A review on Pakistani feature length film, ‘Abdullah: The Final Witness’ (2016). The Production House is Taurus Films while its Distribution is done by IMGC Distribution Club.
- Written, Directed & Produced by Hashim Nadeem
- Cinematography by Saleem Dad, Melcome and Liaqat
- Edited by Adeel Zaidi, Sheryaar and Bilal
- Music by Roger John and Sohail Keys
Abdullah: The Final Witness is based on ‘Kharotabad Incident’ involved the killing of five Russian & Tajik citizens at the Kharotabad check post by the Frontier Constabulary who claimed that they were terrorists. However, footage was aired on media channels who reported that these five victims were in fact innocent civilians. The findings of Kharotabad Inquiry Report have never been made public while the case itself remains unresolved.
Just after 40 minutes, intermission came. It means that this film of 80 to 85 minutes. There were three ‘Major’ cuts at the censor board (due to the present security situation and sensitive issues in the film) before it was released for the public.
The shooting took a total of 25-30 days and it was shot mainly at Quetta; Pakistan. Abdullah: The Final Witness was selected to screen in 2015 Cannes Film Festival and said to be the 3rd film to do so.
+ Main Cast
- Hameed Sheikh as Abdullah
- Sajid Hassan as FIA Sr. Officer
- Imran Abbas as Abdullah’s Younger Brother
- Sadia Khan as Zohra
It centers on Abdullah who is by profession a truck driver of a rural area. Due to ill-fated incident, he is in the custody of Pakistani Police Force as he is the final witness to ‘Kharotabad Incident’. While all this is going on, Abdullah’s younger brother is given small time period to either start earning hard cash money or see his lover Zohra to be wed off soon to some other guy.
+ High Points
i – We have star power of well-known celebrities i.e. Hameed Sheikh, Sajid Hassan & Imran Abbas.
ii – The main story is based on true tragic incident which is still kept hidden from the public by Pakistani govt.
iii – The performance by Hameed Sheikh & Sajid Hassan is very decent.
iv – A pleasant surprise to see a minor role performed by Abdullah Ghaznavi.
+ Low Points
i – It seemed to me that Sajid Hassan and Hameed Sheikh had entered into a 5th dimension, where they themselves did not know where they are?
Okay. I tell you in simple words. The film is very poorly executed. Actually, I won’t even call it a Pakistani Industry film …it was more like a low budget Tele-film. It is definitely NOT a cinema type of film. Suppose, if I am changing channels on TV and came across this film, then perhaps would give a few minutes to watch it just to check it out.
ii – There is no proper story here. Although it is based on a very important incident but the writer did not make it into an interesting story to tell. Since the story was not interesting. No one in the audience bothered what was happening in the film. We paid for the tickets. We watched. And then we went back home.
iii – The Balochi accent by Imran Abbas & Sadia Khan seemed forced. The acting by these two stars was mediocre especially by Imran. And as for his makeover, it indicated that soon some truck driver would take him to a private place.
iv – One of the BIGGEST flaws to the film’s downfall is that there was no character development, no emotional bond able to connect with the viewers, the characters were empty and lifeless. If this occurs in any film, no one in the audience really cares that who lives or who dies. Just like in a slasher film, no backstory is shown or introduced of the characters. Then as the film progresses, people start dying in it. And as a viewer, you just don’t care. I mean why you should?
vii – There were some dialogues between the family who were the victims of ‘Kharotabad Incident’. I could not understand which language that they were speaking though the subtitles in Urdu were provided in those scenes. Yet they were in such small fonts that before you could make out what is actually written, we are moved on to the next dialogue.
viii – The supporting plot that is of Imran Abbas’s character story with Sadia Khan’s character was hardly watchable.
ix – The film is so dull that I was sitting in a very limited audience at the cinema hall. It consisted of only 12 – 15 people whereas 2 persons walked out just after the interval.
x – I sincerely respect and admire Hameed Sheikh and his acting a lot. I wish to see him in a film where at least a good effort is given by their film crew. I paid reasonable ticket price to watch it in the cinema, but since the film was not good at all therefore I felt that I was cheated. If the ticket price was of PKR 100/-, even then I would not recommend or suggest people to watch it.
It would have been better if Abdullah: The Final Witness had come ‘Direct-to-DVD’ rather than releasing it at the cinemas. Unfortunately, it is one of ‘Those’ films.
Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars