Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Soch (2018)

A review on Pakistani Drama-Movement theatre play, Soch (2018). It was performed at NAPA International Theatre Festival 2018.

+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Bazelah Mustafa
  • Lighting by Aisha Bukhtiyar
  • Music by Masood ur Rehman
  • Produced by Bee M Productions

+ Note

Soch is an exploration of acknowledging the agony but welcoming contentment. Traumas do not spare anyone but when examination over the sufferings in life becomes continuous, one usually ignores the happiness around. It is a collection of distressing life experiences and the aspiration of euphoria.

+ Performers

  1. Bazelah Mustafa
  2. Shahrukh Arif
  3. Sheraz Jhakrani
  4. Umer Arshad
  5. Hunain Kamaal
  6. Asfand Yar
  7. Ahad Tauqeer
  8. Danish Irshad
  9. Waqar Nadeem
  10. Wasay Qureshi
  11. Rehan Nazim
  12. Gaizan Abbas
  13. Saqib Ali
  14. Raam Govind
  15. Kiran Siddiqui
  16. Raheel Siddiqui
  17. Asma Noor

 

+ Plot
It’s the expression of broken souls and sore bodies. Don’t murder your dreams but make them come true.

+ High Points
i – Great direction by multi-talented star, Bazelah Mustafa. In this play too, she had not only directed but written, choreographed and performed as well. She is no doubt, a valuable star for our theatre world.

ii – Splendidly written screenplay by Bazelah; making the scenes very interesting. Since this is a movement play, so your interest level could now be focused only on the screenplay and performances.

iii – The performance given by Bazelah Mustafa was not only the best out of the lot but it clearly showed that her body language was the most flexible and suitable for such movement plays. Bazelah’s bold performance on several occasions throughout the play has made the audience eager to see more of her performances in her upcoming projects.

iv – Gaizan Abbas bought pleasant humor in his effective performance as one of the drug addicts. Other Honorable Mentions: Hunain Kamaal, Waqar Nadeem and Asma Noor.

v – The humor level supersedes when it comes to a serious play like Soch. And it suits well with the characters that portrayed them.

vi – Good dance choreography during its musical sequences.

vii – Excellent use of the body movement and the use of its creativity such as family tree, playground scene, clock and many more.

viii – The lighting was efficiently controlled and executed.

+ Low Points
i – Most of the daring and more interesting roles were performed by Bazelah Mustafa. It would be recommended if next time it is more properly distributed, give other performers the chance to prove themselves worthy so that they could highlight themselves as well.

ii – The play would have been unforgettable for the times to come if there were stronger performers in this 17 performers’ play.

+ Overall
Soch is a daring, sensational and graceful hit play which has been produced in a long time.

Rate: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Do Tone (2018)

A review on a foreign Dance-Movement theatre play, Do Tone (2018). It was performed in NAPA International Theatre Festival 2018.

+ Performers & Musicians

  1. Katrin Schafitel
  2. Gergely Lukacs
  3. Sascha Luer
  4. Simon Otto
  5. Sunil Shanker
  6. Fawad Khan
  7. Kulsoom Aftab
  8. Umair Rafiq
  9. Raheel Siddiqui

+ Note

Do Tone is a Dance + Music + Audience play (literally without a plot). It is an art form that reacts spontaneously to the current circumstances in able to work with them. A trio of the most prominent artists from Germany, Switzerland and Pakistan have worked in this project.

+ High Points
i – Aside the German performers, we have great stars like Sunil Shankar, Fawad Khan, Kulsoom Aftab in the performers’ lineup for us theatre lovers to come and watch the play.

ii – The music is nicely played by the German musicians. It kept the mood going.

iii – The lighting is effectively handled.

iv – Kartin Schafitel was able to bring smiles to the audience faces in the end.

+ Low Points
i – Is this is a joke? I mean, really? It seems that NAPA management is playing with the people, such as pulling our legs to see who falls for these kinds of dull plays? Just to check out the audience tolerance level.

Afterwards, they are going to say, “See, we are just kidding. we do have very good quality plays like the one we performed in last year’s festival. do ignore these, as we were just testing you only”.

ii – A play without any directions or knowing where its headed to?

iii – Waste of talented stars in this dance play.

+ Overall
Do Tone is easily a forgettable play, where there’s only little to admire here.

Rate: 1.0 out of 5 stars

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Lahore Se Aagey (2016)

A review on Pakistani Comedy feature film, Lahore Se Aagey (2016). The Production House is Showcase Productions while its Distributor is ARY Films.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Wajahat Rauf
  • Cinematography by Asrad Khan
  • Written by Yasir Hussain
  • Produced by Wajahat Rauf, Salman Iqbal & Asfand Farouk

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Lahore Se Aagey is a sequel of Karachi Se Lahore (2015). The character of “Moti” became so popular in it that he is bought back in as the lead role for this film. There are several minor roles appearances of different stars including of Hasan Rizvi, Atiqa Odho, Erum Bashir, Komal Rizvi, and Ali Zafar.

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Yasir Hussain as Moti
  2. Saba Qamar as Tara Ahmed
  3. Mubashir Malik as Ali
  4. Rubina Ashraf as Farah
  5. Behroze Sabzwari as Mamu

+ Plot

It centers on Tara who is a rock star but her fiancée does not agree with her dream goals. In their temporary break up, she meets Moti who is being chased by two bandits. As they both try to save their lives, during their journey Farah and Moti fall for each other.

 

 

+ High Points

i – Both of the lead stars, Saba Qamar and Yasir Hussain performed very well on screen. It helped the film to gain interest for the audience as they watched their unusual yet good chemistry. Other Honorable Mentions: Behroze Sabzwari.

ii – The cinematography is good with the scenery shots are well taken with promoting the beauty of our great nation.

iii – The makeover & hair-styling and slim physique of Saba Qamar made her gorgeous to look at.

iv – The screenplay, its humor throughout the film is funny and enjoyable.

v – The minor role of Ali Zafar is a good induction in the film.

 

 

+ Low Points

i – There is no proper structure of storytelling. There are scenes which are totally irrelevant and unrelated with the film’s plot.

ii – In Act III, the character of Behroze Sabzwari and Rubina Ashraf becomes so rubbish and idiotic just like its weak script.

iii – The script is so badly written that the construction of its story telling is just a forgettable one.

iv – Most of the things happening in the film are highly illogical and impractical. I don’t want to give away its spoilers but the questions would arise as why is this happening? or what’s the point of showing this’? really, i am telling you just… don’t ask!

v – Karachi Se Lahore (2015) showed too many product placements which was very annoying to watch. Similarly, in Lahore Se Aagey repeats the same mistake twice.

vi – Good mimicry does make one smile or even laugh however this technique is highly over used by weak writers to fill in a supporting comic character. The Big B mimicry was good in this film but this is not a creative way to bring humor in your work. Don’t pick the easy way out. Instead, work on your writing skills.

+ Overall

Since, Lahore se Aagey, never takes itself too seriously and ends up being a good time pass.

 

 

Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Taleem-e-Balighan (1956/66 and 1973)

A review on Pakistani Classic Comedy Drama TV series, Taleem-e-Balighan aka Education for Adults (1956/66 and 1973). In 1966, it’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio) and PTV Network (Karachi Studio) in 1973.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Agha Nasir
  • Written by Khawaja Moinuddin
  • Lighting by M. Sabir and Javid Iqbal
  • Makeup by Afzal Ahmed & Zahid Sheikh
  • Production Design by Badar-Ul-Islam Syed

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Taleem-e-Balighan aired on PTV Network in 1966. In total, it consists of 02 episodes. This limited TV series was originally written for the Radio Pakistan in 1956 before the introduction of TV broadcasts in Pakistan in November 1964. This classic TV series is a social satire theatre play shot for TV as a mini-series.

It is based on Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s or Quaid-e-Azam’s three principles of ‘unity, faith and discipline’, which became an inspiring and effective slogan for the Muslim masses during the Pakistan Movement days around 1947.

Taleem-e-Balighan’s remake was directed & produced in 1973*. The late actor, Qazi Wajid is the only returning star who plays the role of the Maulvi Sahab in it. It was telecasted as one-episode TV serial.

This two-episode mini-series is considered a classic by some of the critics. 

 

 

*The given year is not confirmed.

 

  

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Mahmood Ali as Maulvi Sahib
  2. Qazi Wajid as Hajab (Barber)
  3. Subhani Ba Yunus as Qasab (Butcher)

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Supporting Cast

  1. Qasim Jalali as Dhobi (Student) #3
  2. Bakhtiar Ahmad as Victoria Wala (Student) #4
  3. Sheikh Mahmood as Malwari (Student) #5
  4. Sheikh Ali Ahmed as Doodh Wala (Student) #6
  5. Razia Sultana as Maulvi Sahib’s Wife (Voice)

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Crew (Remake)

  • Directed & Produced by Tasneem Aslam
  • Written by Khawaja Moinuddin
  • Title Graphics by PTV Studio (KHI)
  • Makeup by Aijaz Khan, Shakir Ahmed & Imran Ahmed
  • Production Design by Munza Ejaz

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Main Cast (Remake)

  1. Qazi Wajid as Maulvi Sahib
  2. Behroze Sabzwari as Hajab (Barber)
  3. Shahzad Raza as Qasab (Butcher)

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Supporting Cast (Remake)

  1. Ayaz Khan as Shagird (Hot Tempered Student) #3
  2. Sajid Shah as Victoria Wala (Student) #4
  3. Ayum as Malwari (Student) #5
  4. Famid Ahmed Khan as Doodh Wala (Student) #6
  5. N/A as Maulvi Sahib’s Wife (Voice)

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

It focuses around a Madrassa (school) where adults are provided an education in a satirical and humorous environment.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The writing highlights Quaid-e-Azam’s three principles of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’. These three principles are shown through their respectable POV for the audience to understand of bringing the betterment of our educational system and social welfare from their current weak status to a successful rank of the country’s establishment. Its mild humor keeps the interest level of the audience at bay.  

ii – A careful direction of photography is required for which scenes to be shot up close or from a medium angle. This helped in understanding that certain scene’s crucial moment or defining the features of a character, being described as untidy. The original TV series work is much superior.

iii – Subhani Ba Yunus as Butcher, plays as one of the best roles of a grown-up student. The number of times he is hit by the broom of his headmaster, no student is. His character’s realistic performance of agonizing in pain, laying out his dagger on being threatened and singing scenes, will definitely glue the attention of the viewers to their screens till the very end of this classic TV mini-series.  

iv – Mahmood Ali as Maulvi Sahib, who is the teacher of these aged students. He plays as the most remarkable and the most memorable role of his career. Mahmood brings smiles on the viewers’ faces with his uncanny timing humor and utter nonsense examples on the unheard idioms that the Maulvi Sahib is unfamiliar of. Other Honorable Mentions: Qazi Wajid (as Barber).

v – The three lead stars for the original as well as the remake, attracts the viewers to watch this TV series in the first place.

vi – The songs are mesmerizing and good to listen to. 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Honestly, I had my expectations really high from this limited TV series. I read the praises a lot and wanted to know its specialty by finally watching it.  

ii – The remake comes nowhere close to the original release’s success in almost every department, whether it is the cinematography or the performances.  

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Khawaja Moinuddin’s Taleem-e-Balighan, is one of the important works that is ever written for the silver screen.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Resurrection (2018)

A review on Foreign Drama-Movement theatre play, Resurrection (2018). It is a dance ritual on breathlessness, passion, oneness and survival.

+ Note

Resurrection is dedicated to all those who lost their lives due to oppressive systems. Made with original music, the piece includes a poetic monologue written in English & Arabic. The piece was created and developed over the course of 10 years and it reached its current performativity form in 2016-17.

This play was triggered by the collective death of 50 theatre artists in the South of Egypt on 5th Sep 2005. The Egyptian state is still to be held responsible for this collective death by means of negligence and disrespect to the theatre community in specific, and disrespect to human dignity in general.

Goethe-Institut has helped greatly in making many of the performances in this 6th International Theatre & Music Festival 2018. Special thanks to other consulates and embassies for their support.

+ Performer

  • Nora Amin

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
A fire took place in a small state theatre venue, and among the deceased was Saleh Saad, who had a vision of his death before this trauma occurred.

+ High Points
i – The lighting behind this tragic play helped with the performance different moments and beats.

ii – The sole performance of Nora Amin is nicely presented.

+ Low Points
i – Since most of the audience are non-Arabic, it would have been preferable for the narrator to tell the intro in English.

ii – The translation of Arabic verses during the performance into English was becoming mixed up, difficult to understand as it was spoken almost side by side.

+ Overall
Resurrection is unquestionably an emotional play for those who were directly or indirectly linked and witness to this the real-life tragic incident that occurred. But the play itself could not sustain to make its mark as to be remembered by with fond memory.

Rate: 1.25 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Jutt and Bond (2001-4)

A review on Pakistani thriller sitcom TV series, Jutt and Bond (2001-4). Its Production House is WZ Studios (Lahore) while its Distribution is done by Indus Vision.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Zain Ahmed
  • Written by Vasay Chaudhry
  • DOP by Shahbaz Malik
  • Graphics & Edited by Rana Farooq and Rana Furqaan
  • Produced by Samina Ahmed

 

 

 

+ Note

Jutt and Bond aired on Indus Vision from 2001 –2004. In total, it consists of 81 episodes. It is a satire TV series based of multiple detective TV series and films. The song is Kahan Hai Tu, is the soundtrack of this sitcom. The two lead stars / former lead singers, Fawad Afzal Khan and Ahmed Ali Butt featured in its music video. It is also directed by Zain Ahmed.  

This is Fawad Khan and Ahmed Butt’s debut TV series. Originally, Fawad was the lead singer of Paradigm, a metal music band while his co-lead star, of Entity. Afterwards, they merged their band into one as Entity Paradigm (EP). They both have left their previous professions, to focus on their acting careers. Yasser Hashmi, who portrays his character as Dr. Evil’s Assistant, in real life, he happens to be one of the lecturers of Lahore based leading university, LUMS.  

Jutt and Bond is also Vasay Chaudhry’s first writing venture for the television and Zain Ahmed’s debutal TV series.

 

 

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Fawad Afzal Khan as Bond
  2. Ahmed Ali Butt as Jutt
  3. Bilal Sami as Dr. Evil
  4. Samina Ahmed as Madam C

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Vasay Chaudhry as Sooda
  2. Yasser Hashmi as Assistant
  3. Zain Ahmed as Puppy
  4. Farah Tufail as Jutti
  5. Mehvish as Amma
  6. Hajrah Mumtaz as Emily
  7. Haseeb Khan as Police SHO
  8. Danyal as Police ASI

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Minor Cast (Cameo)

  1. Mustafa Ali as Noori Nath
  2. Ahmad Shah Tipu as Co-Detective
  3. Jawad Bashir as Detective #2
  4. Nadia Afghan as Girl Next Door
  5. Shoaib Hashmi as Chief
  6. Vanessa Ahmed as Femme Fatale

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Two unlike duo, Jutt and Bond have the responsibility to save the world from the clutches of Dr. Evil and his minions.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The opening theme song, Kahan Hai Tu sung by Fawad Khan is a good song.

ii – A number of well-known celebrities to see them, making supporting or cameo appearances.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Vasay Chaudhry may have become a great writer today. But this debut work of his is a complete disaster. I can not believe that this same fame writer/actor have wrote its script. The viewer will have no idea, to what exactly is going on in their episodes. Everything is happening in this sitcom is just random.

No characters are properly introduced, no backstory of the lead characters are properly defined… it’s a wonder, why our TV industry ignores well-versed writers over these referenced based writers. After a decade later, Vasay finally came up with a brilliant work to pen Jackson Heights (2013-14), a TV series based on Pakistani immigrants living at US block, Jackson Heights. Now, that work is note worthy. But this… this work can only be approved through personal contacts only.    

ii – Zain Ahmed is one of the best directors of the theatre world. He has directed and produced great theatre plays, one after the other. Similar to him, everyone do start from the scratch. Still, this sitcom would surely be one of those few projects of his that he must not be proud of.

iii – Miraculously, reaching till 81 episodes is one of the signs of the judgement day. This sitcom one-episode story doesn’t make any ‘Head or Tail’. How the hell this TV series was permitted to telecast it to the public? 

iv – The kind of writing you have here, perhaps this sitcom was meant for ‘Kindergarten’ target audience. This is the level of humor that you will face here. There is more sense in the children cartoon, ‘Inspector Gadget’ than this sitcom.

v – Almost the entire TV series is shot on ‘Open Air Location’. It starts to get irritating to see no-closed doors environment after a while.   

vi – The performances of the entire cast is just rubbish. Honestly, I had no expectations from this sitcom. I mean, this is after all a debut work of Fawad Khan and Ahmed Butt. So, what really would anyone expect? It took many years for Fawad to become one of the highest paid Pakistani star. However, Jutt and Bond is something which is easily forgettable.

vii – Boy! What a stupid finale. Yes, I’m aware and fully understand that this is a sitcom. But still, good comedies are well written and creative. Its not an easy job to write a comedy. A popular quote by anonymous is, ‘A bad comedy is no comedy’. 

viii – Every episode consists of a song, with a brief dance steps between the two different main / supporting characters of the sitcom. I dare you to like even one.  

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
The only recognition Jutt and Bond has that its the launching platform for the solid names of our media industry such as of Fawad Khan, Ahmed Butt and Vasay Chaudhry who started their successful careers, for what they are today.

 

 

 

Rate: 0.50 out of 5 stars

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ga’on Mae Roshni (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Ga’on Mae Roshni (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Sheema Kirmani & Anwer Jafri
  • Written by Anwer Jafri (Adapted)

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Ga’on Mae Roshni is a Lahore theatre group play. Its original script is in English by Jo Clifford.



 

 

+ Full Cast

  1. Sheema Kirmani as Narrator / Kali / Old Woman
  2. Sumaira Shahzad as Narrator and Sita
  3. Haris Khan as Bantu / Husband of Sita
  4. Imran Khan as Narrator / Old Landlord / Lawyer
  5. Waheed Ali as Younger Brother of Old Landlord

 

 

 

+ Plot
In the beginning goddess Kali, Personifying Mother Nature explains how the environment of this planet sustains life but it does not tolerate excesses committed against it.

 

 


+ High Points
i – Creative ways to show the sexual assault with dark blue lights and hard light flash from low angle of the assaulter. Also the way the play showed the lone man running and struggling to find work in the city.

ii – The message regarding how much struggle and hardships are sacrificed by the villagers in able ‘to live their dreams for a good peaceful life’ was presented nicely. Including the real reason behind how the arrival of the electricity to their village is well portrayed.  

iii – The performances by everyone were reasonable.


 


+ Low Points 
i – Since almost every actor played multiple roles, then it would have been better for the audience ease that the characters change should be in another costume or carry character related props to differentiate.

ii – Although a fair, just ending is showed but also a predictable one. Also, that it was explicit to how they presented it.

iii – The play time length should be reduced by 30 – 40 minutes. 

iv – When the sexual assault take place by the two men but then the telling it loudly that what just happened wasRape’! It is funny really that you had to announce it to the audience as everyone understood the scene clearly. Suppose we are watching at wedding night scene in a film, there husband sits closely to his newly wedded wife while saying some romantic dialogues to her and the room’s lights switched off. Then we hear the narrator’s voice who says that they had ‘Sex’ last night.

See? It’s pointless. Why does the narrator has to tell that when it is obvious that what must have happened… unless something else have occurred then yes, do tell that in the narration? Otherwise it is strictly no.

Don’t put everything on the plate for the audience to consume. Let them understand some things on their own.

v – Not once but twice I noticed that for couple of seconds the performers forgot their next lines.

vi – Some of the scenes were too dramatic.

vii – The visuals of villagers’ suffering could be showed when there no scene sharing but just the narrator voice over it. You see that when an actor is performing, his body movement, gesture and speech should be the main criteria that the audience should be focusing on rather than the visuals shown in the background. If we have a strong performer, his speech should be so convincing that the imagination that is being portrayed in the people minds would be more than enough to share the pain and sympathy that the poor people must be suffering in such times.


 

+ Overall
Despite a few good moments, Ga’on Mae Roshni never really grabs the viewers in linking the emotive touch.

 


Rate: 2.0 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Aunn Zara (2013)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Com TV series, Aunn Zara (2013). Its Production House is Oriental Films while its Distribution is done by A Plus Entertainment.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Haissam Hussain
  • Written by Faiza Iftikhar
  • Cinematography by Ilyas Kashmiri
  • Edited by Iftikhar Manzoor
  • Produced by Shahzad Chaudhry

+ Note

Aunn Zara is based on Faiza Iftikhar’s novel, Hisaar-e-Mohabbat aka Fort of Love. It aired on A Plus Entertainment from 18th Jun 2013 – 31st Oct 2013. In total, it consists of 22 episodes. It revolves around a married couple spoilt by their respective families and are desperate to escape this attention.

The theme song (original soundtrack) & background music of is composed by MAD Music with the lyrics by Awais Sohail. Its singers are Athar and Ragini.

 Aunn Zara was aired in India on Zindagi in 2014, including on Zee TV USA and Lamhe TV. Since Jul 2020, it is available for streaming online at ZEE5 app.

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

  

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Osman Khalid Butt as Aunn
  2. Maya Ali as Zara
  3. Sabreen Hisbani as Nighat
  4. Adnan Jaffar as Jamshed

xxxxxxx

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Hina Khawaja Bayat as Husna
  2. Nasreen Qureshi as Aunn’s Grandmother
  3. Yasir Masher as Aunn’s Uncle
  4. Saima Saleem as Aunn’s Aunt
  5. Mukarram Kaleem as Manzar
  6. Mahira Bhatti as Shehna

 

 

xxxxxxx

+ Minor Cast

  1. Irfan Khoosat as Zara’s Grandfather
  2. N/A as Jamshed’s Friend

+ Plot

Aunn & Zara are two spoilt and only children of their families. After their marriage, they desperately try to escape their controlled environment set by their parents.

+ High Points

i – It is a family oriented humor, that can be easily be watched and find the jokes amusing. Such as the big arguments over a small issue between the couple, family relatives beating the hell out of Aunn and his friend’s lover, the close-friendship chemistry of Nighat and Jamshed, all points towards a light humor TV drama.

ii – Not only the chemistry of Osman Khalid & Maya Ali works well on-screen, even the supporting couple, Adnan Jaffar’s and Sabreen Hisbani’s chemistry is praise worthy. I find both their chemistry really interesting to watch.

iii – Sabreen Hisbani portrays as Nighat, as Aunn’s phupo, a caring aunt. Similar to Aunn’s close relatives, she too has a great affection towards her nephew and intends to look after his well being. One of the attention seeking performances is of Sabreen, who has managed to keep her performance as per her character’s demand up to the mark. I have watched her previous performance in a sitcom, Nadaaniyan (2009 – 13) which she acted in it very comical.

iv – Nasreen Qureshi portrays as Aunn’s grandmother. Her good performance comes to me as a surprise. She is a veteran actress, who is known to depict her characters very realistic on-screen.

+ Low Points

i – The first 10 episodes show cased ‘Over The Top’ performances by almost everyone. Gradually do the performances comes to a level, where the audience starts to appreciate them .

ii – My interest level gained only after 15 – 16th episode. The reason is that I found this TV series as a very overrated one. The plot is simple, didn’t find anything new to watch, the fights / arguments between the lead couple is too girlish, the sub plots are very basic, the list goes on…

iii – I really don’t know what to make of the finale. There are no consequence or confrontation to the actions taken by Aunn’s mischiefs. You can’t just assume that everything is just okay now, can you?

+ Overall
Aunn Zara is a cute rom-com TV series where the female audience mainly, would love to watch.

Rate: 1.75 out of 5 stars

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Chup (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Chup aka Quiet (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

+ Crew

  • Set Designed & Directed by Sunil Shankar
  • Written by Fawad Khan

+ Note
Chup is Fawad Khan’s second play-write. The first one was Khawab Tha Shayed. Chup is a haunting story regarding missing person case accused of a very serious allegation. Rather than focusing on the missing person’s life, this play is about his family and their uncomfortable disturbing social life ever since of his sudden ‘Disappearance’.

Most of our audience still lacks to understand tragic scenes that are purposely shown in amusing manner; such as father keeps hearing someone’s knock on the door. It is indeed a saddening play where you may never know whether missing person (your loved one) is dead or alive? Did he left the home willingly or was he abducted by unknown groups? Never to know real answers on such cases, the pain of agony and depression is shown through this brave play.

+ Full Cast

  1. Fawad Khan as Salman
  2. Bakhtawar Mazhar as Ammi
  3. Sunil Shanker as Abu
  4. Kaif Ghaznavi as Rabia
  5. Haya Khan as Zara

 

 

+ Plot
Salman has been receiving calls from an unknown number. Nobody says anything but the calls are persistent. His mother is also receiving the same calls. Father has hearing problems and yet he seems to hear knocking on the door whereas no one else does.

+ High Points
i – Fawad Khan’s performance as the responsible son was played out superbly. I have watched many plays before where his performance is usually received with a standing ovation. Fawad is one of the elite actors which NAPA has ever produced. In such intense plot we able to see Salman’s frustration & anger with his parents especially regarding on who can be behind these untraceable calls.

ii – The performances are outstanding in this play. Ms. Bakhtawar Mazhar plays the main supporting role of an old mother who dreams to see her missing son one day. The audience saw how she gave her heart out in playing this key role. Other Honorable Mentions: Sunil Shankar.

iii – This is my second play which Sunil has magnificently directed. I have gained such huge respect for him and would always consider his future directorial plays with high esteem. Great work Sunil!

iv – The writing of this play is outstandingly written by Fawad Khan! My expectations for his playwriting has exceeded clearly. I can assure you that the writing for this play was very, very difficult yet Fawad overcame with this difficult obstacle and presented with almost a perfect script.

v – The set designed very similar to how upper middle-class interior homes are decorated.

vi – The premise of this play was a suspense one where the audience gets to know of the situation one step at a time. The ending is left ambiguous deliberately as the plot is not based upon on it.

+ Low Points
i – I believe that there could have been more exposure to Kaif’s character.

+ Overall
Strengthened by such powerful performances, Chup finds the partnership of Sunil Shankar’s intelligent direction and Fawad Khan’s superb script writing in its utmost level from this grim, dark funny play.

Rate: 5.0 out of 5 stars

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Salute (2016)

A review on Pakistani Drama feature length film, Salute (2016). The Production House is Cinetainment Production and Distributed by IMGC Global Entertainment.

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shahzad Rafique
  • Cinematography by Adil Askri
  • Written by Shahzad Rafique
  • Edited by Mohammed Adeel PK
  • Produced by Ghufoor Butt, Haji Arshad Mehmood & Shahzad Rafique

+ Note

Salute is a biographical film is based on the life of martyr “Aitzaz Hasan” from Hangu, Pakistan. He very courageously confronted a suicide bomber from attempting to blow his school saving up to 2000 lives. It’s a Cinematic Tribute to his act of bravery and selflessness, therefore the film is titled as ‘Salute’.

The music is composed by Robin Ghosh (Late) & Aamir Munawar.

+ Main Cast

1) Ali Mohtesham as Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan

2) Ajab Gul as Aitzaz Hasan’s father

3) Saima Noor as Aitzaz Hasan’s mother

4) Imran Khan as Taliban

5) Nayyar Ejaz as Mulvi

+ Plot

Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan Bangash is a healthy school boy who is often taunted by other school boys over his weight issue. His life surrounding his family is closely shown. His mother believes that God has created him for a special reason.

+ High Points

i – If one is aware of the true events which this film is based on, it was really heart breaking to know and watch film ending. You can see the love which is pour out by Aitzaz’s loving mother for his child. The film in the start is dedicated to the martyrs of Pakistan, especially innocent children.

ii – The performances by Ajab Gul and Saima Noor, played their part well.

iii – The locations are very beautiful as it is mainly shot at Azad Kashmir.

iv – The story shown of Aitzaz Hasan and his family are the only interesting scenes to watch.

v – Ali Mohtesham as Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan did the role properly and in most justified manner.

vi – The ‘Islam’ that is preached and how it is implemented by banned religious groups is shown to highlight their view of the religion side by side of general public. It was a good call.

+ Low Points

i – The cinematography is mediocre. There is unnecessary Bird’s eye view multiple shots been taken throughout the film. Irrelevant intense shots in slow motion are taken where there is hardly any suspense shown to the audience.

ii – There are so many armies infiltrating and attacking shots taken. Not only do they look unrealistic but with highly exaggerating manner are they shown on screen. I do understand that they were inserted in the film intentionally to show our army patriotism and their fight against such ‘Islamic & Religious’ terrorist / banned groups. Yet it ruined the main story which it was actually based on.

iii – The beard of Nayyar Ejaz is as real as Santa Claus’s beard.

iv – Then we had this Bonanza ad during the film. Sorry, what I mean is there is this couple on honeymoon who are attacked by a small group of terrorists. Bad direction, bad acting.

v – The supporting cast acting is just okay. It could have been better.

vi – The product placement of NBP is like watching an advertisement. Badly executed.

vii – The story telling precisely needs improvement on its part.

viii – The flashback scenes and present scenes were hard to tell in the start as it looked the same.

ix – By looking at different aircraft while taking off, Aitzaz Hasan’s father saddens as it reminds him of his loving wife and family. But the way it was shot, it seemed that the BTS team has inserted wrong aircraft shots. Example: In close up shots, we see PIA plane but in master shots it belonged to some other airlines. This same thing happened again with Emirates and other airlines aircraft.

x – The action scenes reminded me of illogical explosions & gun battle shown in Michael Bay film.

+ Overall

Salute is a touching story, surrounding Aitzaz Hasan’s true events which delivers so well. But it suffers from the uninspired cinematography, lack of strong supporting cast and its clichéd action sequence that provokes to wishful thinking for a redo.

Rate: 2.0 out of 5 stars