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Lamhe poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byYash Chopra
Produced byYash Chopra
T. Subbarami Reddy
Written byHoney Irani
Rahi Masoom Raza
Anil Kapoor
Waheeda Rehman
Anupam Kher
Music byShiv-Hari
CinematographyManmohan Singh
Distributed byYash Raj Films
Release date
  • 22 November 1991 (1991-11-22)
Running time
187 minutes
Budget6 crore (equivalent to 42 crore or US$5.8 million in 2019)
Box office20 million (equivalent to 140 million or US$1.9 million in 2019)

Lamhe (lit. Moments) is a 1991 Indian musical romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra and written by Honey Irani, with Rahi Masoom Raza. The film stars Sridevi and Anil Kapoor in the lead roles, along with Waheeda Rehman and Anupam Kher in pivotal supporting roles. In the film, Viren falls for Pallavi, but she marries Siddharth. The couple dies, leaving behind their daughter, who grows up to look just like her mother and falls in love with Viren.

Produced by Chopra under his production banner Yash Raj Films, Lamhe was shot in 2 schedules in Rajasthan and London. Over the years, it has been hailed as a classic and possibly Chopra's finest film. Although the film did average business domestically, it became an huge success overseas, bringing in a worldwide gross of 20.5 crores on a 6 crores budget; thus becoming the 10th highest grossing Indian film of 1991. It received numerous accolades and featured on Outlook's list of Bollywood's Best Films. It has been cited as Yash Chopra's personal favourite of the movies he has made. This was one of the last films that Masoom Raza scripted. He died a couple of months after its release. On the occasion of the Centenary of Indian Cinema in 2013, Lamhe featured among the Top Ten Romantic Movies Of 100 Years.[1]

At the 39th National Film Awards, the film won Best Costume Design. At the 37th Filmfare Awards, the film received a leading 13 nominations and won a leading 5 awards – Best Film, Best Actress (Sridevi), Best Comic Actor (Kher), Best Story (Irani) and Best Dialogue (Masoom Raza).


A young Virendra "Viren" Pratap Singh (Anil Kapoor) visits Rajasthan for the first time where he is greeted by his governess, affectionately called Daijaan (Waheeda Rehman). His parents migrated to London before he was born. Initially, he is put off by the hot weather and baffled by the customs of the region but soon begins to respect the people and their tradition. He meets the beautiful Pallavi (Sridevi) and falls in love with her. Pallavi is the daughter of a businessman who had helped Viren's father when his business was suffering. Viren and Pallavi become friends but he is unable to express his love for her. Dai Jaa indicates to Viren that Pallavi is older than him, which does not bother him at all.

After losing a major civil court case involving his entire property, Pallavi's father dies of a heart attack. Pallavi goes into depression and isolates herself from others. Viren visits Pallavi to console her only to find her run to Siddharth, the man she loves and is romantically involved with. Viren is heartbroken, but out of respect for Pallavi's father's dying wish, arranges her wedding to Siddharth. A deeply saddened Viren moves back to London. Tragedy strikes a year later when Siddharth and Pallavi are involved in a fatal car crash. Their newborn baby girl, Pooja, survives and is placed in the care of Dai Jaa.

In London, Viren spends time with his childhood friend, Prem (Anupam Kher), who is well aware that Viren's heart pines for Pallavi. Over the course of time, and with much persuasion, Viren slowly hops back into reality and makes new friends, including a girlfriend and business partner, Anita (Dippy Sagoo), who upon finding out about Viren's past with Pallavi, constantly tries to get his attentions and feels envious.

Viren visits Rajasthan once every year for Pallavi's death anniversary, and to buy gifts for the young Pooja. He never spends time with Pooja because she was born the same day that Pallavi died and the pain of her death is still fresh in his mind. A few years later, on one of his visits, Viren meets the grown-up Pooja and is shocked to see the resemblance she shares with her mother Pallavi. Pretty soon, Dai Jaa brings Pooja to visit London. She meets Anita in Viren's house, and Anita soon realizes that Viren may never forget Pallavi because of how Pooja is a constant reminder of her. On the other hand, Pooja is completely unaware of Viren's heartbreak and feelings towards her mother. She continues to develop feelings for Viren, whom she lovingly calls "Kunwarji." Prem also admires Pooja's bubbly and amiable personality and understands how much Pooja is attached to Viren. Although Prem likes the alliance, he is skeptical since Viren is still living in the past.

Gradually, Anita realizes that Viren might be falling for Pooja so she confronts Pooja and tells her that she is merely a responsibility for Viren. Anita also tells Viren that he should be ashamed of having feelings for a considerably younger Pooja.

In Viren's house, Pooja finds a pencil sketch and misunderstands that it is hers when it really is her mother's portrait. When Viren returns she confesses her love for him assuming her affections will be reciprocated by Viren. A furious Viren finally reveals that he had only loved her mother. A humiliated Pooja asks Dai Jaa that they return to India.

Back home, Dai Jaa persuades Pooja to marry. Pooja agrees on the condition that Viren marry first. In London, Prem advises a confused Viren to confront his feelings towards Pooja. When Dai Jaa calls to let Viren know that Pooja has agreed to marry once Viren ties the knot, Viren feigns happiness and agrees to marry Anita. A wedding card sent to Dai Jaa followed by a phone call from Viren convinces Dai Jaa and Pooja that Viren has married Anita. Pooja now tells Dai Jaa that she does not want to ever marry. Back in London, Viren and Prem are wondering why Dai Jaa is constantly postponing her visit to London every month. They both decide to go back to India and surprise her. When they arrive in India, Dai Jaa informs them that Pooja backtracked on her promise and has vowed not to marry anyone. Viren confronts Pooja on her lies and finally confesses to her that he did not marry Anita since he realized he was in love with Pooja. They embrace and finally get married with the blessing of Dai Jaa.


  • Sridevi as Pallavi & Pooja Bhatnagar; in a double-role (as both mother and daughter)
  • Anil Kapoor as Virendra Pratap Singh (a.k.a. Viren / Kunwarji)
  • Waheeda Rehman as Daijaan
  • Anupam Kher as Prem Anand
  • Dippy Sagoo as Anita Malhotra
  • Manohar Singh as Kothiwale Thakur (Pallavi's father)
  • Lalit Tiwari as Sudheshwar Narayan Tiwari
  • Deepak Malhotra as Siddharth Kumar Bhatnagar
  • Ila Arun as a folk dancer in the song "Chudiyan Khanak Gayi"
  • Richa Pallod as Young Pooja
  • Vikas Anand as Doctor Vikas


The music was composed by Shiv Kumar Sharma and Hariprasad Chaurasia (together known as Shiv-Hari) and the lyrics were provided by Anand Bakshi. The song "Kabhi Main Kahoon" was made from a melody used as background music in Yash Chopra's Chandni (1989), also scored by Shiv-Hari. In the famous parody sequence, Waheeda Rehman danced to "Aaj Phir Jeene ki Tamanna Hai" – her iconic number from the all-time classic Guide (1965).

The songs included on the official soundtrack are listed here:

Song Singer(s)
"Yeh Lamhe Yeh Pal" Hariharan
"Yeh Lamhe Yeh Pal" (Sad Version) Hariharan
"Mhaare Rajasthan Ma" Mohinuddin
"Mohe Chhedo Naa" Lata Mangeshkar
"Chudiyan Khanak Gayi" (contains excerpt of 'Mhaare Rajasthan Ma' in the introduction) Lata Mangeshkar, Moinuddin and Ila Arun
"Chudiyan Khanak Gayi" (Sad Version) Lata Mangeshkar
"Kabhi Main Kahoon" Lata Mangeshkar and Hariharan
"Megha Re Megha Re" Lata Mangeshkar and Ila Arun
"Yaad Nahin Bhool Gaya" Lata Mangeshkar and Suresh Wadkar
"Gudiya Rani" Lata Mangeshkar
"Meri Bindiya" Lata Mangeshkar
"Freak Out" (Parody Song) Pamela Chopra and Sudesh Bhosle
"Moments Of Rage" (Instrumental) Instrumental
"Moments Of Passion" (Instrumental) Instrumental

Reception, Analysis & Legacy[edit]

Lamhe was widely acclaimed by film critics and is considered as one of the greatest Indian films of all time. It is one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film despite its moderate business in India. Lamhe is also one of the biggest Bollywood hits in the overseas market and the video circuit. Sridevi received widespread critical acclaim for her double-role as mother and daughter, winning the Filmfare Award for Best Actress among others. It finds a place in the Times Movie Guide's Top 100 Indian Films.[citation needed] It was also listed in Outlook magazine's list of All-Time Great Indian films.[2] It has been cited as Yash Chopra's personal favorite among his films.[3] Times of India included it in its list of Top 10 Films of Yash Chopra describing it as "a tale of love transcending the boundaries of time and space"[4] while Rediff called it "Quite easily one of his most definitive films, Chopra surpassed his own findings of romance with the insightful, lovely Lamhe."[5] Hrithik Sharma from El Viaje Reviews says "The cinematography is a treat to eyes. Editing is crisp but with nearly 3 hours of run-time, it requires patience to watch the whole film. Only Yash Chopra could create this bold and unheard story in a way, that otherwise would have not been received well."[6]

Sridevi played both mother and daughter in what iDiva described as "another double-role but it was unlike any played before."[7] Hailed by Rediff as "one of the most remarkable films of her career... often considered a film way ahead of its time",[8] Her performance brought her much acclaim with BizAsia stating that "Her rendition of both Pallavi and Pooja serves well in highlighting how versatile she is as an actress, playing contrasting characters in the same movie."[9] Speaking to Karan Johar about the making of Lamhe, Yash Chopra revealed, "When 90% of the London schedule was over, tragedy happened. Sridevi's father died... She came back after 16 days and had to shoot a comedy scene... At that moment, she forgot everything and gave a wonderful scene. I understood that is the secret of her success... Why she is what she is."[10] Sridevi's folk dance number 'Morni Baga Ma' became a rage and was placed among the 'Top 5 Songs of Yash Chopra' by Hindustan Times.

Over the years, Lamhe has become a cult classic.[11][12] Critic Rachel Dwyer wrote in her biography of the film-maker "Yash Chopra's own favourite film, Lamhe ('Moments', 1991), divided the audience on a class basis: it was hugely popular with metropolitan elites and the overseas market, which allowed it to break even, but it had a poor box-office response (largely lower class, especially the repeat audience) because of its supposed incest theme."[13] The Hindu reported that "With shades of incest, Lamhe caused more than a flutter and remained the talk of the town"[14] while Sridevi herself admitted in an interview with Rajeev Masand that she found the subject "too bold."[15] Rediff described its failure as "one of those bizarre, unexplained moments of cinema."[5] Many film analysts, including Vikram Bhatt, felt that Lamhe was ahead of its time and if released at a later period, would have been a huge blockbuster.[16]


39th National Film Awards
37th Filmfare Awards[17]




  1. ^ Yahoo. "Top 10 romantic movies". Archived from the original on 2 March 2012.
  2. ^ "Bollywood's Best Films". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  3. ^ Rachel Dwyer (2002). Yash Chopra: fifty years in Indian cinema. Lotus Collection. p. 160. ISBN 978-81-7436-234-6. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  4. ^ Times of India. "Top 10 Films of Yash Chopra".
  5. ^ a b Rediff. "The Very Best of Yash Chopra".
  6. ^ El Viaje Reviews. "Yash Chopra's Lamhe (1991) Review by Hrithik Sharma".
  7. ^ iDiva. "Sridevi – The Dancing Queen".
  8. ^ Rediff. "PIX: The Changing Faces of Sridevi".
  9. ^ bizAsia. "Yash Chopra classic flashback: 'Lamhe' (1991)". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013.
  10. ^ Yash Raj Films – YouTube. "Yash Chopra in Conversation with Karan Johar – Lamhe".CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "10 Must Watch Movies That Weren't Blockbusters".
  12. ^ Yahoo. "The Magical Years of Yash Chopra".
  13. ^ Yash Raj Films. "Yash Chopra – Biography".
  14. ^ The Hindu. "From Partition angst to romantic confection, his films had it all".
  15. ^ "Now Showing: Masand reviews 'Ek Tha Tiger', interviews Sridevi". CNN-IBN.
  16. ^ Ganti, Tejaswini (2012). Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry. Duke University Press. p. 342.
  17. ^ 1st Filmfare Awards 1953

External links[edit]