After having attended a workshop on screenwriting, cinema makes more sense to me now. And because I believe in the prior statement, I am going to attempt a tribute to a beautifully written movie which didn’t become a blockbuster but deserves a place in our hearts. Today, let’s talk about Lakshya.
Lakshya is the journey of a man named Karan Shergill who starts from being someone who says “main aisa kyun hu” to finally finding his goal and accomplishing it. The story also revolves around his conflicted love relationship but we will come to that later.
Journey of self-realisation
Many of us are on the quest to find the reason behind our existence and give a meaning to our life. While it is true that only some of us realise our true goal, it is wrong to diminish the importance of those who spend their lives in the pursuit of finding a goal but fail in it.
Karan Shergill, a pampered boy, from a good monetary background is fine with his meaningless life until one day he realises that he too must have a goal. Whether it is peer pressure or parental pressure that makes him question his identity, it works well for him. He decides to join Army hence finding his true Lakshya.
But the inspiration wears off when he joins the Indian Military Academy. The realisation is quick and he heads back home where he meets his father who has always known that Karan is good for nothing and is happy to know that his opinion of him is still intact *bad parenting signs*
However, it doesn’t break Karan’s heart. It takes a romantic love relationship for his heart to finally feel shattered. Romi, his girlfriend, refuses to see him again when she realises that he has quit his training at IMA and is back home. That’s where cinema comes in. Romi didn’t have to leave Karan, he could have still accomplished his goal but without a good drama, you cannot create catharsis. It is the catharsis of heartbreak that motivates Karan to accomplish what he set out for. Either that or ego, I am not so sure.
Whatever it is that drives Karan, he joins back IMA and successfully completes his training. All this while, Romi is in his heart. So when Karan becomes Lieutenant Karan Shergill, he calls her. The motive isn’t to boast about becoming a Lieutenant but to reach out to her. This is where cinema steps in again. When they could easily reconcile, cinema highlights how the barrier of communication can give rise to conflicts where they shouldn’t even exist. Both of them love each other but the script should go far enough to depict what breaks important relationships. It helps us learn a valuable lesson. There are some points in life when effective communication can save precious relationships but we destroy them because we want to have the control.
This is one of the most beautiful aspects of Lakshya, both Karan and Romi are driven by their passion. They exhibit fearlessness when it comes to the pursuit of goals. Both are equal. However, both are flawed. They fail to realise that their pride, while it keeps them equal, kills their bond. I do not intend to say that Romi shouldn’t have taken the call to break up with him, no. But at a time when both could reconcile, their ego clash stops them from being together.
Some would say that it is futile to discuss relationships when the movie revolves around self-realisation. But I would beg to differ. Love is the most human element in our lives that gives us contentment. Many studies have proven time and again that despite huge wealth, successful jobs, people are unhappy because they do not have loving relationships. While a loving relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic one, in this movie, it plays a significant role in how Karan’s future shapes out. Romi was already self-driven but for Karan, it took Romi’s loss to realise his goals. Reality can be different. You don’t have to lose someone to find your ambition.
In a fight between the two countries, India and Pakistan, many people lose their lives. In this art of storytelling, the writer has created the pain of loss to make the story relatable. As an audience, I wouldn’t connect with it if I couldn’t feel their pain. I can feel it because they have strung the chords of my heart. I connect with it because I also know how loss feels like.
Coming back to Karan and Romi, both the main characters evolve and grow individually without falling out of each other’s lives. Destiny brings them together slowly and steadily. They did not have to fall apart in the first place but that’s cinema for you.
This one movie leaves us with memorable characters. We will always remember Karan (Hrithik) for his journey, Romi (Preity Zinta) for her fearlessness, (Sub. Maj. Pritam Singh) Om Puri for his thoughts on war and peace, Karan’s father (Boman Irani) for bad parenting goals.
The movie creates catharsis at different points. The first one (catharsis of pain) is when Karan gets his heart broken, the second one (catharsis of pride) is when Karan completes his training, the third one (catharsis of sorrow) is when he comes back only to find Romi engaged to someone else, the fourth one (catharsis of ego) is when they can reconcile but have an ego clash, the fifth one (catharsis of loss) is when people die in the battleground, the sixth one (catharsis of joy) is when Karan completes the final mission and places the victorious Indian flag on the winning ground.
At the end of it all awaits a beautiful life with Romi.