Movie Review: ‘Lashtam Pashtam’ – 2.5/5

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Story: Based on a true story, Lashtam Pashtam is about two boys from India and Pakistan who meet in Dubai and become friends for life. But the long standing history of hatred between their countries and demons from past put future of their friendship to test.

Review: Anything for my brother – that’s the one line meaning of Lashtam Pashtam. And that is the emotion that binds our two boys Sid Oberoi (Samar Vermani) and Vibhav Roy (Fahd Khan) from India and Pakistan respectively. Their story begins at a Dubai tennis court as doubles partners. However, the untimely demise of Fahd’s father pushes him back to Pakistan. Fahd returns to Dubai when he grows up to live his father’s dream of winning the championship with Samar.

For first timers, Samar Vermani and Vibhav Roy’s performances are earnest and believable despite obvious flaws in the script. Ditto for veterans like Dolly Ahluwalia as the endearing Naniji, whose monologue on the cross-border hatred is heart-rending.

Late Om Puri is instantly likeable as the cab driver from across the border who believes in selfless good deeds. Even if it means driving a young Indian from Lahore to Islamabad in times of crises.

However, an otherwise adept Tisca Chopra lets her poorly written character get the better of her. As a resentful mother, Tisca’s character Sheetal Oberoi lacks conviction and so does her acting. Ishita Dutta as Zayanah – a single mother from Pakistan dutifully plays her part, but her track leaves you with more questions than answers.

Writer Nitin Keswani and co-writer Manav Bhalla do not fuel their story with any burning Indo-Pak issue. They also steer clear of any chest beating patriotism from both sides. Instead, they tie in personal incidents in life of their characters with Indo-Pak issue in a much broader sense. Although, that’s a safe bet, packing in too many sub plots and past references, eventually backfires. Much of the second half that is spent in explaining and reasoning doesn’t quite add up.

Film’s cinematography can be described as amateur at best. While the music isn’t memorable, the title track shot in Dubai is a good watch. At less than 2 hours, it’s thankfully not a drag, but culminates into a predictably underwhelming climax.

Lashtam Pashtam sets out with good intentions, but fails to create great moments of cross-border bromance.

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