This is a spectacular time for Pakistani cinema. Read the reviews by yours truly, and take a risk for yourself. More often than not Eid releases do give the audiences the bang for their buck, but in case you need further convincing, here are the reasons why one should pay good money to see these four Pakistani films in cinemas.
Ghabrana Nahi Hai
Ghabrana Nahi Hai is a bona fide big-screen experience, produced by the power-collaboration of Jamil Baig (the owner of Nueplex Cinemas, in his first official production) and Hassan Zia, a veteran producer from television who also produced Wrong No., Wrong No. 2 and Mehrunisa V Lub U.
Irrespective of Saba Qamar headlining the film, the film actually belongs to Zahid Ahmed, who I am declaring as the next big film star (he also makes the police uniform look cool), and Syed Jibran, who plays Saba’s love-struck cousin. Saba has great, emotion rousing dialogues, but Jibran’s and Zahid’s characters give the film its emotional punch.
If anything, be on the lookout for an intriguing con-game at the very end of the film; it comes out of the blue and gives the film a fresh and unique climax.
Dum Mastam is a rarity when it comes to Pakistani films. Amar Khan, who also stars as Aliya in the film, writes one of the most engrossing screenplays in the history of present-day cinema.
The film is about the push and pull relationship between Bao (Imran Ashraf), a loud, fervent brawler and musician who only has eyes for Aliya, and Aliya, who only dreams of becoming a successful dancer.
Amar and Imran are the heart and soul of Dum Mastam — and their performances, like their roles, are complex and multi-layered.
This is a very simple, perhaps one-line story that has several supporting sub-plots — like the one about the meteoric rise of Imran’s character as a superstar singer.
Keep in mind though, that these are just sub-plots, because the film is essentially about Bao and Aliya’s relationship.
First-time film producers Adnan Siddiqui and Akhtar Hasnain’s weapon of choice to helm the film is Mohammad Ehtashamuddin — and they couldn’t have made a wiser call. Ehtasham delivers one of the best films in Pakistan’s history.
If you are one of those people who are into Hollywood and Bollywood thrillers, then Chakkar is just the film for you. A fast-paced, who-done-it murder-mystery that spins and spins and spins — especially during the climax — Chakkar is a welcome change of genre for Yasir Nawaz who co-writes, produces, directs and acts in the film.
Although a man known for his comedy films, Wrong No. and Wrong No. 2, Yasir’s decision to make a murder-mystery is a brave decision. Braver than that is his and distributor Everyready Pictures’ call to release the film this Eid.
While Neelam Muneer is just fine as the lead of the film (she plays two very different twin sisters), Ahsan Khan, Yasir and Ahmed Hassan steal the film.
Ahmed, especially, makes an astounding physical transformation as Sir Buland Iqbal Cheema LLB — an advocate with a strong moral compass. However, it's not just his transformation that will keep you hooked; it’s the combination of the role and the performance that singlehanded elevates the film a few notches.
In the film, Ahsan’s character is framed for murder, and Yasir, who plays a super-cop, tries to unravel the mystery.
For action buffs, there’s a very cool action sequence between Ahsan and Yasir as well. Chakkar is a twisting, turning who-done-it; in all honesty, as far as Pakistani films go, I’ve never seen a film as effective as this, in the genre, in the last 20 years. Thoroughly recommended.
Parde Mein Rehne Do
Perhaps the most unique and unexpected film in the lineup is Parde Mein Rehne Do, Wajahat Rauf’s best and perhaps most mature film till date. Wajahat previously directed Karachi Se Lahore, Lahore Se Aagey, and Chhalawa.
Ali Rehman Khan, in what is his most understated and best performances in film, stars in this 90-minute comedy-drama about a husband who can’t father a child.
Hania Aamir plays Ali’s wife — an intelligent, supporting, new-age woman — while Javed Sheikh, Saifee Hassan, Noor-ul-Hasan, Muhammad Hasan Raza, Sadia Faisal and Shafqat Khan round off the cast.
I’ve written this in my review, and I’ll say it again — Parde Mein Rehne Do should be the new template for all Pakistani films from now on. It addresses a worthwhile issue in a very commercial, fast-paced film that the whole family can enjoy.