Short Films & Documentaries

Mr. Khan’s Review on ‘Manzil’ (2016)

A review on a Pakistani short film, ‘Manzil’ (2016). The Production House is Laal Series.


+ Crew

  1. Edited & Directed by Hassan Ali Effendi
  2. Director of Photography is Mariam I Desai
  3. Written & Produced by Natasha Beyg


+ Note

Manzil is a tribute to our (Pakistan) national heroes. It shows the hardship and sacrifices that they (soldiers) have to make (such as giving up their comfort, happy life) in order to defend their homeland. This film reminded me of Hollywood classic film ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ (1930) however, ‘Manzil”s story is not unique; very parallel themes are already used in many war films.

Rouhan is SZABIST film graduate and a very good actor while Asad Zaman is a model turned actor.



+ Full Cast

  • Mohammad Rouhan Siddiqui as Soldier #1
  • Asad Zaman Khan as Soldier #2



+ Plot

During the phase of war, one of the soldiers is injured while the other one is by his side at the battlefield. They talk on cherish memories to ease up the stress of war.



+ High Points

i – The costume designing looked authentic.

ii – Performance by Asad Zaman was very satisfactory.


+ Low Points

i – Absurd level of editing. When the credits start rolling in, saw the editor’s name, I realized that he is also the director of this short film. Sir jee, I want to give a salute to you. Does one not know that during a conversation scene between the two lead actors there is NO need of Master shots? Unless it is absolute necessary! WHY would they be inserted during those scenes? A good director would instantly stop or remove those shots during the edit process. But since the editor and the director were same person, then this is what we got. Not only that there was no need of Master shots during the conversation scene, in Close Medium Shots we see the head movement of the characters are in other direction while in Master shots its going elsewhere… which is itself a continuity issue. Plus, in Master Shot, the lighting totally differs from the close medium shots that we have. In close medium shots, the lighting is bluish with fog while in Master Shot there is no such light or fog.

ii – The other thing which was disappointment to me was Rouhan’s acting. This guy really performs well in almost all the films that I have ever watched, but here… it didn’t add up.

iii – Nevertheless, the film makers / students alike know that if a person, who is a good actor, usually performs well yet does not give in the way he should in a project then who is to be held responsible for that? That person can only be the director. If an actor is not performing well or the way he should and the actor cannot realize it, well at least we have the director… he is not blind, he can see that. The director should keep taking re-takes TILL the actor delivers as the script requires. So, basically, we have bad direction call and poor editing skills from the very same person.

iv – And as for the credits, mention the character an actor/actress is playing. The viewers would like to know. In addition, give TIME of few seconds for the viewer to read the film credits at ease. It felt like as if your team is not interested for the viewers to know who did what in the film. In this case, I can understand why.

v – I read people comments on the film, where one said ‘I felt like crying’ and my response was ‘Where did you come from? The world of “Teletubbies”‘? Yes, the film does have emotional note, but crying? Please!

+ Overall

Bad editing & directorial calls, made Manzil to be a forgettable film.


Rate: 2.0 out of 5 stars


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