Farhan Akhtar made the single greatest mistake of his career with Dil Chahta Hai. Nothing spells doom for an artist like a spectacular debut, and he had captured everyone’s imagination with his first film. Many argued how Dil Chahta Hai had changed things for Bollywood, and was steering it clear off the Karan Johars and the Aditya Chopras – who were rehashing the same family dramas albeit with some sophistication.There were reports of his second film starring Hrithik Roshan as an army officer. And then the first trailer of Lakshya came, with both Hrithik Roshan and Preity Zinta sporting curious haircuts. The film released and shortly after, it flopped. There’s a certain amount of ignorance among the Indian audience which generally equates a film’s business with the overall quality of the film.Hrithik Roshan plays brat Karan Shergill.Many were on the fence saying it was definitely a good film, but was it as ‘great’ as his first film? Most of the second half was said to be snail-paced. The scenes of actual battle were quite dark and grim to comprehend. The film also showed subdued army officers who didn’t cry ‘Jo bole so nihaal’ or ‘Bharat mata ki jai’ each time they went to war. Quite different from the last hit Hindi film about the Indian army, Sunny Deol-starrer Border.Returning to screen-writing after an 18-year hiatus Javed Akhtar explained the reason why the film didn’t do well – “The film should have gotten over by the half-way mark.” However, director Farhan Akhtar stood by the film saying that it was exactly what he wanted to make and he was proud of it. When asked what he would change about Lakshya, He replied cheekily, “The audience, maybe?”advertisementPreity Zinta plays a journalist Romila Thapar, and Karan’s love interest.Since its release 12 years ago, Lakshya has developed into a cult of sorts. Many have watched and rewatched the movie on TV and found plenty to like about it. For example, it has arguably Hrithik Roshan’s best performance till date. Just watch that pre-climax scene where he points to his ‘goal’ with such anger, helplessness and focus at the same time.The film has some of the most beautifully-directed sequences in the bits featuring IMA, Dehradun, and the rock-climbing scene in the climax. In many ways, that sequence created history becoming the highest crane shot taken at 18000 ft. The amazing cinematography is courtesy German Director of Photography, Christopher Popp (a rarity in those days). Sadly, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s soundtrack was criminally overlooked including gems like ‘Kitni baatein’ sung by Hariharan and Sadhana Sargam. The title track sung by Shankar Mahadevan himself gained popularity only later, like the film. The film chronicles the journey of a young man, to an army officer.The film accomplishes everything it sets out to achieve, chronicling the journey of a Delhi youngster from his college days as a drifter to him scaling a literal peak for the Indian army in Kargil. Maybe, we as the audience let the film down because it wasn’t fun and games like Dil Chahta Hai. Maybe, we weren’t open to the grim, realistic portrayal of war. Maybe, we missed out on a good film at the theatres. And maybe it is nobody’s fault after all. Maybe.