Served with a kick

Using a conventional story of brotherly love and revenge set against the backdrop of India-Pakistan sporting relations, Lahore presents a paradox—a message of harmony told through the sport of kick-boxing.

Non-formulaic: Farouque Shaikh’s acting is exceptional.

Director Sanjay Puran Singh Chauhan uses his experience as a sportsman to inject into the film a dose of reality—politics and politicians in sport, lack of attention to disciplines other than cricket, favouritism in selections—aided by a somewhat clichéd depiction of Pakistani athletes being unsporting.

Held together by competent cinematography (Neelaabh Kaul), realistic action sequences and excellent sound editing, the film is, however, a let-down in a number of areas. The acting is amateurish, with the exception of the reliable Farouque Shaikh (as coach). The editing could have been sharper—a series of montages and wasted sequences snip away at the pace.

A creditable effort by someone who has never made or even assisted on a film, Chauhan’s sincerity shows, with several moments of promise that just about make up for the shortcomings. Lahore could have become jingoistic but it shows restraint in its non-formulaic ending. See it if you like sports action.

Lahore released in theatres on Friday.