Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Jackpot (2018)

A review on Pakistani Comedy feature length film, Jackpot (2018). The Production Houses and its Distributors are Oriental Films and Shoaib Khan Films.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed & Produced by Shoaib Khan
  • Written by Babar Kashmiri
  • Cinematography by Anubhay Bansal & Sherry
  • Edited by Imran Mushtaq
  • Co-Produced by Khurram Riaz

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Jackpot is directly influenced by Le Million (1931) a French classic musical comedy film directed by René Clair. TV actress Reyhna Malhotra and Anubhav Bhansal are from India.

The shooting locations were of Lahore, Balochistan; Pakistan. And the rest at Phuket; Thailand. The music is composed by Naveed Nashad.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Noor Hassan as Lucky
  2. Sanam Chaudhry as Chandini
  3. Inayat Khan as Guy in Blue Jacket
  4. Javed Sheikh as Jojo
  5. Adnan Shah Tipu as Pappu
  6. Sana Fakhar as Malka
  7. Faiza Khan as Selfie

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Supporting Cast

  1. Reyhna Malhotra as Blue Jacket Guy’s Love Interest
  2. N/A as Jojo’s Assistant
  3. Mehmood Aslam as Saigol
  4. Ismail Tara as Tourist Guide
  5. Iftikhar Thakur as Hotel Manager
  6. Afzal ‘Rambo’ Khan (Cameo) as Drunkard
  7. N/A as Midget

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Minor Cast

  1. N/A as Bodyguard #1
  2. N/A as Bodyguard #2
  3. Irtiza Rubab aka Meera / Receptionist
  4. Zara Sheikh as N/A
  5. N/A as Chauffeur
  6. N/A as Waiter

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Lucky wins a lottery ticket of PKR 100 crores which gets in Jojo’s coat in a huge mix-up and sold to a laundry guy.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Screenplay is the main ingredient why people might prefer watching this film. The punchlines are hilarious and they do improve as the film progresses.

ii – In the start, the film was not good. It appeared only as cheap comedy, Lollywood film. I was not enjoying it at all, thought made a great mistake by coming here at cinema but that quickly changed. The film turns out to be very enjoyable; perhaps a good time pass.

iii – Ismail Tara as Tourist Guide performed really well. He played a great role of comic relief character which audience welcomed him with open arms. Other Honorable Mentions: Javed Sheikh, Adnan Shah Tipu and Afzal ‘Rambo’ Khan.

iv – Shoaib Khan’s direction has able to pull this off to bring good interest level.

v – Surprising cameos in the film.

vi – Sanam Chaudhry and Sana Fakhar are very glamorous on-screen.

vii – Inayat Khan looks like a promising new comer.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – This film is for mature audience where some of the jokes are sexual and double meaning.

ii – WARNING: Toilet humor!

iii – The young, lead stars fail to give a strong memorable performance. It is the veteran actors such as Javed Sheikh, Afzal ‘Rambo’ Khan and Ismail Tara who uplift the film.

iv – Require a good dance choreographer for their songs. And speaking of songs, they themselves hardly made any impression onto the audience.

v – Saigol played by Mehmood Aslam was eventually ruled out as useless role, someone to fill a time gap. The lottery ticket could be introduced through many different ways also; there was no need for this character.

vi – I don’t understand is why the sketch was (intentionally) censored in the film for? I thought that they would give explanation (at least) in the end but they didn’t.

vii – The film could be cut by 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Jackpot consists of a long list of stars which lacks the originality and focuses on vulgar, lowbrow gags, but at times it is very funny.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Wash Yourself of Yourself (2017)

A review on Pakistani Solo Performance theatre play, Wash Yourself of Yourself (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Joshinder Kaur Chaggar
  • Choreography by Sunil Shankar

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
“Be melting snow. Wash yourself of yourself.” This is a small portion of one of Rumi’s poem. Rumi believed in the concept of “One is All, and All is One”. You are part of a whole and the best way to experience life was to melt back into the one, just as snowflakes are individual, but when melting they become one with all.

 

 

 
+ Solo Cast

  1. Joshinder Chaggar as Woman

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
The swallow is named the bird of freedom, because it is constantly in migration. This show is a journey of emotional migration.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Joshinder performed fabulously in portraying the characteristics of age transformations, her struggle to live her lifestyle and finally shed her burden & go back to innocence as once before.

ii – Her desperate attempt to be in the limelight was shown very creatively.

iii – The direction in solo performance is very difficult. However, she was able to pull this off.

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – At times, it felt that the play was getting dragged.

ii – High possibility of differences in either accepting and liking such plays or not within the audience.

 

+ Overall
Pure agility of Joshinder is overwhelming; only those viewers who lack interest in such plays as Wash Yourself of Yourself, will be able to resist the blitz of such carefully constructed magic.

 

 

 
Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Waris (1979 – 80)

A review on Pakistani Classic Drama TV serial, Waris aka Heir (1979 – 80). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Nusrat Thakur and Ghazanfer Ali
  • Written by Amjad Islam Amjad

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Waris aired on PTV Network was released on 29th Dec 1979 – 22nd Mar 1980. In total, it consists of 13 episodes. The story revolves around a feudal family, their struggles to maintain their land and wealth, and the inter-family differences and tussles that lead to their downfall. It portrays two ideal synthesizers, who were vital for the time it was produced. Since finding a suitable & blood-related heir is the main priority for the feudal lord, Waris completely rejects the feudal lord tradition A number of cameo roles are played by many actors including four main artists from another Pakistani classic drama TV series, Sona Chandi (1982-3).

These issues revolve around mainly, the corrupt feudal system and influential persons, who are eating the public’s basic needs and rights like a parasite.  In rural Punjabi culture, it is a huge insult for a man, if his fiance marries someone else. To avenge this grave insult, the revenge is set to be taken.

Waris is considered being one of the most realistic depictions of Pakistan. This TV series was aired on PTV at a time when people from rural areas were moving into the cities. More importantly, it was a time when the world view of Pakistan is was going through a paradigmatic change; from a traditional to a modern. When produced, it instantly became an acclaimed mega hit.

Stars such as Mehmood Alam and Shujaat Hashmi, is the first work that I have watched.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Abid Ali as Dilawar
  2. Shujaat Hashmi as Mauladad
  3. Mehboob Alam as Chaudhry Hashmat Khan
  4. Aurangzeb Laghari as Chaudhry Niaz Ali
  5. Firdous Jamal as Chaudhry Anwar Ali
  6. Munawwar Saeed as Chaudhry Yaqub
  7. Uzma Gillani as Zakiya Ghulam Ali

 

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Supporting Cast

  1. Samina Ahmad as Zohra
  2. Agha Sikander as Farrukh
  3. Tahira Naqvi as Seemi / Yasmin
  4. Sajjad Kishwar as Sher Mohd
  5. Ghayyoor Akhtar as Hayat Mohammad Qazi
  6. Ghazanfer Baig as Saulat Mirza
  7. Mohammad Ayub as Masterji
  8. Malik Anokha as Mehnga

 

 

 

xxxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Minor Cast (Cameo)

  1. Nazir Hussain as Chaukidaar
  2. A. Khan as Saeed Gul
  3. Mumtaz Ali as Bakhshoo
  4. Jamal Shah as Chaudhry Ghulam Ali*
  5. Jameel Fakhiri as Inspection Officer*
  6. Ayub Khan as Kisaan*
  7. Jeevan Sultan as Maalik*
  8. Hamid Rana as Police Inspector

 

 

 

*The roles are not confirmed. Though, these actors did appear.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

A feudal lord, Chaudhry Hashmat rules his fiefdom with an iron grip. His elder son,  wishes to escape to the city, while the younger son is engaged in numerous illegal activities.

In such times, Dilawar is out for vengeance against Fateh Sher, who is responsible for his brother’s murder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – A big round of applause to this well written story. Some serious issues of the urban and rural areas were highlighted. Following are:

 

  1. Dam Building
  2. Land Disputes
  3. Feudal System
  4. Farmers’ Rights
  5. Family Enmity
  6. Bribery & Corruption
  7. Migrating To City
  8. Unfulfilled Dreams
  9. Family Business
  10. Finding Successor
  11. Animal Abuse
  12. Extortion
  13. Kidnapping & Abduction
  14. Forced Imprisonment
  15. Betrayal

 

A number of different themes are shown of different individuals, which are discussed in the shape of their behavior and manner. It is shown, how they affect the people who they know or work with. These men true value is displayed to the society. Then we have these people, who were committed to the age old tradition, are ruined by their own machinations. The feudal system is shown in the true light as oppressive.

However, there are occasions where the traditional men are also glorified. Still, there are doubts over migrating to the lavish city life is comes into notice.

In this TV series, good men are also bought forward, whose characteristics belong to the category of being either creative who share their views on the traditional values or those who are courage, ready to take the necessary action, where it is required.

Other attributes, such as honesty, being independent and thinking out of the box is indirectly hinted to a good upbringing and better educational system.

ii – ‘A’ graded star cast was hired to execute this well-written drama TV series. At least, 6 – 7 stars were well known at the time, when Waris was produced.

iii – It is a tie between the two stars, Firdous Jamal as Chaudhry Anwar Ali and Shujaat Hashmi as Mauladad. These two actors gave their hearts out to play these two dynamic roles. This is my first TV series where I have watched Firdous Jamal to play a negative role. His character’s lust for power and be engaged in illegal activities, has bought the actor to the edge of his acting craft. As for Shujaat Hashmi, he has certainly impressed the viewers with his good performance, major thanks to his well-written character.

iv – Mehboob Alam plays as Chaudhry Hashmat Khan, plays the corrupt, egoistic and hot tempered feudal lord. His desire to have the most prized animal as ‘Crystal’ for high breed by any means necessary, his love for Dog Fighting / sport, shows another side to his dark character. His son and two grandsons are tangled up in greed and lust for power. Well, except for Chaudhry Niaz. In the last few episodes, even in Chaudhry Hashmat’s humiliation, he still refuses to accept his defeat.

v – The supporting characters, such as Chaudhry Niaz Ali, Chaudhry Yaqub and Mauladad are the strongly written. Chaudhry Niaz Ali has dreams to leave his home town for the city, but is tangled up with his family business. Chaudhry Yaqub is greedy, wants to sell every land that his father owns. Finally, we have Mauladad, who is brother-in-arms, equal in power and quick-thinking true friend to Dilawar. These three characters have made sure that the viewers’ attention is properly paid to the story.

vi – Concealing the identity of Fateh Sher, which was revealed in the last two episodes, is a good move by the writer.

vii – I can’t say that the finale is perfect. But still, it is a good ending. Waris bring this classic TV series to a satisfying last episode.

viii – (The late) Abid Ali as Dilawar, has performed in one of the lead roles of Waris. Just like expectations, he has performed quite nicely on-screen. Late Abid sb is a favorite to many people. His understanding to the character that he is performing can be seen in his body movement and voice. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

ix – The performances by every cast member has done a superb job. Nowhere would you feel that someone’s performance is lacking behind or has under-performed.

x – Having total 13 episodes, winds up the story properly, without making it a drag.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Nothing new or innovative in the camera handling or editing. It does the basic requirement, to produce this TV series.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Waris has intelligently touched on numerous issues where this nations is facing for many generations.

 

 

 

 

 

Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Insanwaar (2017)

A review on Pakistani Comic Drama theatre play, Insanwaar aka Humanoid (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Lighting & Directed by Arshad Malik
  • Written by Jahangir Hussain
  • Set Design by Javed Shb
  • Costume Management by Pervaiz Iqbal
  • Music by Manzoor Shb & Danish Manzoor

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Insanwaar is about a faraway future, when humans have become extinct and apes rule the planet, we find a society where there is no religion but a code of conduct based on a system of rules for the betterment of the community. The theme is very similar to ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ (2014).

These two races are compared by keeping the two stories side by side. Most of the stars played dual roles for the different timelines.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Shahid Rana as Khamsa (Judge)
  2. Hammad Siddiq as Bakha / Munshi Ram
  3. Zaki Ullah Khan as Bahu / Ganesh
  4. Maria Baloch as Mahi / Mehro
  5. Syed Jameel as Zambi Jacob / Saith
  6. Mahjabeen Rehman as Zoya (Nun) / Rahiba
  7. Ahmer Hussain as Banray
  8. Adnan Anis as Chanray
  9. Kaneez Fatima as Titli / Tai Hajjan
  10. Asif Shehzad Malik as Nakora (Tattoo)
  11. Babar Ali as Albert
  12. Abdul Rehman as Hussain (Child)
  13. Ebad Khan as Hussain (Adult)

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
A young ape is in love with another and their marriage is opposed by some. While the community of elders debate the merits of the case, a scenario from the past is shown during the time of humans’ existence; the society of post partition Pakistan.

Here, a young man who is a Hindu and is in love with a Muslim girl but their marriage is opposed similarly as the two lovers of Apes species.

 

 

+ High Points
i – I liked the message of the play that perhaps the ‘next species’ would be better off than us as we have created so many differences among each other (in the name of religion, caste, race, etc) that in most cases each of us could live peacefully but do not because of man-made diversity. However, that scenario is also shown where the problems don’t change much.

ii – Adnan Anis plays the role of Chanray. Not only his character was an interesting one but he also performed amusingly on-stage. Good to see improvement in your performance. Other Honorable Mentions: Hammad Siddiq and Syed Jameel.

iii – The screenplay was very effectively written with provoking dialogues.

iv – The costumes were nicely designed and did a fair job in the appearance of the characters.

v – There were hilarious moments time to time, where in some cases it was very amusing to watch. Such as the tail of Saith is cut off while Khamsa’s tail is much, much longer than his height.

vi – I was not expecting to see this kind of ending but it was a good turn around.

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – Generally, the performances by most of the actors were okay.

ii – Since there were many characters, only 2 – 3 of them had a proper character development.

iii – There were characters in the play where I wanted to feel their pain and suffering but could not due to director / writer’s lack of efforts in building up the ‘Emotional link’ with the audience first.

iv – After hearing that a play would be performed by the name ‘Insanwaar’, my expectations were a bit high. Such stars like Ahmer Hussain, Zakiullah, Syed Jamal are well known cast for any theater play. A talented theater artist, Arshad Malik is directing this play. I feel that my expectations were cut short.

 

+ Overall
Insanwaar works just as well as a popcorn enjoyment for warm fun. It does leaves you with thought provoking questions, into the nature of humanity darker side.

 

 
Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars

 

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Ramchand Pakistani (2008)

A review on Pakistani Drama feature length film, Ramchand Pakistani (2008). The Production House is Percept Picture Company while its Distributors are Geo Films and Museum of Modern Art.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
  • Cinematography by Sofian Khan
  • Written & Produced by Javed Jabbar
  • Screenplay by Mohammad Ahmed
  • Edited by Aseem Sinha

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Ramchand Pakistani is based on a true story of a boy who inadvertently crosses the border between Pakistan and India and the following ordeal that his family has to go through. It is one of the first Pakistani films in which the principal characters are Hindu.

It is first feature length film directed by Mehreen Jabbar. Its music is composed by Debojyoti Mishra, Surya Mitra, Sarthak Sarkar and Shiraj Hussain.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Awards

  1. FIPRESCI Prize from the International Federation of Film Critics at the Osian Film Festival (July 2008)
  2. Honorable Mention by the 13th Annual Satyajit Ray Award at the London Film Festival (2008).
  3. Best Actor for Rashid Farooqi at the KaraFilm Festival, Pakistan (2009)
  4. Audience Award at the Fribourg Int’l Film Festival, Switzerland (March 2009).
  5. Honorable Mention by the Ecumenical Jury at the Fribourg Int’l Film Festival, Switzerland (March 2009).
  6. Honorable Mention by the E Changer Award at the Fribourg Int’l Film Festival, Switzerland (March 2009)
  7. Ramchand Pakistani received a silver medal in the feature film category at the SAARC Film Awards (2012).
  8. Rashid Farooqui received the award for best actor in the feature film at the SAARC Film Awards (2012).
  9. Ramchand Pakistani won Best Film Award on Pakistan Media Award (2010).

 

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Nandita Das as Champa
  2. Syed Fazal Hussain as Ramchand (Child)
  3. Navaid Jabbar as Ramchand (Teenager)
  4. Rashid Farooqui as Shankar
  5. Maria Wasti as Kamla
  6. Noman Ijaz as Abdullah
  7. Shahood Alvi as Asif Hussain

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

 

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Adnan Shah as Sharma
  2. Adarsh Ayaz as Moti
  3. Farooq Pario as Suresh
  4. Zhalay Sarhadi as Lakshmi
  5. Atif Badar as Lalu
  6. Saleem Mairaj as Vishesh
  7. Saif-e-Hasan as Murad

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

A minor child, Pakistani boy and his father belonging to the untouchable Hindu caste accidentally cross the border and spend years in an Indian jail while the mother on the other side doesn’t know what has happened to them.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Syed Fazal Hussain though being just a kid in the film but his performance is one of the best for the times to come.

ii – Maria Wasti is such a good actress where her character as Kamla is memorable one in this film. Her relationship between her and Ramchand was well shown as both were Hindus yet the caste difference created an awkward situation for Kamla in how to deal with this low caste kid. But with passage of time we see it diminishes and creates love bond between the two. Other Honorable Mentions: Rashid Farooqui, Shahood Alvi and Nandita Das.

iii – The first feature film by Mehreen Jabbar as a director made its strong stand in our Pakistani film industry.

iv – Sofian Khan did a worthy effort in its cinematography.

v – The production design and locations are commendable and very well chosen.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Some people may find film at slow pace, although it takes a jump start in its intro towards the main plot.

Ii – Most of the major star names are in the cast as cameo or given very small / minor roles only, such as Noman Ejaz, Saleem Miraj, Adnan Shah and Saif-e-Hasan.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Mehreen Jabber’s directorial debut, Ramchand Pakistani has charmed its way in to the people hearts and won them over to this courageous story.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 4.25 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Shert (2015)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Shert aka Bet (2015). Its Production House is Momal Productions while its Distribution is done by Urdu One.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shaqielle Khan
  • Written by Irfan Mughal
  • Opening Theme & Music by Sabir Zafar and Waqar Ali
  • Edited by Jameel Aiwan, Waqar Ali Zaidi and Saad Bin Jawaid
  • Produced by Momina Duraid, Humayun Saeed and Shehzad Naseeb

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Shert aired on Urdu One from 04th Apr 2015 to 24th Jul 2015. In total, it consists of 17 episodes. Shaqielle has directed a number of TV series including, Choti Si Zindagi (2016), Perchaiyan (2019). An Islamic practice ‘Halala’ is highlighted in this TV series, where a woman has to marry another man and then divorce to marry her ex-husband.

The former Pakistani supermodel, Nadia Hussain plays the role as Sofia. In this TV series, her younger brother, Adnan and his wife, Hira, also are the part of supporting cast. The music is a label of Momina Duraid Productions. The opening song is sung by Aleyha Waqar. The shooting locations are mostly done in Karachi and Murree; Pakistan.

 Shert also aired in India on Zindagi TV as ‘Na Gumaan Kar Kisi Aur Ka’.

 

 

 

Warning: There may be SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Danish Taimoor as Imaad
  2. Ayesha Khan as Momal
  3. Syed Jibran as Sameer
  4. Nida Khan as Afroz
  5. Nadia Hussain as Sofia

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Supportive Cast

  1. Mustafa Qazmi as Sami
  2. Adnan Hussain Ahmed as Sherry
  3. Hira Hussain as Sherry’s Wife
  4. N/A as Imaad’s Doctor
  5. N/A as Imaad’s Lawyer
  6. N/A as Sameer’s Friend
  7. N/A as Sameer’s Lawyer

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Momal, Imaad, Afroz and Sameer are four university friends who share a very friendly bond. After the failed marriage, however, Momal leaves Sameer for his infidelity and stays with Imaad and Afroz. There, a secret bet is placed between Momal and Afroz that all men are alike. Momal will win her bet if she is able to win Imaad for herself.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Overall performance by everyone is mild. Though, Danish Taimoor as Imaad has performed slightly better than the rest of the cast. Imaad is one of the lead characters, who is a protagonist and is lucky enough to propose his love to his long time friend, while still being married. Danish’s performance is highlighted mainly in the episode where the main twist comes into place. His natural reaction over the bitter news shows how well Danish is in his acting craft.

This is first TV series I have watched of this actor. After watching his performance, I would like to watch more of his work. Other Honorable Mentions: Aisha Khan.

ii – A quick thinking character as Sami played by Mustafa Qazmi, showed as in the main supporting role. This character helps in resolving the matter regarding the two couples’ relationship and on vital decisions need to be taken for other matters.

The credit goes to the writer, for coming up with such an important character for the TV series.

iii – The makeup & hair styling has done a satisfactory job. The lead stars, especially Danish and Aisha look glamorous on-screen.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – I can’t really say that the worst point of this TV series is its finale. The reason is that Shert’s writing is no good. Throughout the TV series, it hardly made its mark or impressed the viewers. Almost the entire TV series is weakly produced. As for the last episode, who comes up with such idiotically writing? The ending is clearly indigestible and unconvincing.

 

ii – Oh God! Why do we have to watch such illogical scenes?

  • In which hospital, would you find no single soul in the two-story building? And Sameer literally threats Imaad by pointing his gun to shoot him at point blank range inside the hospital. Where is the security, the eye witnesses?
  • How did Sameer know to where exactly his former wife might be during her Murree trip? His explanation of getting information from the office is not sufficient. I mean, come on! They were walking within the vast forest of Murree and somehow, Sameer ends up at the exact spot where they are. Gimme a break!
  • Who remains still in love with a person, after such a betrayal? Even after everything has happened, Imaad still refuses to end the marriage. And because of that, we were gifted of 4 more episodes… [Sniff].
  • In the end, everything is forgiven and forgotten? What about all those betrayals, attempt to kill unborn child?
  • This is the first time, where an actual medical lab franchise is openly shown to be involved in bribery, corruption. Boy! Was I shocked and left dumbstruck. I mean, really? How this franchise has allowed them to be degraded like this? You can see that the guy who is persuaded to take the bribe is wearing their official lab coat with their brand name written on it.
  • Sherry’s wife is shown to be supporting both the rival couples POV. This usually is shown intentionally as the TV series sometimes show their some characters to be double sided. However, this would be false in this TV series, as this character is shown in negative light in any other scene or episode.
  • After spending one night together, Imaad suddenly hears of good news. Yes, it’s possible to happen. But very unlikely, for such a scenario. And, after 2 – 3 weeks later, they get the news.

 

iii – I have not watched any of the previous works by this director. He may or may not be successful in those. However, for Shert, his direction takes the lion’s share of being poorly handled. Still, I do not blame him directly for this TV series’ failure. It’s the writer mainly, who should be held responsible.

iv – Pathetic level of production design. To make the audience believe, that for Sameer and Momal live in Scotland (part of UK), they have England’s flag nailed on the wall, with ‘England’ written on Sameer’s slippers and T-shirt. WTF? Naturally, the BTS team didn’t go there for shoot. To pretend it, they used a very cheap method to do it.

v – Although, it’s a welcome for the viewers that Shert has only total of 17 episodes. But the way, this TV series has dragged the story to its unnatural length, is unbelievable.

vi – The opening theme song is not only bad but the singer seems to be having a sore throat.

vii – I am not really sure if this title name does justification to the TV series. Okay, fine… all hell loose, after the ‘Bet’ goes wrong in the end. But still, I feel that this TV series title should be based on either the character’s name or given to his/her main attribute.

As far as the writing is concerned, [shaking my head] really, I don’t know what to say? I am absolute speechless. To confirm, one should be daring enough to watch this TV series.

 

 

 

+ Overall
Shert is a kind of bet which you would surely like to miss watching.

 

 

 

Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Meray Paas Tum Ho (2019 – 20)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Meray Paas Tum Ho aka I Have You (2019 – 20). Its Production House is Six Sigma Plus while Distribution is done by ARY Television Network.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Nadeem Baig
  • Written by Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar
  • Music by Naveed Nashad
  • Edited by Khawaja Arif
  • Produced by Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Nasib

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Meray Paas Tum Ho aired on ARY Digital from 17th Aug 2019 to 25th Jan 2020. In total, it consists of 23 episodes. The writer, Khalil sb has written Pyarey Afzal (2013 – 14) which has also starred Ayeza Khan in one of the lead roles. Nadeem Baig has previously worked with Humayun Saeed in a number of blockbusters films, such as Punjab Nahi Jaungi (2017), Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 1 (2015) and its sequel with the same name in (2018). Some people find this TV series plot somewhat similar to a Hollywood film, Indecent Proposal (1993), starring Robert Redford and Demi Moore.

Kamal Hussain and Arshad Malik are theater artists and have minor roles in this TV series. The opening theme song, ‘Mera Yeh Bharam Tha Meray Paas Tum Ho’ is sang by fame Qawal singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Meray Paas Tum Ho became one of the most popular TV serial in 2019. This drama series has also received one of the best ever Pakistani TV ratings in our TV history. Its last episode was viewed by almost more than 80 million people in Pakistan only. It has won seven awards at Pakistan International Screen Awards in 2019, including Best TV Director, Best TV Writer and Best TV Play.

 

 

Warning: There are SPOILERS ahead!

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Humayun Saeed as Danish Akhtar
  2. Ayeza Khan as Mehwish Akhtar
  3. Adnan Siddiqui as Shehwar Ahmed
  4. Shees Sajjad Gul as Roomi
  5. Hira Mani as Hania

 

 

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Mohammad Ahmed as Mateen
  2. Mehar Bano as Anushey
  3. Musaddiq Malik as Monty
  4. Furqan Qureshi as Salman
  5. Rehmat Ajmal as Aisha
  6. Hina Javed as Wateera

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Minor Cast

  1. Savera Nadeem as Maham Syed
  2. Shamim Hilaly as Roomi’s School Principal
  3. Anoushay Abbasi as Ifrah
  4. Waseem Lashari as Anti-Corruption Officer
  5. Kamal Hussain as Govt. Office Attendant
  6. Arshad Malik as Stock Buyer

 

 

+ Plot

Danish working at a govt. job, he is happily married to his wife, Mehwish while having son, Roomi. However, Mehwish dreams to have richness and flourish lifestyle quickly in life. Their marriage forever shatters when Shehwar steps into their lives.

 

 

+ High Points

i – Controversial it may be for some but, Khalil-ur-Rehman has done excellent job with the script writing. The main ingredient to this TV series success is the script, its dialogues. They were so good, so intriguing that I had to raise my TV volume to listen to its every dialogue carefully.

One of the best dialogues is: When Danish is forced to reconsider to forgive and forget the mistake his former wife has made. In return, he says, ‘Shirk Ko to Khuda Bhi Maaf Nahi Kartha’ (‘Even God doesn’t forgives any Associates Equal to him’).

ii – As far as the characters are concerned, there are few examples to show, how well the writer define them. Such as:

  1. Mehwish is the main antagonist of this TV series. She has a sugar-coated personality with a combination of great beauty but a cold heart. She loves to chat with the rich man, Shehwar. There is a numerous times where he flirts with her to which she doesn’t shares this with her husband. She is strongly attracted towards Shehwar, mainly because of his vast wealth. However, when a similar thing is done by her medium class neighbor, she doesn’t accept and ignores him completely. This shows that Mehwish’s nature to be attracted towards people who are wealthy to fulfill her dreams.
  2. Maham Syed is shown as a powerful character. She doesn’t really need to say or do anything really. Her wealthy status and dominant position can be seen in her strong glare which she makes while confronting Mehwish for the first time.
  3. Roomi is given utter importance as the primary supporting character. He is given with one of the most interesting dialogues. He is shown to help his father in giving some good suggestions in rebuilding relationships, helping him to remarry and make him realize that his father is his true strength. This is very rare to see such importance given to a child character in a Pakistani TV series.
  4. Danish intentionally ignores his wife’s all misdoings for the sake of their marriage to survive and good upbringing of their only son. He is even willing to do corruption for her, so that she could live a better lifestyle and fulfill her expensive demands. His character is shown who truly believes that by having his beautiful wife by his side, his life is complete. Upon her insisting, Danish allows her to do job at Shehwar’s, as he loves and trusts her.

iii – Humayun Saeed portrays as Danish, the main lead character of this TV series. Humayun gave a strong performance as a faithful lover to his wife, good father to his son and an honest employee to the govt. workplace where corruption is common there. His loyal, good heart nature had instantly won many viewers’ hearts all over the world. With his devotion to play his heroic role, Humayun would always be remembered as Danish, an iconic and memorable character.

iv – The main plot of MPTH is not about the women degradation. This is one of the allegations that the writer was accused of. This is a situation where the wife is the cheater (rather than the husband), who leaves her family behind for a high social class status and richness. Most of TV series of our industry is about a cheater boyfriend or husband. But here, the tables have turned.

The other criticism was showing women in bad light. In this TV series, only Mehwish’s character is shown that way as it is related with the main plot. Some viewers alleged that this TV series shows a cheater wife as unforgiving but not for a husband?

For clarification, there was a scene in earlier episodes where Mateen sb reveals that his late wife never truly forgave him for his betrayal to leave her for another woman. And, due to that, he suffered to this day for his grave mistake. It clearly shows that the writer wanted to viewers know that the forgiveness for both the genders is unacceptable. That’s exactly what happens with the main characters.

There’s another reason, provided by Hania is that the women should not be forgiven since she is the one who bears the child and not the husband. So, leaving family behind by a female is worse than done by a husband. It is a POV of the writer that is debatable. Personally, I agree with the writer and how he has put up in the story.

v – There are two best scenes in terms that I considered them intriguing to watch. Such as:

  1. Danish gains confidence to face Shehwar at his office and warns him to be step aside or face his wrath. This scene was quickly become viral on the internet.
  2. Mehwish is caught red-handed at the airport with Shehwar by her husband. The disappointing look on Danish’s face says it all. His pain can be seen in his eyes where saying it a loud wouldn’t have made such an impact.

vi – Adnan Siddiqui as Shehwar, who can’t stop himself from being drawn towards a married woman. His desire to have her, he impresses her with his vast wealth and higher social status. Adnan is a great actor, who is often seen as an artist who gives his all to play his characters as authentic and believable. It was a good choice to choose him to play as the secondary antagonist.

vii – A small, yet a vital supporting role as Mateen sb played by Mohammed Ahmed, gave a solid performance as the only co-worker with whom, Danish shares his pain with. Ahmed sb’s performance is often comes to lime light because of playing his characters on a realistic note. Other Honorable Mentions: Ayeza Khan.

viii – The makeup & hair styling department has done a great job in making the stars very glamorous on-screen. Adnan Siddiqui and Ayeza Khan looked very mod and stylish in their respected roles.

ix – Great work in its costume designing and wardrobe selection. It works well with the makeup & hair styling team.

x – Nice job in its production design. It helped in making the scenes visually authentic. Such as: Danish’s govt. workplace, Shehwar’s residence etc.

xi – MPTH surprisingly consists of total, 23 episodes. By having less than average total number of episodes nowadays, this TV series avoids in dragging the story to its unnatural length.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – This got to be the worst finale I have ever watched in Pakistani TV series till date. It seems that the writer wanted his main lead character to die in any way possible. Danish’s untimely and illogical death only raised more questions.

After watching the last episode, I still cannot believe that this was the end the writer preferred to write to this TV series. It doesn’t connect to how the story was progressing or the main character’s story arc. Even if the writer wanted to give a tragic end to this TV series, there were multiple ways to do this. But he chooses the worse way possible to kill his character. The last conversation Danish has with his son, had made me literally to doze off.

MPTH kept comparing themselves on viewing ratings with international critically acclaim TV series, Games of Thrones (2011 – 19). Though, in the end, it raises one true question.

Similarity to these two TV series is, ‘Which TV series has a worst ending‘?

  1. Meray Paas Tum Ho
  2. Games of Thrones

ii – There are some questions that troubled me. Such as:

  1. Why Danish went to meet his ex-wife at the former house where he has the bad memories attached to it? He could have told her to change the location of their meeting.
  2. Why Danish removes his ‘Oxygen Mask’ (in actual, it was a nebulizer mask) to talk to his son, when knowingly that he is admitted in ICU? How the doctors allowed this to happen? Danish talks to his son for 10 – 15 minutes at least.
  3. Why Mehwish doesn’t call her close friend to stay the night? Instead, she visits her former husband’s apartment to stay the night.
  4. Maham is willing to forgive her husband and promote him at her workplace. But then she says that she would fire him too. What does she really wants?
  5. I’m sorry. How does this stock ratio, really works?

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Similar to Achilles, Meray Paas Tum Ho is almost invincible with its spectacular dialogues and well-written characters until its ankle gets fatally wounded with one of the most disappointing finishing to a TV series.

 

 

 

Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Antigone (2017)

A review on Pakistani Drama theatre play, Antigone (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Khalid Ahmed
  • Written by Jean Anouilh

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Jean Anouilh’s play, Antigone is a tragedy inspired by Greek mythology and the play of the same name (Antigone, by Sophocles) from the fifth century BC Jean Anouilh wrote his ‘Antigone’ in 1944, during the height of the Nazi occupation of France.

Upon Oedipus’s death, it was agreed that each of the two sons would take the throne from one year to the next. After the first year, however, the elder one refuses to step down. After a great war, all were defeated. The brothers kill each other in a duel. Creon ends up as the king. Then Creon orders Eteocles to be buried in honor while left Polyncies, the younger brother to rot on the pain of death. He announces that if anyone attempted to Polyncies a decent burial then, that person would be put to death.

The two actresses, Sehrish and Aisha play the lead role, Antigone of the different timelines.

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Nadir Hussain as Creon
  2. Sehrish Qadir as Antigone #1
  3. Aisha Iqbal as Antigone (Younger)
  4. Irfan Khan as Pahredar #1
  5. Owais Mubashir as Haemon
  6. Monazza Fatima Naqvi as Ismene
  7. Umair Rafiq as Ravi #1
  8. Rehman Qureshi as Ravi #2
  9. Hani Taha as Anna
  10. Godina Fernandes as Eurydice
  11. Adnan Samad Khan as Ardali
  12. Syed Arsalan as Pahredar #2
  13. Ahmed Adil as Pahredar #3
  14. Hasnain as Page

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
Upon the second brother’s death, Antigone resolves to defy her uncle, Creon the King for her to give Polyncies a proper burial.

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Nadir Hussain as Creon, was the most impressive of them all! He is truly an ‘A’ class actor and his plays are most often well received by the audience.

ii – My, my… what do we have here? Sehrish Qadir as Antigone #1 gave a strong performance in scene sharing with Nadir. Sehrish clearly showed everyone that she is a serious actress who should not be taken lightly. Other Honorable Mentions: Irfan Khan, Umair Rafiq, Owais Mubashir and Aisha Iqbal.

iii – Brilliant direction by respected Khalid Ahmed. We were able to witness yet again a magnificent play.

iv – Although the play was two hours long but it was so fascinating that most of the audience’s eyes were fixed wide open on the play than concerned about the time.

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – Audience preferred one character to be played by one person only. Unless that person is playing a different age group / spilt personality of the same character.

ii – Too much narration / story moved forward by two Ravi rather than been performed.

iii – Some of the stars’ performances were weak.

 

+ Overall
Solid performances, excellent direction, and provocative. Antigone seamlessly piles up its forceful social norms into an effective and enjoyable play.

 

 

 
Rate: 4.50 out of 5 stars

 

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Maya (2015)

A review on Pakistani Horror feature length film, Maya (2015). The Production Houses and Distributors are Twister Films and JB Productions.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed, Cinematography & Edited by Jawad Bashir
  • Written & Produced by Hina Jawad
  • Music by Afzal Hussain
  • Co-Produced by Zara Hamid and Sana Suleman

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Maya is inspired by a real incident happened at Denmark. Hina Jawad also plays the lead role of Maria as protagonist. There was another horror film in Tamil language by the same name in the same year 2015 as neo noir horror film written and directed by Ashwin Saravanan.

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Hina Jawad as Maya / Mishal
  2. Ahmed Abdul Rehman as Waqas
  3. Zain Afzal as Sam
  4. Anam Malik as Rida

 

 

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

 

 

+ Supporting Cast

  1. Rasheed Ali as Priest
  2. Sheikh Mohammad Ahmed as Amir
  3. Ali Aftab (Cameo) as N/A
  4. Jawad Bashir (Cameo) as N/A

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

A group of friends go to a deserted place for a vacation and get stuck there. Away from home, a dark secret is revealed from the past where they have to face the curse.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Cinematography is very decent, executed nicely.

ii –The makeup & hair styling of the possessed character, really looked one as it is shown in foreign films.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Once again we have a typical slasher film, something audience are not really excited to watch unless they don’t know how to kill the time.

ii – Well, I can’t blame them as in slasher films, there’s hardly any character development except for the main lead characters, which they btw hardly reveal.

iii – The group of friends didn’t left the haunted house because they had already paid a huge amount of down payment and installments for several years so they couldn’t afford to leave and the fact that they lived far away from the populated area… hell, I’m just making this all up. They didn’t give any proper explanation except that they are not some scary cats and willing to take the risk by staying in the haunted house..

iv – The lead star wrote the story and was one of the co-producers. Perhaps this is the main reason why the story sucks and looks incomplete.

v – All songs are forgettable, nonsense really.

vi – The film is too short to gain interest, too typical to even care what was happening.

vii Jump scares that’s all. I am fond of horror films but this… was… complete waste of time.

viii – Wooden acting performance by (almost) the entire cast.

ix – Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, a guy in Joker’s makeup crashes the party and randomly kills someone and no one calls the police (after the guy is gone) as no one cares, just like audience.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Compelling reasons for watching Maya? Well, the film’s duration is short. Then, there’s…uh… hmm… Oh, forget it!

 

 

 

Rate: 0.75 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Jaloos (2017)

A review on Pakistani Comedy (satire) theatre play, Jaloos (2017). It was performed at NAPA’s International Theatre Festival 2017.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed, written (Adapted) & set design by Hassan Raza

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Jaloos deals with the problems in society which we are facing with but do not want to or cannot change.

This play is inspired by Badal Sarkar’s short story.

 

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Vajdaan Shah as Security Officer
  2. Hammad Siddiq as Munna (Former)
  3. Moiz Qadeer as Munna
  4. Kamal Hussain as Peer Sahib
  5. Haris Khan as Chorus #1
  6. Syed Jameel as Chorus #2
  7. Umair Rafiq as Chorus #3
  8. Hassan Khan as Chorus #4
  9. Shahjahan Narejo as Chorus #5
  10. Ghulam Murtaza as Chorus #6
  11. Aisha Iqbal as Chorus #7
  12. Sana Hussain as Chorus #8

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
It represents those people in society who are downtrodden, suffering, who do not get justice and are ignored by society.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Haris Khan plays comic roles in best way possible. He is a great performer with highly skilled acting chops. His handshake with Peer Sahib was one of the most iconic scenes of this play.

ii – Vajdaan Shah performance as Security Officer is strictly performed in realistic manner. Other Honorable Mentions: Kamal Hussain, Syed Jameel, Hassan Khan and Umair Rafiq.

iii – Hassan Raza did a fantastic job in directing this delicate play. One needs a lot of guts to pull this off in such enjoyable comic manner without taking it seriously* (in terms of getting highly offended by it).

iv – The satire humor was touched on hyper sensitive multiple issues which are too taboo to be discussed among close friends even, were very bravely performed.

v – The set design was brightly color-filled constructed.

vi – The live song was sung elegantly.

vii – The screenplay was engaging while the Peer Sahib character was the most appealing.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – This play is strictly for a selected audience only. The possibility is likely high for receiving extremely negative reactions, if it is shown to the mass audience.

ii – Both Munna scenes were slow and dragged. Munna character reminded me of ‘Kenny’ from South Park cartoon series.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Jaloos is a play with funny humor which was bravely performed and touched on many sensitive issues in satire mayhem.

 

 

 
Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars