Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Cake (2018)

A review on Pakistani Drama feature length film, Cake (2018). The Production Houses are Indus Takies and ZAB Films while its Distributors are B4U Motion Pictures and Excellency Films.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Asim Abbasi
  • Cinematography by Mo Azmi
  • Edited by Aarti Bajaj
  • Music by The Sketches and Saif Samejo (Composed)
  • Produced by Syed Zulfikar Bukhari

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Cake is a film about the passage of time seen through the eyes of one family and offers a heartfelt look at the realities of life, of past and present, of choices and consequences. The majority of the filming has been in Karachi, interior Sindh and some parts of London.

The Production Design is done by Zain Khan while it’s Costume Design by Samiya Ansari. It is a debut film for Adnan Malik.

It is the first ever Pakistani film which had its premiere at Leicester Square London with national and international media covering the Event. The cast of the film toured Bradford where they visited Radio Sangam, Odeon Cinema Leeds, Trafford Center, star city and various other places for film promotion.

Similar to Azad (2018), this film too most probably face the same fate in the domestic box office as did Pakistani feature length films such as Shah (2015) and Josh (2013). During the end of emotional scenes, parallel to what happened to Pakistani film, Verna (2017), here too most of the audience were laughing instead feel the moment of sadness. Our Stone Age mass audience still doesn’t understand when to laugh or cry while watching a film.

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Aamina Sheikh as Zareen
  2. Sanam Saeed as Zehra
  3. Adnan Malik as Romeo
  4. Beo Raana Zafar as Ammi
  5. Mohammad Ahmed as Abu

 

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Faris Khalid as Zain
  2. Meekal Zulfiqar as Shehryar
  3. Hira Hussain as Zain’s Wife
  4. N/A as Zain’s Son

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

When the ageing father is taken ill, his eldest daughter, Zareen, is forced to reconnect with her sister, Zara, on her return from London. Burdened with guilt and resentments, the sisters must confront old secrets and realize that sometimes the only way for a family to move on, is by finding a way back.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – A very interesting screenplay, loved every humor and punchlines of the film.

ii – Aamina Sheikh’s performance as Zareen is electrifying, absolute terrific! She is such a good actress who blended into her character as though she is Zareen for real.

iii – Along with Aamina, Sanam Saeed as Zehra performed as persuasively as possible. Her scenes sharing with Aamina made them look inseparable on-screen… left our hearts to desire for more. Other Honorable Mentions: Beo Raana Zafar.

iv – Splendid work on its Production design, each and every scene was pleasantry to watch.

v – The cinematography is beautifully shot, loved how its lighting was handled.

vi – Good performances by the entire cast.

v – Hard to believe that this is directorial debut for Asim Abbasi. The simplicity of the scenes made us feel closer to the reality and have the feel like home.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – We never get to see of Zehra’s husband or her problematic relationship with him.

ii – The story might be too simple for those viewers who are fond of mirch masala type of films and therefore find difficult time to enjoy.

iii – Songs are just nonsense, forgettable. Many won’t even remember listening to any of them.

iv – Meekal Zulfiqar’s role is equivalent to a cameo appearance. Audience wanted to see more of him; at least that’s how people perceive him to be in the film by looking at the poster.

v – The dark secret in the family didn’t turned out to be that dark after all.

vi – Hardly any Sindhi accent in a Sindhi family.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Cake is a lovely adult comedy with excellent screenplay, good direction and a touch of tragedy.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars

 

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Sona Chandi (1982-3)

A review on Pakistani classic Comedy-Drama TV serial, Sona Chandi (1982-3). It’s Production House and its Distributor is PTV Network (Lahore Studio).

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Rashid Dar
  • Written by Munnu Bhai aka Munir Qureshi

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Sona Chandi aired on PTV Network was released on 18th Sep 1982-3. In total, it consists of 32 episodes. The story revolves around a newly wedded, lower-class couple who arrive at Lahore, in search of work. There they meet a vast number of different people tangled with their social or financial issues, where Sona Chandi tries to sort them out.

It is believed that this TV series is inspired by a real couple named Sona (male) and Chandi (female) from Kallurkot, a Tehsil city of Bhakkar; District of Punjab, Pakistan. During one of the late writer’s visits to Kallurkot, Munnu Bhai got to meet the ‘real’ Sona. He (Sona) has portrayed in the film version of the same name, Sona Chandi (1983-4).

Hamid Rana, who plays the lead role as Sona, comes from a background where his family who never considered the show business a respectful job. Although, by birth, Hamid was a stammer but that didn’t stop him from becoming a recognizable actor. After working in a number of theater plays, he his future co-star, Sheeba Arshad. Soon, they became good friends and started to appear in many theater and TV serials together. The classic hit TV series, Sona Chandi is the first project for the two stars to appear in the lead roles together. Both of the stars are recognized by their iconic characters, rather than by their real names.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Hamid Rana as Sona
  2. Sheeba Arshad as Chandi

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Mohammad Ayub as Rukhsana’s Husband
  2. Tashqeen as Baji Rukhsana
  3. Ghayyur Akhtar as Bhai Hameed
  4. Ayub Khan as Mama Yaqoob
  5. Munir Zareef as Chacha Karmoo
  6. Atiya Sharaf as Massi Barkate
  7. Munna Lahori as Driver of Nawab Farasat Ali Khan

 

 

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+ Guest Cast

  1. Khursheed Shahid
  2. Asim Bukhari
  3. Farooq Zameer
  4. Arifa Siddiqui
  5. Tauqeer Nasir
  6. Aurangzeb Laghari
  7. Tamanna Begum
  8. Jamil Fakhri
  9. Sajjad Kishwer
  10. Abid Kashmiri
  11. Talat Siddiqui
  12. Shakila Qureshi
  13. Ismat Tahira
  14. Masood Akhtar
  15. Najma Mehboob
  16. Muhammad Sharif

 

 

 

+ Plot

A simple lifestyle couple do domestic-help jobs in different middle and upper class houses. There they help many people in solving their problems.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – The incredible writing behind this couple is moral example of two having life commitments to each other, to face the life’s hardships together in every step. No matter what happens, they respect each other’s different POVs. It’s the writer’s sensational writing skill on how he has able to come up with different situations of comic and drama, to merge together to highlight them on a serious note.

ii – The issues that were highlighted where we are given shown the stubborn parents with their loving children. In some cases, the devoted parents are shown with their ignorant children. Either way, Sona Chandi still manages to handle such people with different circumstances. They even come across such landlords who without their permission cannot leave the house. The viewers also have the chance to meet with humble landladies with whom they have dinner with them on the same dining table. All comes to the point where the couple are able to cope up with different personas of people with different circumstances to sort out their problems.

iii – Sona and Chandi are a simple married couple who sing songs and trust each other with their secrets. Due to their innocence & love, they win many people hearts and gain friendships to build bridges of relationships between those people who had been in conflict with much time.

iv – In the supporting cast, we have Munir Zareef and Ayub Khan were the comic relief characters, who were very amusing.

v – The performances by the lead stars as well as the other cast members have portrayed their characters very nicely.

vi – There are many cameo appearances by a number of fame artists, where the viewers love to see favorite ones on the silver screen.

vii – Having 32 episodes in 1980s TV series, is a rare thing to see. Yet, the writer manages to make most of the episodes interesting enough to watch it till the finale.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – Simple set designs, camera handling, editing, just doesn’t works with the kind of writing this TV series is produced with.

ii – Rather than having the story written in cannon manner, we are presented with different stories with different characters, where Sona Chandi work at. Sometimes, it loses interest to watch new stories every time you are switched to a new episode.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Sona Chandi portrays two evergreen characters that are still remembered to this day for their sheer innocence and simplicity to deal with life’s problems.

 

 

 

Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars

TV series

Mr. Khan’s Review on Do Bol (2019)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Drama TV series, Do Bol (2019) aka Two Words. Its Production Houses are Six Sigma Plus and Next Level Entertainment while its Distributor is ARY Digital.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Syed Wajahat Hussain
  • Written by Sarwat Nazeer
  • Opening Theme & Music by Naveed Naushad, Nabeel Shaukat Ali and Aima Baig
  • Produced by Humayun Saeed, Shahzad Nasib, Samina Humayun Saeed and Sana Shahnawaz

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Do Bol was aired on ARY Digital from 5th Mar 2019 – 5th May 2019. In total, it consists of 30 episodes. This is my first TV series that I have watched of Affan Waheed.

Actors such as, Usman Mazhar and Ifrah Khalid are NAPA’s theater performers. They have played supporting roles in this TV series. Usman happens to be a stand-up comedian as well.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Hira Salman as Gaiti Ara
  2. Affan Waheed as Badar-u-Zaman
  3. Haroon Shahid as Sameer
  4. Mehmood Aslam as Iqbal Hussain
  5. Samina Ahmed as Firdous
  6. Anam Tanveer as Fareeha
  7. Salman Saeed as Jamshed
  8. Seemi Pasha as Jahan Ara

 

 

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Zainab Qayyum as Nafisa
  2. Rubina Ashraf as Qudsia
  3. Akhtar Hasnain as Munawwar
  4. Salma Hassan as Nasreen
  5. Haris Waheed as Zafar
  6. Ifrah Khalid as Rania
  7. Laiba Khan as Rafia
  8. Mariam Mirza as Safeena

 

 

xxxxxxx

 

 

+ Minor Cast

  1. Vasia Fatima as Neelam
  2. Emmad Butt as Hassan
  3. Usman Mazhar as Lateef
  4. N/A as Sameer’s Fiance
  5. Shehryar Zaidi as Nafees
  6. Shehzad Mukhtar as Badar’s father
  7. Shaharyar Irfan as Khalid

 

 

 

+ Plot

Gaiti is a cheerful daughter, who is loved by everyone around her. On the other hand, Badar belongs to a middle-class, works for Gaiti’s wealthy family and is also secretly in love with her. However, after a bitter incident, they both are forcefully married to each other. In such a relationship, Gaiti can’t help herself but to despise and hate him for it.

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Everyone gave mild performances.

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – The story itself is not interesting enough to watch it in the first place. Many people may find it very similar plot to other typical TV series.

ii – Too many episodes only drag the story and waste your time. The viewers eventually altogether lose their interest.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
A number of known faces, may bring your attention towards Do Bol. But that is clearly not sufficient to consider this TV series any watchable.

 

 

 

Rate: 1.50 out of 5 stars

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Salute (2016)

A review on Pakistani feature length film, Salute (2016). The Production House is Cinetainment Production and Distributed by IMGC Global Entertainment.

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Shahzad Rafique
  • Cinematography by Adil Askri
  • Written by Shahzad Rafique
  • Edited by Mohammed Adeel PK
  • Produced by Ghufoor Butt, Haji Arshad Mehmood & Shahzad Rafique

 

 

 

+ Note

Salute is a biographical film is based on the life of martyr “Aitzaz Hasan” from Hangu, Pakistan. He very courageously confronted a suicide bomber from attempting to blow his school saving up to 2000 lives. It’s a Cinematic Tribute to his act of bravery and selflessness, therefore the film is titled as ‘Salute’.

The music is composed by Robin Ghosh (Late) & Aamir Munawar.

 

 

+ Main Cast

1) Ali Mohtesham as Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan

2) Ajab Gul as Aitzaz Hasan’s father

3) Saima Noor as Aitzaz Hasan’s mother

4) Imran Khan as Taliban

5) Nayyar Ejaz as Mulvi

 

 

 

+ Plot

Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan Bangash is a healthy school boy who is often taunted by other school boys over his weight issue. His life surrounds closely with his family especially her mother. She is the only one who believes that God has created him for a special reason.

 

 

+ High Points

i – If one is aware of the true events which this film is based on, it was really heart breaking to know and watch film ending. You can see the love which is pour out by Aitzaz’s loving mother for his child. The film in the start is dedicated to the martyrs of Pakistan, especially innocent children.

ii – The performances by Ajab Gul and Saima Noor, played their part well.

iii – The locations are very beautiful as it is mainly shot at Azad Kashmir.

iv – The story shown of Aitzaz Hasan and his family are the only interesting scenes to watch.

v – Ali Mohtesham as Shaheed Aitzaz Hasan did the role properly and in most justified manner.

vi – The ‘Islam’ that is preached and how it is implemented by banned religious groups is shown to highlight their view of the religion side by side of general public. It was a good call.

 

 

+ Low Points

i – The cinematography is mediocre. There are unnecessary Bird’s eye view multiple shots been taken throughout the film. Irrelevant intense shots in slow motion are taken where there is hardly any suspense shown to the audience.

ii – There are so many armies infiltrating and attacking shots taken. Not only do they look unrealistic but with highly exaggerating manner are they shown on screen. I do understand that they were inserted in the film intentionally to show our army patriotism and their fight against such ‘Islamic & Religious’ terrorist / banned groups. Yet it ruined the main story which it was actually based on.

iii – The beard of Nayyar Ejaz is as real as Santa Claus’s beard.

iv – Then we had this Bonanza ad during the film. Sorry, what I mean is there is this couple on honeymoon who are attacked by a small group of terrorists. Bad direction, bad acting.

v – The supporting cast acting is just okay. It could have been better.

vi – The product placement of NBP is like watching an advertisement. Badly executed.

vii – The story telling precisely needs improvement on its part.

viii – The flashback scenes and present scenes were hard to tell in the start as it looked the same.

ix – By looking at different aircraft while taking off, Aitzaz Hasan’s father saddens as it reminds him of his loving wife and family. But the way it was shot, it seemed that the BTS team has inserted wrong aircraft shots. Example: In close up shots, we see PIA plane but in master shots it belonged to some other airlines. This same thing happened again with Emirates and other airlines aircraft.

x – The action scenes reminded me of illogical explosions & gun battle shown in Michael Bay film.

 

 

+ Overall

Salute is a touching story, surrounding Aitzaz Hasan’s true events which delivers so well, But it also suffers from the uninspired cinematography, lack of strong supporting cast and its clichéd action sequence that provokes to wish for a redo.

 

 

Rate: 2.0 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Baaztab (2017)

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

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Farhan Alam
  • Written by Shumaila Taj

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Baaztab is based on the system of injustice and the collision of the institutions of state with the media and elite of the country are the central focus of the play that seeks a change in this unjust system.

It focuses on personality disorder while it shows how it affects that person and the people who are closer.

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Naz as Sabah / Rameen
  2. Zain Nazar as Rafaay
  3. Muhammad Sambhan Ghazi as M. Ali
  4. Naveed Kamal as Aslam
  5. Shumaila Taj as Dr. Zara
  6. Shazia Ahmed as Salma
  7. Tehreem Shafiq as Rabia

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
An elder daughter, Rameen who develops a split personality disorder is due to the death of her late father in a riot at Karachi and her mother’s second marriage to a man who has very traditional patriarchal views on the role of women in society.

 

 

+ High Points
i – Naz’s performance as wife with a care free personae living inside her is much admired by the audience. She never delivers less than expectations. Truly a terrific actress!

ii – Naveed Kamal as a religious traditional step father played his part brilliantly. He is an underrated actor that needs to be presented in lime light as much as possible. Other Honorable Mentions: Zain Nazar.

iii – The elevator scene was well directed.

 

 

+ Low Points
i – The scenes where Ali and Rameen share seemed unconvincing and weak.

ii – The performers were too limited in their movements. As though the blocking of was restricted to be taken one step only. Such as when Rameen is presented with her family in a scene, they stood (almost still) like shooting ducks / gallery.

iii – There were times when the actors were too quick to deliver their lines instead of focusing on their pauses (according to its beat).

iv – The scenes shifting could be taken place with proper switching of the filtered lights, for the audience ease to understand.

v – The character Rabia was faintly written while the performance of Shazia Ahmed was the weakest.

vi – How Rameen gets away from murder? Only to be ended up with a doctor? Did the police / her family ever find out what she did?

 

 

+ Overall
Baaztab has at least the prospective to produce into something healthier. But it might not be worth that second look if not for few performers especially by Naz.

 

 
Rate: 2.50 out of 5 stars

 

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Rangreza (2017)

A review on Pakistani romantic feature length film, Rangreza (2017). The Production Houses are Vision Art Films, MH Films and Malkani Films while its Distributors are ARY Films and B4U Motion Pictures.

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Amir Mohiuddin
  • Music, Written, Produced by Akhtar Qayyum
  • Co-Produced by Yasir Mohiuddin & Usman Malkani

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Rangreza is a film between two different school of thoughts and classes.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Bilal Ashraf as Ali Zain
  2. Urwa Hocane as Reshmi
  3. Gohar Rasheed as Waseem Wallay
  4. Ghana Ali as Saba
  5. Saleem Mairaj as Waseem’s friend
  6. Tanveer Jamal as Reshmi’s Father

 

 

 

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+ Supportive Cast

  1. Saba Faisal as Reshmi’s Mother
  2. Shahid Naqvi as Waseem’s Father
  3. Seemi Pasha as Ali’s Mother
  4. Akbar Subhani as Dada
  5. Alyzeh Gabol as Ali’s Friend (Cameo)
  6. Saad Farukh Khan as Saba’s Friend

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

A shy, beautiful girl Reshmi, belongs to a traditional Qawwal family and has been engaged since childhood to her cousin, Waseem. Conflict arises when Ali, a famous pop star falls in love with her.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Gohar Rasheed is not only the show-stealer but also performed very well. It’s no surprise that his character was most fascinatingly written and able to pull it off perfectly. I would love to see him perform a positive role yet an interesting one. Other Honorable Mentions: Tanveer Jamal and Shahid Naqvi.

ii – The screenplay is captivatingly written; lots of humorous punchlines.

iii – Makeup & hair styling and production design is praise worthy

iv – Costume designing is well handled. Love to see cheap different shirts given to Gohar to wear.

v – The direction of photography is good, very skillful shots been taken in almost every scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – The film is fair at best. But good thing is that it was not lengthy as these films generally are.

ii The chemistry between Bilal and Urwa is so-so. Their love relationship hardly made emotional connection with the audience as everything was rushed.

iii – The two lead roles performance were just okay, although I usually enjoy watching Bilal Ashraf’s performance.

iv – The same old romantic story of two young individuals belonging to two different social statuses fall in love.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Rangreza is able to bring audience attention particularly because of one-liner humor and Gohar’s performance. Nonetheless, it is still rather a low-spirited romantic film which ultimately loses its chances to be memorable one.

 

 

 

 

 

Rate: 2.50 out of 5 stars

 

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on Load Wedding (2018)

A review on Pakistani Rom-Com feature length film, Load Wedding (2018). The Production House is Filmwala Pictures while its Distributors are Geo Films, Distribution Club and Zee Studios (Internationally).

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Nabeel Qureshi
  • Co-Written & Produced by Fizza Ali Meerza
  • Cinematography by Rana Kamran
  • Edited by Asif Mumtaz
  • Co-Produced by Mehdi Ali

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note

Load Wedding is the fourth collaboration with director-producer-duo Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza. The film is narrated by Mohsin Abbas Haider. He has co-written the film, as well as wrote the lyrics for two songs and sung one of them. Its music is composed by Shani Arshad.

There is an Easter egg of late fame actor, Om Puri (most probably as Raja’s father). It is a huge coincidence to find that there’s a character by the name ‘Baby Baji’ who in real life of mine was a very close and dear relative. Sadly, only a month ago she had expired. Not only she carries the same name as Faiza Hasan portrays but her characteristics (to some extent) including being unmarried and having weight issues were too similar. It made me wonder as from where the writers took the inspiration from.

The cameos are performed by Tehrim and Jameel, two NAPA artists as well.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Fahad Mustafa as Raja
  2. Mehwish Hayat as Meerab / Meeru
  3. Samina Ahmad as Raja’s Mother
  4. Faiza Hasan as Baby Baji / Farhana
  5. Noor Ul Hasan as Mamu

 

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Qaiser Piya as Raja’s Friend
  2. Fahim Khan as Ashiq Rafaqat
  3. Anjum Habibi as Uncle
  4. Ghazala Butt as Aunty
  5. Ghalib Kamal as Baby Baji’s Fiancée

 

 

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+ Cameo

  1. Mohsin Abbas Haider as Mamu [Young]
  2. Hania Amir as Mamu’s Love Interest [Young]
  3. Hamna Amir as Meerab [Young]
  4. Tehrim Shafiq as Polio Worker
  5. Syed M. Jameel as TV Production Assistant
  6. N/A as TV Production Security

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Raja is a young lad who lives in a small town with his family and an unmarried sister. One day he falls in love with Polio worker Meeru, his childhood love.

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Beautiful work behind its lighting, the cinematography that it gives whole new meaning and reasoning to watch the film.

ii – Once again we witness an enjoyable performance by Fahad Mustafa as Raja who goes deep into his character in able to win the audience hearts. Fahad is the heart and soul of Load Wedding.

iii – Faiza Hasan as Baby Baji plays an elder sibling with an attitude and stubbornness issue, who cannot accept herself to be left behind while her younger brother gets married before her. Faiza performed very well as playing an arrogant character. Other Honorable Mentions: Fahim Khan, Samina Ahmad and Qaiser Piya.

iv – The team behind its production design and shooting locations, helps us to in believing the surroundings’ realism.

v – The direction by Nabeel was fun loving and entertaining. There are many scenes in the film where we could see why ‘Nabeel Qureshi’ is a big name in the market.

vi – Songs, such as ‘Rangeya’, ‘Kooch Na Karein’ were very pleasing and lovable to listen to.

vii – The costume designing works well on the given characters, it helped them to convince the audience to accept their characteristics with their good performances.

viii – Effective use of the product placements except for McDonald’s.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – The first half is the real film to watch, because after the interval… the storytelling slides down to a great fall that it never fully recovers.

ii – After NMA2 and now this, I think Nabeel Qureshi & his team should sit down and work out on how to come up with good scripts as they once did in NMA1 and Actor-in-Law.

iii – I don’t think people came to watch game shows’ / Amir Liaqat’s parody which he conquers in the second half of the film.

iv – I have watched many TV dramas, films which carries the same core message as of this film.

v – I didn’t enjoy listening to the song ‘Munday Lahore De’. I know well that the team of LW could come up with a much better song.

vi – It seems that Mehwish looked bit older than Fahad to show as his love interest. Though, she appeared fine in ‘Actor-in-Law’ (2016). She is more suitable pair (in appearance) with Humayun Saeed.

vii – It was hard to take last emotional scenes seriously where Raja shares the screen time with Ashiq Rafaqat.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

Load Wedding works well in terms of humor level and Rana sb’s spectacular cinematography but lacks humongously with a good storyline and script.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 2.75 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Proof (2017)

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

 

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed & Set Design by Laquetta Carpenter
  • Written by David Auburn

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
A mathematical genius and his daughter relationship is both strained and necessary, while the discovery of a `Paradigm-Shifting Proof` about prime numbers authenticity is being challenged.

 

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. Shabana Hassan as Catherine
  2. Kashif Hussain as Hal
  3. Sonia Ashraf as Claire
  4. Owais Mangalwala as Robert

 

 

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
It is about Catherine, the daughter of Robert who was great Mathematician teacher & professor at the University of Chicago. After his death, Hall (his young assistant) discovers a paradigm-shifting proof about prime numbers in Robert’s journal. But the question still remains that who is its real author?

 

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Shabana Hassan as Catherine, played the role to its perfection. This is her best performance up till now.

ii – Kashif Hussain as Hal as the love interest of Catherine in most suitable way. Kashif is a wonderful actor where he is usually given demanding roles to play. Other Honorable Mentions: Rest of the cast.

iii – The direction in this play was very difficult as every scene was shown in great detail.

iv – The script writing was remarkably written. Bravo!

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – The flashback scenes regarding her relationship with her father, those could be played out properly with switching of filtered lights or different placements of the props to indicate it is basically a flash back. Sometimes it was hard to tell whether it was a flashback scene or she is talking to her father’s spirit.

ii – The conversation scenes were in great detail which took certain time in gaining interest.

iii – In end of the scenes, the second exit appears out of nowhere.  The audience was surprised to see that performer was leaving from the other side instead (where there was no exit door). The director could have showed it at least once in the starting or mid of the play.

iv – The set could have further improved with more props / side railing to show it as porch.

 

 

 

+ Overall
Laquetta and David gave their best by combining smart dialogues with impressive acting that lead Proof to be entertaining play of the romantic-drama genre.

 

 

 
Rate: 4.0 out of 5 stars

 

Theatre Plays

Mr. Khan’s Review on Tasadum (2017)

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

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Directed by Akber Islam
  • Written by Imran Aslam

 

 

 

 

 

+ Note
Imran Aslam’s burning socialist ideas are embedded with extremely crisp satirical dialogue.

 

 

 

 
+ Full Cast

  1. IR Omer as Azeem
  2. Taha Khan as Chi
  3. Hamza Sheikh as Meer
  4. Aqeel Ahmed as Tota
  5. Naveed Kamal as Qasmi
  6. Shumaila Taj as Azeem’s Mom
  7. Faraz Sheikh as Jameel
  8. Naz as Meer’s Mom

 

 

 

 

+ Plot
It is about conflicts between two different schools of thought, two ideologies, two generations; conflict between religion and nature.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points
i – Aqeel Ahmed as Tota unleashes his theatrical bravado. Although a small role but he’s hilarious.

ii – IR Omer invests his efforts as idealist-traction in properly understanding the character. He was a good choice as Azeem. Other Honorable Mentions: Naveed Kamal.

iii – Well, well… I was definitely surprised by its ending. Good call!

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points
i – We were unable to see in-depth character personalities of Chi and Tota.

ii – I felt that the time length was less of the play. It should be 20 – 30 minutes more.

iii – There was no strong supporting role character. Since the main characters had different thoughts on life, hence no one really supported each other’s views.

 

 

 

 

+ Overall
Similar to Dark Room, Tasadum is an interesting play based on ground reality.

 

 
Rate: 3.25 out of 5 stars

 

Feature Length Films

Mr. Khan’s Review on What Will People Say (2017)

A review on Norwegian-Pakistani Drama feature length film, What Will People Say (2017) aka Hva Vil Folk Si. The Production Houses are Mer Film, Rohfilm GmbH and Zentropa International Sweden while Its Distributors are Lucky Red, ARP Sélection and Avalon.

 

 

 

+ Crew

  • Written & Directed by Iram Haq
  • Cinematography by Nadim Carlsen
  • Edited by Janus Billeskov Jansen and Anne Østerud
  • Music by Lorenz Dangel and Martin Pedersen
  • Produced by Maria Ekerhovd

 

 

 

 

+ Note

What Will People Say is inspired by director Iram Haq’s own life. It is claimed that she was once kidnapped to Pakistan. Almost all of the supporting cast are Indian performers.

Due to the security concerns & to have the film crew upper hand, the shooting besides Norway, took place in Rajasthan, India. Although, the film shows it as Lahore, Pakistan.

What Will People Say had its world premiere at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. This film is translated in Norwegian language as well.

 

 

 

 

+ Main Cast

  1. Maria Mozhdah as Nisha
  2. Adil Hussain as Mirza
  3. Ekavali Khanna as Mother Najma
  4. Rohit Suresh Saraf as Amir

 

 

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+ Supporting Cast

  1. Ali Arfan as Asif
  2. Sheeba Chaddha as Aunt
  3. Jannat Zubair Rahmani as Salima
  4. Lalit Parimoo as Uncle

 

 

 

 

+ Plot

Nisha is a daughter of a Pakistani-Norwegian family, who is later kidnapped to Pakistan by her parents when her father finds her in bed with a man.

 

 

 

 

 

+ High Points

i – Adil Hussain is an Indian actor, with a long list of films mentioned in his career. In this film, he portrays the role of a strict father who wants Nisha to follow their ancestor’s societal norms. I’m very pleased and satisfied with his believable portrayal as a desperate father to save his girl from falling into western attributes and lifestyle. The viewers are made aware of his great love for his daughters underneath the strict discipline that he wears in his daily life.

ii – It may come as shocking to many, but this is Mariah Mozhdah’s first film as an actress. Here she portrays the daughter of a Pakistani family settled in Norway. Her character is shown as being torn apart between two very different cultures. One belongs to Norway life, which is socially progressive while the other is her family’s traditional roots. Mariah has given a phenomenal performance. Its just matter of time, when she appears in future projects.

iii – Iram Haq’s direction has made it clear to the audience and critics alike that she means serious business when it comes to film making. She gives a brief insight to the both cultures norms and living styles. What one needs to understand is that we can not enforce our beliefs and traditions to our children, especially without their consent. They are after all, of different era.

iv – Surprisingly, there are some daring scenes that were shot.

v – The film comes to an end with a realistic view.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Low Points

i – The film’s plot is very similar to the films that I have watched earlier.

 

 

 

 

 

+ Overall

What Will People Say brings us to the point where we stand between the societal norms and self-freedom.

 

 

 

 

Rate: 3.50 out of 5 stars