From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lamhe poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byYash Chopra
Written byStory:
Honey Irani
Rahi Masoom Raza
Rahi Masoom Raza
Screenplay byHoney Irani
Produced byYash Chopra
T. Subbarami Reddy
Anil Kapoor
Waheeda Rehman
Anupam Kher
Deepak Malhotra
Dippy Sagoo
Manohar Singh
CinematographyManmohan Singh
Music byShiv-Hari
Distributed byYash Raj Films
Release date
  • 22 November 1991 (1991-11-22)
Running time
187 minutes
Budget6 crore (equivalent to 44 crore or US$5.5 million in 2020)
Box office20 crore (equivalent to 146 crore or US$18 million in 2020)

Lamhe (lit. Moments) is a 1991 Indian musical romantic drama film directed by Yash Chopra and written by Honey Irani and Rahi Masoom Raza. The film stars Sridevi (in a dual role as both mother and daughter) and Anil Kapoor in titular roles, along with Waheeda Rehman, Anupam Kher, Deepak Malhotra and Dippy Sagoo in pivotal roles. In the film, the Viren (Kapoor) falls in love with Pallavi (Sridevi), but she marries Siddharth (Malhotra). However, Pallavi and Siddharth die in an accident, leaving behind, in care of Viren, their daughter Pooja (also Sridevi), who grows up to look just like her mother and falls in love with Viren. The film marks the second and final collaboration between Sridevi and Chopra, after Chandni (1989).

Produced by Chopra under his production banner Yash Raj Films, Lamhe was shot in two schedules in Rajasthan, India and London, United Kingdom. Over the years, it has been hailed as an all-time classic and Chopra's finest film. Although the film did moderate business domestically, it became a major success overseas, bringing in a worldwide gross of 20.5 crores on a production budget of 6 crores; thus becoming the 10th highest grossing Indian film of 1991. It received widespread critical acclaim upon release, with high praise directed towards Sridevi for her dual role as mother and daughter.

A recipient of several accolades, Lamhe won Best Costume Design at the 39th National Film Awards. Additionally, at the 37th Filmfare Awards, the film received a leading 13 nominations, including Best Director (Chopra), Best Actor (Kapoor), Best Supporting Actress (Rehman) and Best Supporting Actor (Kher), and won a leading 5 awards – Best Film, Best Actress (Sridevi), Best Comedian (Kher), Best Story (Irani) and Best Dialogue (Masoom Raza).

Lamhe featured on Outlook's list of Bollywood's Best Films. It has been cited as Chopra's personal favorite of the films he has made. This was one of the last films scripted by Masoom Raza; 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 10 Romantic Movies Of 100 Years.[2]


A young Virendra Pratap Singh a.k.a. Viren (Anil Kapoor) visits Rajasthan, India for the first time where he is greeted by his former governess Durgadevi (Waheeda Rehman), affectionately called Dai Jaa. His late parents had migrated to London, England before he was born. Initially, Viren is put off by the hot weather and the customs of the region, but soon begins to respect the place and the people. During his visit to the place, he meets the beautiful Pallavi Thakur (Sridevi) and falls in love with her. Pallavi is the daughter of businessman Kothiwale Thakur (Manohar Singh) who had helped Viren's late father when his business was suffering. Viren and Pallavi become friends. However, upon noticing Viren's feelings for Pallavi, Dai Jaa indicates that Pallavi is older than him, which does not bother him.

After losing a court dispute involving his property, which was unbeknownst to anyone else, Pallavi's aghast father dies of a heart attack, but not before he lets Viren know about the development and hands over Pallavi's responsibility to him. Pallavi goes into depression. Viren comes to console her at her father's mourning ceremony, but is shocked to see her run towards Siddharth Kumar Bhatnagar (Deepak Malhotra), an airline pilot and the only man whom she loves. Viren is heartbroken, but reluctantly arranges Pallavi's wedding with Siddharth, with support from his childhood friend named Prem Anand (Anupam Kher) and Dai Jaa. After Pallavi and Siddharth's wedding, Viren sadly moves back to London along with Prem, while Siddharth lets Pallavi know about Viren's love for her, which he had experienced through his gestures at Pallavi's father's mourning ceremony.

A year later, tragedy strikes when Siddharth and the pregnant Pallavi are part of a major car accident, forcing Viren to return to India after being contacted by Dai Jaa. Siddharth is killed in the disastrous action, and Pallavi also succumbs to her gravest injuries at the hospital, much to the traumatization of Viren, who sorrowfully performs her last rites and returns to London with his heart filled with grief, after reluctantly placing Pallavi and Siddharth's newborn daughter named Pooja under the care of Dai Jaa.

In London, Viren spends time with Prem and over the course of time, slowly gets back to reality and makes new friends, including a girlfriend named Anita (Dippy Sagoo), who begins to fall for him and tries to make him reciprocate her feelings but in vain. Viren visits India every year for Pallavi's death anniversary, and to deliver birthday gifts for the young Pooja. He never spends time with Pooja because she was born the same day Pallavi died and the pain and trauma of her death is still fresh in his mind.

20 years later, the now middle-aged Viren comes back to India for Pallavi's death anniversary and meets the now grown-up Pooja (also Sridevi) - a spitting image of her mother, which is unbeknownst to herself. The shocked Viren feels that destiny is playing a cruel game with him, but still invites Pooja and Dai Jaa to London, where Pooja develops a happy-go-lucky friendship with Prem. Pooja and Prem together implement childish and comical antics along with Dai Jaa - which includes singing medleys of old Hindi film songs - to motivate the upset Viren into enjoying life afresh, and ultimately succeed in doing so.

During their visit to London, Pooja and Dai Jaa also meet Anita, who realises that Pooja's resemblance to Pallavi must be a constant reminder of Pallavi to Viren. Meanwhile, Viren unintentionally begins to develop a very close relationship with Pooja - but Anita tells him that he should be ashamed of having feelings for a considerably younger woman, due to the fact that she resembles her late mother whom he loved. Prem understands how much Pooja is attached to Viren and has pined for him since childhood, but is skeptical as Viren is still living in the past in the memory of Pallavi.

Meanwhile, Anita also tells Pooja that Viren has brought her up is what she should appreciate, and that she should awaken to the fact that she has feelings for a man way too much older than her. Determined to prove Anita wrong, Pooja visits Viren's office in London to gift him the new sweater bought by her, when he reveals her his decision of getting her married to either a prospective groom or the man whom she loves. At this point, Pooja musters up her courage and confesses her true love for Viren, who intensely slaps her on her face as a shocking response.

In order to get away from Pooja's feelings for him, Viren reluctantly proposes to Anita, and the two decide to get married, much to Prem and Pooja's dismay. However, the distressed Pooja comes across Pallavi's pencil sketch made by Viren in his room, in which, Pallavi also has a vermillion on her forehead. She misunderstands it to be her own portrait and is amused to believe that Viren too has feelings for her. Therefore, Pooja dresses up in the traditional, Indian form in the portrait and questions Viren over "hiding" his feelings from her, before asking him to complete her comparison with her portrait by applying vermillion on her forehead.

Then, a furious Viren reveals to Pooja that he actually loved her mother resembling her, which was the reason he never spent time with her on her birthdays, and has gone into a state of sorrow since her sad demise. A humiliated Pooja expresses her wish to return to India before Dai Jaa. After Pooja and Dai Jaa's departure, a confused Viren asks Prem to return to his own people and leave him alone to sulk, but Prem angrily slaps him and advises him to confess his feelings for Pooja (which he has been denying till now), pointing out that Pallavi was the one who never loved him but Siddharth, while Pooja is Pallavi and Siddharth's daughter who always loved him more than anything else.

Back in India, Dai Jaa persuades Pooja to get married, but she agrees on one condition that Viren must marry first for being older than her. When Dai Jaa calls to let Viren know about Pooja's condition, Viren mysteriously agrees to marry Anita. Upon learning this, an upset Pooja tells Dai Jaa that she never wants to get married, much to Dai Jaa's dismay. Meanwhile, Viren and Prem are wondering why Dai Jaa is delaying her visit to London for Viren and Anita's marriage. The two decide to give her a surprise by visiting her in India.

Upon arriving, Dai Jaa informs Viren and Prem that Pooja has vowed not to marry. At her nightly sound-and-light show in Rajasthan, Viren confronts Pooja and reveals that he never wanted to marry Anita, since he had realised that he has developed feelings for Pooja due to her uniqueness, not because of her resemblance with Pallavi, and for the first time in life, Viren confesses his true love for Pooja and the two embrace as Prem and Dai Jaa happily walk into the scene. In the end, Viren and Pooja get married and move back to London as a happy couple.


  • Sridevi in a dual role as
    • Pallavi Thakur Bhatnagar; Viren's initial love interest, Pooja's mother, Siddharth's wife, and Kothiwale Thakur's daughter
    • Pooja Bhatnagar; Viren's ultimate love interest, Prem's close friend, Dai Jaa's considered daughter, Siddharth and Pallavi's daughter, and Kothiwale Thakur's granddaughter
  • Anil Kapoor as Virendra Pratap Singh a.k.a. Viren; Pallavi's lover, Pooja's love interest, Prem's childhood friend, Dai Jaa's considered son, Siddharth's accquaintance, and Anita's boyfriend
  • Waheeda Rehman as Durgadevi a.k.a. Dai Jaa; Viren, and later, Pooja's governess
  • Anupam Kher as Prem Anand; Viren's childhood friend, and Pooja and Anita's close friend
  • Deepak Malhotra as Siddharth Kumar Bhatnagar; Pallavi's husband, Pooja's father, Viren's accquaintance, and Kothiwale Thakur's son-in-law
  • Dippy Sagoo as Anita; Viren's girlfriend and Prem's close friend
  • Manohar Singh as Kothiwale Thakur; Pallavi's father, Siddharth's father-in-law, and Pooja's maternal grandfather
  • Lalit Tiwari as Sudeshwar Narayan Tiwari; Kothiwale Thakur and Dai Jaa's accquaintance
  • Ila Arun as folk dancer in "Morni Baga Ma Bole" song (Special Appearance)
  • Vikas Anand as Dr. Vikas; Pallavi's surgeon (Special Appearance)
  • Richa Pallod as young Pooja Bhatnagar (Special Appearance)


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 composed from a melody used as background music in Chopra's Chandni (1989), also scored by Shiv-Hari. In the famous parody sequence, Rehman danced to "Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai" – her signature song 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)
"Mhaare Rajasthan Ma" Mohinuddin
"Mohe Chhedo Naa" Lata Mangeshkar
"Morni Baga Ma Bole" (contains excerpt of 'Mhaare Rajasthan Ma' in the introduction) Lata Mangeshkar, Moinuddin and Ila Arun
"Morni Baga Ma Bole" (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"
"Freak Out" (Parody Song) Pamela Chopra and Sudesh Bhosle
"Moments Of Rage" (Instrumental) Instrumental
"Moments Of Passion" (Instrumental)

Reception, analysis and legacy[edit]

Lamhe is one of the few films that picked up the Filmfare Award for Best Film, despite its moderate business in India. It 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 was also listed in Outlook magazine's list of All-Time Great Indian Films.[3] It has been cited as Chopra's personal favorite among his directorial ventures.[4] The 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",[5] while Rediff called it "Quite easily one of his most definitive films, Chopra surpassed his own findings of romance with the insightful, lovely Lamhe."[6] 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 Chopra could create this bold and unheard story in a way, that otherwise would have not been received well."[7]

Sridevi played both mother and daughter in what iDiva described as "another double-role but it was unlike any played before."[8] Hailed by Rediff as "one of the most remarkable films of her career... often considered a film way ahead of its time."[9] Her performance brought her high critical 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 film."[10] Speaking to Karan Johar about the making of Lamhe, Chopra revealed, "When 90% of the London schedule was over, a tragedy took place. 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."[11] Sridevi's folk dance number "Morni Baga Ma Bole" was placed among the 'Top 5 Songs of Yash Chopra' by Hindustan Times.

Over the years, Lamhe has become a cult classic.[12][13] Critic Rachel Dwyer wrote in her biography of the filmmaker "Yash Chopra's own favorite film, Lamhe (Moments (1991)), divided the audience on a class basis: it was hugely popular with the metropolitan elites and the overseas market, which allowed it to break even, but it had a poor box-office response (especially the repeat audience), because of its supposed incest theme."[14] The Hindu reported that "With shades of incest, Lamhe caused more than a flutter and remained the talk of the town",[15] while Sridevi herself admitted in an interview with Rajeev Masand that she found the subject "too bold".[16] Rediff described its failure as "one of those bizarre, unexplained moments of cinema."[6] 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 success.[17]

Awards and nominations[edit]

39th National Film Awards:
37th Filmfare Awards:[18]




  1. ^ "Lamhe". The Indian Express. 22 November 1991. p. 4.
  2. ^ Yahoo. "Top 10 romantic movies". Archived from the original on 2 March 2012.
  3. ^ "Bollywood's Best Films". Retrieved 15 May 2010.
  4. ^ Rachel Dwyer (2002). Yash Chopra: fifty years in Indian cinema. Lotus Collection. p. 160. ISBN 978-81-7436-234-6. Retrieved 31 March 2011.
  5. ^ Times of India. "Top 10 Films of Yash Chopra".
  6. ^ a b Rediff. "The Very Best of Yash Chopra".
  7. ^ El Viaje Reviews. "Yash Chopra's Lamhe (1991) Review by Hrithik Sharma". YouTube. Archived from the original on 19 December 2021.
  8. ^ iDiva. "Sridevi – The Dancing Queen".
  9. ^ Rediff. "PIX: The Changing Faces of Sridevi".
  10. ^ bizAsia. "Yash Chopra classic flashback: 'Lamhe' (1991)". Archived from the original on 21 April 2013.
  11. ^ Yash Raj Films – YouTube. "Yash Chopra in Conversation with Karan Johar – Lamhe". YouTube.
  12. ^ "10 Must Watch Movies That Weren't Blockbusters".
  13. ^ Yahoo. "The Magical Years of Yash Chopra".
  14. ^ Yash Raj Films. "Yash Chopra – Biography".
  15. ^ The Hindu (21 October 2012). "From Partition angst to romantic confection, his films had it all". The Hindu.
  16. ^ "Now Showing: Masand reviews 'Ek Tha Tiger', interviews Sridevi". CNN-IBN. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012.
  17. ^ Ganti, Tejaswini (2012). Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry. Duke University Press. p. 342. ISBN 978-0822352136.
  18. ^ 1st Filmfare Awards 1953

External links[edit]