A review on Pakistani drama feature length film, Verna (2017). The Production House is Shoman Productions while its Distributor is Hum Films.
- Music, Written, Directed & Produced by Shoaib Mansoor
- Cinematography by Salman Razzaq and Khizer Idrees
- Edited by Zohaib Mansoor
- Production Design by Faiza Shah
- Co-Music by Zebunnisa Bangash and Haroon Shahid
Verna is a rape-revenge film. This is Shoaib Mansoor’s 3rd feature film as director. The costumes designing is been done by Zayan and makeup & hair styling by Maram Abroo.
A similar case occurred in real life here in Karachi last year where someone posted on Facebook regarding an unfortunate family who were forced to choose between their daughter and daughter-in-law to give up to two dark Pajero’s men. Whether or not, this incident was true but the film’s dark tone made me recall it immediately.
It is very unfortunate to tell you that I as audience was listening to continuous laughter and giggles by some men sitting in the same cinema hall while watching the abduction and rape scene. The tension how the family faces in her absence was shocking and dismay to most but really hilarious and amusing to people like these men in the hall. Their non-serious attitude made me realize how much illiterate and shameless we people are how easily we believe that rapes do not occur or rarely committed in our nation. These men were laughing as though it was a black comedy that we were watching. I am sorry but I didn’t see the joke between the lines. It is really disgraceful that we have these kinds of people in our society. How ignorant that they are.
For those who view rape as real and understands well that it does happens in our nation too, then only you would watch Verna as horror film rather than just a drama.
+ Main Cast
- Mahira Khan as Sara
- Haroon Shahid as Aami
- Zarrar Khan as Sultan
- Naimal Khawar as Mahgul
- Rasheed Naz as Khanzada
+ Supportive Cast
- Salman Shaukat as Jamil
- Malik Ata Muhammad Khan as Raees
- Shahid Mir as Judge
- Iram Rehman as Jamil
- MNA Khawaja as Shehzad Mir
- Shahnaz Aftab as N/A
A happy life is shattered apart after the abduction and rape of Sara.
+ High Points
i – The tension and discomfort to watch through rape films had always been a tough task for me. ‘Dil pr pathr dekhnay wali baat hai’ but I have always appreciated and encouraged our film directors to come up with sensitive topics and portray them with a realistic solution/s than just showing up the issue. In this film too, the way they showed the tense, fear for the life of your missing loved one to ever see them again especially how to cope up with this issue and live a ‘Normal’ life again was depicted nicely. For addition, the royal spoiled family behavior with people, servants were ‘Cherry on Top’.
ii – The film is well directed by Shoaib Mansoor. Although cannot say that it’s his best work but really good job. Yes, I enjoyed the film.
iii – Mahira Khan’s performance as Sara has been superb. Naturally this is the main reason why she is often given a lead role. Someone who could pull the role as the script demands it to be. Her performance, plus her reactions to the accusations her husband makes at her are … praise worthy.
iv – Zarrar Khan played the main antagonist as Sultan, has performed strongly indeed. He is one of the few actors in this film who have performed next to best to Mahira’s performance. I would look forward to his upcoming work. Other Honorable Mentions: Rasheed Naz and Malik Ata Muhammad Khan.
v – I love how the court scenes were handled, some nice twists, turns here and there.
vi – The signature move of Shoaib Mansoor’s films, the voice towards the injustice of females, how our law, religion and religious clerics view them as is shown Khuda K Liye, Bol and now this film, all three films have in them.
vii – The production design was very pleasantly handled and represented. Good job!
viii – The real face is shown of our society, our police, our government, our system … everywhere corruption and injustice exist very openly in our nation. It is shameful to say but it’s true. Just because we do not talk about it, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.
+ Low Points
i – The film was a bit lengthy than I was perceived it to be. It was around 2 hours and 35 minutes long. I believe 2 hours would have been enough.
ii – Songs didn’t do justice with the film. Well as a matter of fact, I believe they should not be part for these kinds of films in the first place. Though I do understand that it is our public demand to see them in the films
iii – Lack of star power and average performances by most of the cast is huge negative point here. Although I would not support commercial actors for such sensitive topic films but I would support strong performances. Yes, the lead actress Mahira Khan did an excellent job but what about others? They should have picked a solid performer for the Husband’s role.
Verna is a difficult film to watch and digest. Not because it is poorly shot but due to its horrifying experience to imagine in their place. This may not be Shoaib Mansoor’s best work but it is surely a work where some years from now public, film makers alike would cherish it as one of the most important films to be produced regarding injustice towards females.
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars