Review: Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is good when its script goes bad

Review: Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is good when its script goes bad

It's troublesome when a movie's highlights include the script's funniest bloopers
17 Sep, 2016

Judging from its title, one would expect Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay to be a tra-la-la romance. But the film actually takes us beyond the ‘happily ever after’ of a young couple. That, unfortunately, is the only freshness the film has to offer.

After seven years of marriage and a child nicknamed Dodo, Mahira (Sajal Aly) and Zain (Feroz Khan)’s relationship is crumbling. An aspiring screenwriter, Zain is busy chasing his rather non-lucrative dreams; Mahira, tired of waiting for him to ‘make it’ and feeling unloved, decides to walk out. This is where Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay begins.

The stage was set — on paper — for an exploration of messy marriages or the challenges of modern-day marital life. But that opportunity went to waste.

Instead, the film goes on to scratch the surface of a series of unrelated subjects: morning shows and their rating games; the woes of a writer in a commercial industry; dreams vs real life; fatherhood; the power of love.

It also makes a mockery out of the judicial process and medical profession; the audience should see the film just to be amused to see how it does so.

All of this occurs in the backdrop of a family meltdown.

(Spoilers follow) Mahira, after many shouting matches and a tussle in court, also wins custody of Dodo. A devastated Zain devolves into a state of homeless wretchedness, while Mahira renews her career as a morning show host and shoots to super-stardom.

Director Anjum Shehzad works into his second film yet another critique of the industry in which he operates.

(Spoilers follow) Mahira caves to commercialism and becomes a hit, but ultimately acknowledges the hollowness of her work. Zain’s steadfast rejection of the industry standard despite financial pressures eventually bears fruit; he gets the film deal that he desired. This message of staying true to one’s artistic integrity echoed Mah-e-Mir, and one wonders what it’s doing in a film like Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay.

Also read: Anjum Shehzad’s Mah-e-Mir strongly criticises the commercialisation of the arts, but will anyone listen?

The major takeaway from Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay could be that life is beautiful despite the warts. The film is a summation of all the bad things that can happen in adult life: break-ups, bankruptcy, broken dreams. Throughout the film, Dodo tries to get his parents to reconcile. When he succeeds in getting them to see the world through his eyes, their family finds their happy ending.

It’s unusual for a film to put the spotlight on a child star. He delivers the opening prologue and it is his dialogues that articulate the bulk of the film's underlying philosophy. But Jibrail Rajput does not balk under pressure. His confidence and acting ability is apparent, but he, like the rest of the cast is beleaguered by the heavy-handed dialogue.

One can’t fault Jibrail, or his senior co-stars Sajal and Feroze for resorting to histrionics at various points of the film; underperforming lines like “Baap aisa jannat ka phool hota hai jisko khuda ne insaan bana ke khilaya ho” (“A father is a heavenly flower that God fashions into human form”) wouldn’t do either.

Sajal and Feroze command attention on screen, which is enough for us to look forward to their next films. Hopefully, they will have the advantage of far better scripts.

Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay also doesn’t deliver on the music front. Most of the songs are forgettable; the opening number is remembered because it appears kitschy and low-budget, a misfit for a film that isn’t short on gloss.

All in all, Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is good as a mindless two-hour treat, but then it shouldn’t have been burdened with the extra 'messages'. It was refreshing to see a film that was about marriage instead of the usual courtship before a big, beautiful wedding. The audience deserved a smarter script and better music -- only then could it have been considered as a paisa vasool venture.

Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


Jibrail cuzin Sep 17, 2016 01:51pm
this film was paisa fazool. only good thing was action stunts was good for lauging
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Nawaz Sep 17, 2016 01:53pm
Two hours of torture!
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Khwarezmi Sep 17, 2016 03:18pm
The trailer saved me!
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Hamid Shafiq Sep 17, 2016 04:58pm
@Khwarezmi I am also agree with you
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Adnan Sep 17, 2016 07:13pm
Feroze Khan is a terrible actor
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Jimmyali Sep 17, 2016 09:19pm
Pakistani cinema copying Bollywood with grt effort but failing badly. They should add some steamy scenes to get things going. Our actors for few rupees will be willing to show case.
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Jimmyali Sep 17, 2016 09:20pm
@Adnan just like humyma Malik
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ss Sep 17, 2016 10:04pm
2 hrs of torture it was, really wanted to ask the director what did he actually wanted to do? and that child actor was so annoying.
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christo joseph Sep 18, 2016 01:32pm
so, does the pakistani films like this portray the real pakistan? i see a beautiful girl in modern dress and a beach.
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thuglife Sep 19, 2016 03:30pm
Meera , Sana, Reema etc I guess had some moral values but we still criticized all on them for their vulgar dance moves how about today's actress's who are willing to do anything to make their name in the film industry and are well respected by the audiences.
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Aamer Sep 19, 2016 05:15pm
@Jimmyali Bollywood also copied numbers of Pakistani movies like Talaq, Jo Dar Giya wo Mar Giya and many others. Bollywood also copies Hollywood and French and Chinese movies but still comes up with craps like Fan, Mohenjo-daro, Prem Ratan Dhan Pyo, Kites, Student of the Year and many more. Pakistani cinema is improving and is doing much better Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hai my be a disappointment but Janaan and Actor in Law were big hits. So think before you speek.
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Aamer Sep 20, 2016 12:27pm
@thuglife The problem is no one took Meera, Sana, Reema etc seriously. Meera did some good films in Pakistan but she is criticized for her behaviour off the camera. Sana and Reema dont have a bad reputation, scandels were made but without any proof . Today's actresses like Mahvish Hayat, Iman Ali, Humaima Malik, Armina Rana, Sanam Saeed and Mahira Khan are doing far better job and are a part of improved cinema. Not like old days when Neeli,Reema, Saima and Resham were ruling the industry.
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