Mawra's debut film Sanam Teri Kasam may have been criticised for being overly sentimental, but the first-time film actress's performance has managed to bring in some praise in across the border.
Indian film critics have called her 'a natural scene-stealer', 'delectably feminine'... and 'more than a pretty face'.
Here's what they had to say about her debut:
1) Some critics believe Mawra deserved a better launch into Bollywood
"Debutante Mawra Hocane, a Pakistani VJ taking baby steps in Bollywood, is waiflike and delectably feminine but the picture of elegance that she projects is undermined by the inanities that her character has to mouth to justify her presence in the film.
The slapdash story, for whatever it is worth, is so utterly illogical that the film’s reasonably personable lead actors do not have a chance in hell of rising above the monumental mess." — NDTV's Saibal Chatterjee
"Before we delve into the depth of the film, it is important to mention that the debutants Mawra Hocane and Harshvardhan Rane are undoubtedly one of the most incredible performers who deserved a much-much better launch than this rusty and a little-too-stretched love story.
The newcomers have definitely done a great job and it’s only because of the two actors that you might survive the 155-minutes-long running time. But the script is just too shoddy and the story line way too boring to sustain viewers’ interest. Having said that, we do wish that the director would have utilised the actors’ abilities instead of just wasting the performers.
While we wish there was more to Mawra’s character than just weeping, weeping and some more weeping." — IBNLive's Kriti Tulsiani
2) Some critics implored her to sign another movie soon
"As long as the focus stays on its leads, the film does a good job. Harshavardhan, besides flaunting his perfectly chiseled torso and walking topless all through the film, give his angst some charm. Mawra matches up with her innocence and vulnerability.
From Inder softening every time he is around Saraswati, to watching them goof around in Kheech Meri Photo, they are a treat from the word go. You want to invest in these characters but the movie gets shrill over its 155 minutes, a little too sappy for liking and eventually boring. Your heart genuinely goes out to Harsh and Mawra who are let down by their clumsy narrative." — TOI's, Mohar Basu
"The one to watch is fresh import from Pakistan, the interestingly-named Mawra Hocane.
Her role requires her to be the kind of submissive, spectacles-swaddled ‘good’ girl who has difficulty in snaffling IIT-IIM types (which, according to this film, are the only ones to go for), who needs to be made over prettily to rescue her from permanent behenji-dom oblivion, and the kind who has to look for approving nods from the nearest male before taking a decision, and so on.
But the fresh-faced, unaffected Hocane rises above it all, and shows us how effervescence can light up the screen. Someone give her another movie, quick." — Indian Express' Shubhra Gupta
3) Some critics were vocal in their praise
"Pakistani star Mawra Hocane is the total package. She pulls off a Tamilian with aplomb; she pulls off a nerd with finesse and she’s unstoppable in her glamorous avatars. She’s delicate and her porcelain beauty makes the film look a lot fresher than it is." — Filmfare's Rachit Gupta
"It’s another matter that Mawra Hocane looks appealing with or without the chashma. (Maybe braces would have helped). She is clearly an offshoot of the effervescent Jaya Bhaduri. The way her character barges into the brooder hero’s troubled life, I almost expected Hocane to burst into 'Maine kaha phoolon se' from Mili.
While Mowra Hocane is a natural scene-stealer filling the frames with a sunny splendor, it is Harshvardha Rane’s clenched and controlled performance that had me thinking of Mr Bachchan in Mili." — First Post's Subhash K Jha
"Mawra Hocane, the Pakistani VJ, model and actor, is a delight to watch as Saru. She slips into the demure character with ease and her get-up certainly adds to her persona. She is confident and her innocence is endearing. You are one with her in her unrequited love, as also in her hour of grief." — Hindustan Times' IANS review
4) Some called the Mawra-Harsh pairing the film's saving grace
"Mawra Hocane and Harshavardhan Rane show some real promise and have genuine on-screen chemistry. Their pairing is the only thing that works for the film. Mawra is more than a pretty face and shows promise in her scenes with her dad." — DNA India's Tushar Joshi
5) You can't please everyone though; haters gonna hate!
"The major trouble with Sanam Teri Kasam is that nothing about it feels genuine despite the obvious efforts of its two leads who cut across as sorry figures reciting the most inane lines and doing the silliest things.
So Hocane's naive, dorky act is more annoying than endearing." — India Today's Suhani Singh