A review on Pakistani Rom-Com feature length film, Chhalawa (2019). The Production House is Showcase Films while its Distributors are Hum Films and Eveready Pictures.
- Written, Directed & Produced by Wajahat Rauf
- Cinematography by Asrad Khan
- Edited by Hasan Ali Khan
- Music by Shiraz Upal
Chhalawa is about family relationships and love. Previously, the lead stars, Mehwish Hayat and Azfar Rehman appeared in a super-hit feature length film, Punjab Nahi Jaungi (2017) where Azfar played a supporting role.
Wajahat Rauf has directed such films as Karachi Se Lahore (2015), and its sequel, Lahore Se Agay (2016). In all of his films, the director’s son, Aashir Wajahat is starred as one of the supporting stars except for the film, Lahore Se Agay where he had a cameo appearance.
Another co-star, Zara Noor Abbas happens to be the daughter of actress, Asma Abbas and niece of Bushra Ansari. Zara’s real life husband is Asad Siddiqui, who is also the supporting actor of this film. Asad is the nephew of the actor, Adnan Siddiqui.
This review contains some SPOILERS!
+ Full Cast
- Mehwish Hayat as Zoya
- Azfar Rehman as Sameer
- Zara Noor Abbas as Haya
- Asad Siddiqui as Luqman
- Mehmood Aslam as Chaudhry Rafaqat
- Aashir Wajahat as Haroon
- Adnan Shah Tipu as Chaudhry Nazakut
- Mohsin Ejaz as Jalal Chaudhry
- Wajahat Rauf as Train Inspector (Cameo)
Zoya is in love with city boy, Sameer and doesn’t want to marry according to her father’s wishes.
+ High Points
i – The real charm of this film is its songs. I am not saying that they are good but… you can say that they were nice.
ii – Zara Noor Abbas’s performance is where most of the audience be interested to turn their attention to. Her acting seemed natural and was able to play her role comfortably. Other Honorable Mentions: Mehmood Aslam, Asad Siddiqui and Aashir Wajahat.
iii – The lighting and its cinematography made the film visually interesting to watch.
iv – The production design helps the film to establish its friendly, believable settings.
v – The makeup & hair styling team did a good job in making the stars glamorous on big-screen.
+ Low Points
i – This is very bad writing and the major flaw of the film. There is no proper character building, characters’ backstory and kept within a logical environment. It appears that the writers rushed Chhalawa to be released on Eid-ul-Fitr before they could sort it out all its flaws first.
ii – There are many scenes, where the film does not make any head or tails. You would find yourself scratching your head as to why you are watching this film in the first place? Kindly note that this is not a buffoonish but a light comedy film. Therefore, logical reasoning should be given with your (writers’) every / most of the moves. But it was not.
Example#1: After getting shot and being severely injured, suddenly comedy is inserted, where the marriage is forced to take place in a choking, traffic jam.
Example#2: Luqman, a smart, educated guy belonging to upper-middle class (as per his lifestyle) is living a dual life. One is of normal self and other as Peer (Spiritual Guide) who make false promises to gain trust and cash for selfish needs. The issue here is that Luqman’s disguise as Peer, clearly shows that his voice, beard, clothing… everything LOOKS AND IS fake! But in the film, Chaudry sahib as well as the people whom Luqman has drawn towards himself for a long time (as Peer) have no clue of this.
Example#3: After running away in the middle of the night and reaching at a random place where they have no idea, where they are… Zoya decides to change her clothes and do a vulgar item song in front of sex craving unknown local men in her surroundings. Her lover, Sameer has no issue with this and totally supports her, even though knowingly that they are still within the limits of the same rural area where her father resides and most probably looking for them with his henchmen.
iii – Bad decisions taken in its direction. I can’t say that I am a fan of Wajahat Rauf’s films. But Chhalawa looked much better in its trailer. When you don’t have a good script in your hands, then everything just falls apart. After watching Chhalawa in the first 20 minutes, I lost interest completely. I think, I must have glance at my watch for at least 4 – 5 times.
iv – The lead stars’ performances failed to make an impression on the audience. Instead, we as audience were more interested in watching supporting cast’s performances.
v – Having yet another typical story to tell… with a weak script, your focus point would turn towards the film’s secondary features. Such as, the film’s makeup & hair styling, production design, subplots, etc.
vi – The love triangle of Chhalawa is worse than watching cricket matches these days.
vii – It seems as though the character of Sameer was intentionally kept weak, not able to take heroic / manly decisions to show his level of maturity. If it was so, then it was not properly portrayed by the lead star or his character was likewise written poorly.
viii – Most of the jokes, its humor was dull and boring whereas some of them were good enough to give a weak smile.
ix – Wow! We have an item number featuring Mehwish Hayat. Almost every Pakistani film nowadays features at least one item song whose true sole purpose is to degrade females in the name of ‘Entertainment’.
Chhalawa is a ridiculous and unwanted rom-com with serious writing issues.
Rate: 1.25 out of 5 stars