• 30 Jun - 06 Jul, 2018
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

When was the last time you whistled in a cinema; hooted at an entry at a theatre; travelled to an alien country without leaving your seat? Azaadi provides you all the chances to do that but at the cost of a weak production that could have been one of the better films of the year. Yes, the topic of Kashmir Freedom Movement is commendable but delicate at the same time but instead of helping the cause, it failed to make an impact amongst the audience despite being shown to houseful cinemas around the country. The cinematic return of Imran Malik could have set the bar high but failed to deliver due to various issues.

There are a lot of things that happen in this Imran Malik film in the backdrop of Kashmir – a British Pakistani journalist Zara (Sonya Hussyn) realises days before her marriage that she is already the wife of her cousin Azad (Moammar Rana) who became a freedom fighter after his father (Nadeem Baig) was ridiculed and sister (Erum Azam) was raped by Indian soldiers in Indian Occupied Kashmir. In order to get a divorce from her estranged hubby, Zara travels to Srinagar only to find out that the world needs to see the true face of Indian soldiers who treat the locals as animals. She gets close to Azad and his cause and by the time he eventually signs the papers, she is in love with him. What happens next makes the movie all the more interesting but the climax disappoints big time.

Nadeem Baig and Moammar Rana are undoubtedly the stars of the film as they complement each other as father and son; the former has intellectually powerful lines while the latter delivers punches and bursts that demoralise the Indians. The makers must be applauded for carrying on the legacy of Pervez Malik – Nadeem Baig collaboration that made many films successful during the 1970s and the 1980s. However, the rest of the cast disappoints – neither Sonya Hussyn nor Aurangzeb Eshai is able to convince the audience that they are sincere in their efforts. Sonya’s wardrobe is the weakest link of the film as she changes clothes like she is going to a party every time the scene changes. She needs to work on her dance steps as well if she wants to become a film star; the songs are good but what good are songs in an action flick where the action scenes disappoint big time. It would have been better had international DoP Ben Jasper advised the makers to go for a better action coordinator rather than depend on visual effects as one tended to laugh when the action happened on the screen.