Lamhaa, which has opened to a mixed response, could not be screened in Kashmir therefore director Rahul Dholakia has decided to arrange free bus transportation for Kashmiris to and fro between Srinagar and Jammu where the movie is being shown.
"It's a film for the Kashmiris and about their lives. It's only fair that they see it. We'll do whatever it takes to make sure they are able to reach the nearest spot where the film is being screened," said Dholakia.
The nitty-gritty is now being worked out. The free transportation to catch Lamhaa is expected to commence early this week.
Lamhaa that attempts to throw light on the painful plight of the militancy-ridden Kashmiris has struck a chord with locals.
Dholakia says Kashmiris are travelling from Kashmir to Jammu and Delhi to watch the film."And mind you, it's not an easy journey. One either takes a flight out which most Kashmiris can't afford. So they've been making the journey by bus to see my film. 'Lamhaa' addresses their problems and they've realised it. The same cannot be said about some critics who have chosen to completely misinterpret my motives for making the film."
Dholakia is specially upset by criticism of Bipasha Basu's performance.
"They keep asking her only about how she fled from Srinagar during shooting. As though that's all there's to her performance. Of course, she was scared. Who wouldn't be? Why don't these people, who talk about her fleeing from Kashmir, try visiting the areas where we shot?
"There were over a 1,000 jawans (soldiers) there and still the angry civilians could do anything. Bipasha was completely vulnerable to attack. Hats off to her for returning to complete the film. She shot under very dangerous circumstances," he said.
Bipasha's role was turned down by many actresses.
"I offered it to all the other top actresses. They all chickened out. Bipasha had the guts to take it up. And what a consistent and credible performance she has given. As far as I'm concerned, this is not just her best performance. It is one of the best performances by a female actor."
The director is shocked that some critics have not noticed the hard work that has gone into Lamhaa.
"We've spent three years on the film. The music by Mithoon contains instruments voices and lyricists from Kashmir. And to then have the film dismissed by some like this?! What should I make? Candy floss? Then I'd be criticised for trying my hand at trivia."