Yaara Vey, directed by Manish Pawar, is tucked between sunny pastures of young love and melancholic mists of long forgotten romance of the elderly. Though it held potential for a well-constructed story had it properly stitched together dialogues with its scenes, it did not manifest. Instead, the ship was helmed by its cinematic value and a promising music score, relying more on style than substance.
The story revolves around Sania Siddiqui (essayed by Aleeze Nasser), Sameer (Sami Khan) and Armaan Syed (Faizan Khawaja), who coincidentally get caught in a love triangle. Sikander Raina/Sikki (Ali Sikander), Sonia Siddiqui (Marina Khan) and Kabeer (Jawed Sheikh) support the narrative with their evasive actions and timely decisions. The stirring tale of bygone love thrusts the trio into an emotional rollercoaster, leading them to make irrational and rather nonsensical decisions.
Shot in Thailand, Georgia and Dubai, the movie showcases diverse landscapes and beautiful labyrinths of streets, buzzing with panache and charm of a metropolis. Costumes play a major role in navigating the plot. From floral appliques to ball gowns, we see characters in stunning dresses, adding allure to the movie’s otherwise commonplace narrative.
Yaara Ve relies heavily on music, with songs constantly being used as an instrument to drive the narrative, rather than being part of it. This also explains why there are too many songs in the movie, though all numbers are soothing to the ears, particularly the title track. The movie’s music is helmed by Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Rahul Jain and Atif Ali, amongst others.
Encapsulated in brief conversations around digital space, transition texts, poetry and Starbucks coffee, Yaara Vey is a visually appealing movie that could definitely have done more in post-production. The dialogues lacked an impact — some were good but others needed a bit more work. For instance, this dialogue by Sikander, “Behta hua paani, guzarata hua waqt aur ishq, apni jagah bana hi leta hai [Flowing water, passing time and love end up making space for themselves]”, conveyed exactly what the situation required. However, the scenes preceding this dialogue couldn’t really hook us, so this statement lost its effect and seemed unearned.
Additionally, the target audience of the movie wasn’t clearly defined. Was it for Pakistani expats living in the UAE or other countries? Or was it for the local Pakistani audience? This dilemma was carried throughout the movie, constantly making us hunt for relatability. There were also issues with camera stabilisation; in some scenes, we could see the camera shaking. This shouldn’t have been the case, given the stature and budget of the movie.
There were some aspects that I found particularly concerning such as Sonia, an architect living in a mansion, not knowing how sprinklers work, characters not being introduced in a memorable manner (we don’t know what the surnames of Sameer and Sikki are or what the nature of Sameer’s job is apart from fooling around), the constant change of frames per second, glorification of Kabir uncle’s Instagram-esque poetry and strange brand placement (Chocolatto in Thailand?).
Earlier this year, we received a statement from Beeline Productions, following a social media post by Marina where she complained about not being paid by the production company. Though that matter was ultimately resolved, the associate production company stating that the owner of Elite Films “discontinued the production of the film without any notice” is explanation enough for these technical discrepancies.
But all issues aside, Yaara Vey is a good nesting ground for upcoming movies releasing in Pakistan. If you’re up for a ride filled with good music, cinematic grandeur and glorious landscapes, you are sure to like this movie! It is currently screening in over 50 cinemas in 14 cities of Pakistan. So go grab your ticket and see how you find it!