A review on a Pakistani Short Film, ‘Behnaam Gour: The Unmarked Grave’ (2016).
- Written & Directed by Meer Farhad Jamali
- Co-written by Ahmar Anwar
- Director of Photography is Faiz M. Qazi
This is a drama film (where the story is inspired by several true incidents). The story revolves around Balochi people, their present life styles at their home town and how they are unfairly treated by city’s strangers especially to those who are unfamiliar with metropolitan negativism. The first 10 – 15 minutes of the film, it is in Balochi language where we can watch & understand the film via English subtitles.
Ms. Mehernisa Baloch who happens to be a Sindhi actress and has past working experience at PTV channel. She performed her role really like a true loving mother. Syed M. Jameel has working experience as theatre actor. This was his first experience in main supporting role in a film. He has played his character well as ‘Amaanullah’ the taxi driver.
+ Main Cast:
- Bilal Baloch as Bahraam
- Mehernisa as Amma
- Syed M. Jameel as Amaanullah
At Nalient; Kolaanch, area of Balochistan, a family lives there. The mother of Bahraam is unwell. The local doctor recommends him to go to big city where Bahraam can admit his mother to a much better hospital and bypass her with kidney transplant. Since he has never been outside his home town, the kind of mishaps and troubles he has to face is the real challenge which lies ahead of him.
+ High Points:
i – The lead actor Bilal Baloch who performed role of ‘Bahraam’ is a newly inducted diploma student of NAPA who has only completed his first year. This actor is although an unknown face in the media line still he performed so magnificently that I was truly AMAZED by his realistic performance. My first thought was ‘Who is he? Where he is from? Is he working in some channel / drama’?
ii – The locations that the director chooses to shoot of Balochistan are astonishing and beautiful. The Director of Photography is done in such a manner that the film itself (besides its excellent narration and the incredible performances), the scenery shots are utter Stunning and Memorable!
iii – The realistic theme narration that we see throughout the film,
iv – The praise worthy performances by the main actors especially by Bilal Baloch & respected Ms. Mehernisa Baloch.
v – The makeup that was done on the actor was so accurate that the passersby during the shoot were totally convinced and took it literally.
vi – In many places I was wondering, how the film crew was able to shoot such intense, complex scenes. The team shot the film as if they have much experience on their hands.
vii – The director did this job in most spectacular effort.
viii – We have several cameo appearances & minor roles performed by young actors. Police Inspector role was done very nice by the lead person, Saad Memon (who is himself a theatre director and an actor) did a good job as receptionist, a surprising cameo appearance by a great actor Mohammad Rouhan Siddiqui and a secret cameo appearance by Cyrus Karanjia (where I later came to know, which specific role was that).
+ Low Points:
i – The subtitles that were used are in white with no shade; it distorted with the brightly lit background and was hard to understand (since the first quarter of the film is in Balochi language).
ii – In some scenes, particularly in the end I felt that there is a plot hole which had to be filled in to reach to its conclusion. It was more like an ‘Open Ended’ between the ending and epilogue.
iii – In addition, the editing is done (shockingly) by five different people STILL I felt that it could have been better.
After many praises by friends and colleagues alike, I finally decided to watch the film. And I must say it is a fantastic view. At the screening, most of the people gave a HUGE round of applause for the director and its film crew on their effort and passion behind its making. One would admit that, not everyone has guts to make a film on these kinds of realistic issues and receive a standing ovation in return. For this film, it truly deserves a ‘Thumb’s Up’.
Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars