crisis following violent protests over the killing of youths in police firing.
Produced by GS Entertainment and distributed by PVR Pictures, the movie set in Kashmir releases Friday. It stars Sanjay Dutt, Bipasha Basu, Kunal Kapoor and Anupam Kher.
"It is a film that is pro-humanity, a film that makes you think...'Lamhaa' is different from other films made on the plight of Kashmiris... It is from the point of view of the people of Kashmir," Dholakia had told IANS.
"The reason why I decided to make a film on the (Kashmir) valley was that during one of the screenings of 'Parzania', I met a few Kashmiri students. They said Kashmir is a beautiful prison. That's something that caught my attention," said Dholakia, who earlier made "Parzania", a film set against the backdrop of the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
In "Lamhaa", Vikram (Sanjay), a retired paracommando, is sent to the valley to eliminate Pasha, the man controlling the mayhem in Kashmir. But little does he know that what would be an in-and-out operation will change his life and that of the Kashmiris forever.
Pasha's on ground network is extremely strong and everyone seems to be an informant. To crack this, Vikram unites with Aziza (Bipasha), who works for an organisation fighting for the freedom of Kashmir.
The intensity of their beliefs and their will to survive all odds creates a special bond between them. Soon they find themselves embarking together on a journey full of intrigue, suspicion and betrayal.
Kunal Kapoor plays a young politician in the film.
With hope as the basis of existence in Kashmir, the movie questions if wisdom would prevail in the valley, so that the Kashmiris are not crucified in the crossfire of politics.
Not many know that Karisma Kapoor was earlier chosen to play the female lead in the film, but she opted out in the last minute because she feared shooting in the troubled valley. Bipasha, Ameesha Patel and Sonam Kapoor were then considered for the same role, which landed in the Bengali beauty's kitty.
Bipasha fled from the valley during shooting fearing the agitation in the valley. But she resumed shooting with tightened security.
Dholakia, however, emphasised that there were no problems while filming in the valley.
"We faced no problems in Kashmir. Omar (Abdullah), the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, is my friend and he provided us with full security. Also there was full support from the people," he said.
After his sensitive handling of the Gujarat riots in "Parzania", expectations are high from Dholakia's film on Kashmir as well.