Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Gardaab (2016)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Thriller feature length film, Gardaab aka Whirlpool (2016). The Production House & its Distributor is Matteela Films.



+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Harune Massey
  • Co-Written by Saleemullah Nasir
  • Cinematography by M. Sajid Kashmiri
  • Edited by Fahad Bajwa
  • Produced by Mazhar Zaidi




+ Note

Gardaab is a loose adaptation of the fame play, Romeo and Juliet (1597) by world renowned author; William Shakespeare. Trapped in the web of ethnic strife in the brutal underbelly of Karachi, this film is a tale of two lovers’ journey, as they struggle to break away from the unending cycle of violence that haunts the metropolis.

There are a number of NAPA’s graduate students who have been a part of this film. They have worked in the crew as well as cast members.  Even the lead actor, Fawad Khan is from NAPA is one of the best actors, writer and director of theatre plays. Other crew members consist of, Saima Amber Rana & Anas Muhammad behind the film’s production design, the costume designer is Fazeel Abbas and the music is composed by Faiz Zaidi.

Gardaab was originally planned to be made as short film. But due to the scale of the subject matter, Gardaab was turned into a feature length romantic thriller.




+ Main Cast

  1. Fawad Khan as Shahbaz
  2. Amna Ilyas as Parveen
  3. Nimra Bucha as Paris Khan
  4. Khalid Ahmed as Firdous Khan
  5. Junaid Awaan as Asfand Yaar
  6. Syed Ahsan Ahmed as Kabir
  7. Mohammed Javed as Akmal






+ Supporting Cast

  1. Gohar Rasheed as Yousaf
  2. Adnan Shah Tipu as Maywa Jaan
  3. Shabana Hassan as Nazo
  4. Vajdaan Shah as Asim Ali Shah
  5. Arif Hassan as Abdullah Baloch / Jaan
  6. Gul-e-Rana as Mother
  7. Shama Askari as Miss Christina






+ Minor Cast

  1. Owais Mangalwala as Dil Nawaz
  2. Abdul Sattar as Kareem Baba
  3. Bilal Yousufzai as Shahbaz’s Friend #2
  4. Wajahat Khan as Shahbaz (young)
  5. Fraz Chottani as Madrassa Student
  6. Kaleem Ghouri as Goon
  7. Akbar Ladhani as Shop Lifter
  8. Mohammad Iqbal as Maam’s Driver
  9. Mehar Jaffery as Dine-out Customer




+ Plot

In the violent neighborhood of Karachi, a young couple fall in love with each other, although both belong to a long rivalry family background.




+ High Points

i – A good effort by Amna Ilyas who plays one of the lead roles. This is much earlier work of hers, before stepping into the commercial film world. By watching this film, you can witness the level of her acting skills.

ii – Fahad Khan is one of the great actors ever produced by NAPA. He plays his role as ease as walking in a park. It may be a surprise to some, but Fahad happens to be an also a very talented writer and director of the theatre world. Other Honorable Mentions: Khalid Ahmed, Adnan Shah Tipu and Nimra Bucha.

iii – Keeping the film within materialistic world, is something to really praise of.

iv – Everyone in the cast has given a very satisfying performance. A pat on the director’s back.

v – The story arc begins and ends on the same location. Good job!




+ Low Points

i – Even after having Gardaab to be loosely based adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, the film itself still fails to grab one attention towards its realistic in local demographic settings.

ii – The mysterious past of the main character, was not all that shocking after all.

iii – I was looking forward to listening to at least couple of good songs but I guess, I expected too much.

iv – Lack of emotional link of the main characters established with the viewers, made us feel almost nothing for their loss.

v – Barely any thrills in a ‘Thriller’ film.

vi – Many of the cameos of good actors are not given enough screen time or interesting roles.



+ Overall

We can give credit to Harune’s realistic, low-budget debut film. Still Gardaab depressingly lacks in both, visual and action.



Rate: 2.0 out of 5 stars

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