Millennial Review: When Dad Bod Met Mom Face in ‘Lamhe’
(Avinash Iyer, 32, put on his millennial glasses to review Yash Chopra’s Lamhe, a film that has earned cult status over a period of time.)
On a sunny afternoon in Rajasthan, Viren (Anil Kapoor, without a moustache. OMG!) and his nanny, whom he affectionately calls Dai Ja (Waheeda Rehman) are going to his palatial haveli. He’s a London return and is complaining about the dhool, mitti and pradushan. For some reason, Dai Ja, instead of offering him a sunscreen is busy telling him tales of his ancestors, their culture and Rajput pride (*cough cough Padmavati*).
Upon reaching the haveli, Viren is introduced to the key people. Moments later, just as they say in the Rajasthan Tourism ad – Jaane Kya Dikh Jaaye! – Viren suddenly spots a woman dancing away in the rain. Sunny one moment, rainy the other. Had the makers of the film seen climate change coming way before everyone else had? We wouldn’t know. What we do know is that Viren is totally smitten by the woman – Pallavi (Sridevi). She’s the neighbouring kothiwale thakur’s daughter.
Now Viren didn’t have the luxury of virtually stalking people on social media, so he follows her around for a bit. In time, they become friends and she agrees to be his tour guide. She even gets him to give up his formal wear and sends him Manyavar-like clothes. His attraction towards her only keeps increasing, but she doesn’t have the slightest inkling.
They didn’t even have sarahah then, you see. For the first hour or so of the film, you see Pallavi dancing in the rain, dancing in the sun, dancing on the desert, dancing in a temple, dancing with a baby goat, dancing solo and dancing in a group. All this dancing stops, when her father loses all his property in a dispute and dies. On his death bed, he gives Pallavi’s zimmedaari to Viren. Poor fellow, he’s guardian-zoned even before he knows it. Is this a sign of things to come? You’ll find out.
When Viren goes to console Pallavi, he realises that he was all the while in the friend-zone, which is worse than guardian-zone tbh. She’s already seeing Squadron Leader Siddharth Bhatnagar who seems like the kind of person who would write ‘Sapiosexual’ in his Tinder bio and also bombard you with ‘Good morning’ WhatsApp forwards every day. She goes on to marry him and learns of Viren’s feelings towards her only later.
By now, Viren has flown to London and Pallavi, God knows for what joy, keeps sending him letters even though he doesn’t respond to any. Wait a minute. Was she the one who invented what we today know as spam? Damn it, Pallavi. You’re the one responsible for all the Dr Batra mails we get.
Soon, a pregnant Pallavi and Siddharth meet with an accident. They both die, but not before she gives birth to a baby girl and hands it over to Dai Ja to raise. Years roll by. Viren now looks like he is close to his 50s, with shades of grey……….in his hair and possibly has a dad bod. The best part about older Viren is that Anil Kapoor’s moustache is back. YAY! Pallavi’s daughter is Pooja played by Sridevi again. Just like we have Dad Bod, let’s call her Mom Face.
One fine day, during a visit to India, Dad Bod meets Mom Face and is shocked at the resemblance because he had completely avoided interaction with her all these years. Seeing your crush’s grown up daughter is one thing, but seeing that your crush’s grown up daughter looks just like your crush while you’re still single AF is another.
Mom Face is a bubblier version of her mum and takes a liking to Viren, who she calls Kunwarji. She tries to woo him, but he still has mummy issues. He hasn’t gotten over Pallavi, you see. Add to that, he also has a relationship going on on the side. But Mom Face doesn’t give up and after a fair amount of drama, the two unite.
What’s commendable here is Dad Bod’s patience. Imagine waiting for a whole generation and even growing a mooch, all so that your love story is complete. Phew!
On the side: Lamhe, though quite long, is very watchable mostly because of Sridevi’s performance and also the fact that you get to see Anil Kapoor without his trademark mooch. Watch out for the sequence where Anupam Kher and Sridevi recreate old Hindi songs. It’s super fun! Also, major props to Yash Chopra for making a film that was quite ahead of its time and that too with two actors who were on the top of their game.