Thursday, May 15, 2014


I had never seen Gulzar’s Lekin, despite the fact that he is the person I respect most in the Hindi film industry, and I have seen most all of his films. I love the song, Yaara Sili Sili, hauntingly rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. I knew that the film involved a ghost, played by Dimple Kapadia. I remember reading the reviews when then film came out in 1991, all of which praised Kapadia’s ethereal look. It was one of the two films she appeared alongside the vast expanse of the desert, the other being Rudaali.

I really wanted to love the film. I just couldn’t. Unfortunately, the film has aged badly in all those years, unlike Andhi or Mausam, or even Angoor.

The first problem was the pace. The narrative went on in a circle for a long time, with the Sameer character, played by Vinod Khanna, going incredulous every time he meets the mysterious woman, Reva, which confounds him more and more. After a while, it gets on your nerves. Then the flashback about Reva’s past comes in a rush, at one go, and everything is not explained. We are not told how the Ustad, played by Alok Nath got out of the prison. And then, everything ends in a hurry. There are lot of unnecessary characters, including Moon Moon Sen as Sameer’s (former) lover. She is introduced only to invoke sympathy for the lead character. He would not be alone when the film ends, after all.

I, however, liked the delineation of the character of Sameer’s friend Safi, played by the inimitable Amjad Khan. It is not every day that a Hindi film gives so much space to the hero’s friend. They are usually taken for granted.

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