- 15 Feb - 21 Feb, 2020
CRITIC’S CUT – CINEMATIC HIGHS AND LOWS OF 2019
- 28 Dec - 03 Jan, 2020
From the makers of the hit Karachi Seh Lahore, the Mehwish Hayat starrer Chhalawa garnered mixed reviews. Helmed under the direction of Wajahat Rauf, the movie saw Azfar Rehman, Zara Noor Abbass, Asad Siddqui in leading roles alongside Hayat. Way before its release, the film posters did a lot of talking for the storyline, with masses perceived to be an off-spin of tales-told-too-many-times of a runaway bride from home. But did it qualify for a celebrated Eid release? Yes. The film did catch up with the festive season, unfolding the big, fat desi wedding, brewed together with family disputes, connections and ‘mushy’ feelings in one big cooking pot. But did it win at reviews? No. Chhalawaa opened to largely negative review yet did surprisingly well at the box office. It earned Rs. 6.4 crore in its first three days of release and a lifetime of more than Rs. 17.5 crore.
Largely anticipated for veteran actress Meera Jee’s venture into big-screen productions again, Baaji opened to mixed reviews. Directed by Saqib Malik, the film saw Amna Illyas, Osman Khalid Butt and Ali Kazmi in pivotal roles. Baaji’s follows the story of fading success of a Lollywood actress Shamera, who struggled to deal with her diminishing stardom. Shameera bonds with a salon worker who helps her revive her dreams. At its apex, Baaji was owned by Meera, through and through, with Illyas manifesting the perfecting supporting roles. Despite having a mixed bag of reviews, all critics note how Baaji was a spot on cinematic depiction of how our industry treats its “forgotten” legends. The film earned Rs 11.40 crores domestically with a good opening week.
Making for Pakistan’s official entry for the 92nd Academy Awards, Laal Kabooter has been rather unstoppable in its success, as it traverses borders and wins big at international film festivals. Marking Kamal Khan’s debut as a director, the film stars Mansha Pasha and Ahmed Ali Akber in leading roles. The film unfolds at a slow pace but later picks pace when Alia’s (Mansha Pasha) husband, Noman Malik (Ali Kazmi), is murdered in a brutal target killing in Karachi. With the sympathy and help of a taxi driver Adeel (Ahmed Ali) who aspires to travel to Dubai, she seeks revenge and answers to certain twisted events. All in all, the story is shot with love, veneration such intricacy, which feels like a director’s ode to Karachi in itself. Opening to a roaring applause, Laal Kabooter claimed critical acclaim from both the audience and critics alike. It earned 1.30 crore in its first week, numbers which kept on doubling over weeks.
It was rather baffling to see Superstar score the title of the highest grossing film of the year, because its plot and storyline were rather misses for the viewers. Screenplay written by the young and passionate Azan Sami Khan, Superstar saw the performance of two actors who lived up to their film’s title, Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf. Indisputably, the strength of the film lied in the acts, delivered deftly and maturely, by Khan who emerged as a seasoned actress of the time. As of September 4, Superstar has collected 20.5 crores from Pakistan and 6.41 crores from overseas for a total of 26.91 crores.
Parey Hut Luv
PHL takes the cake for a number of reasons; first being its big, star-studded cast featuring the industry’s commendable names. Asim Raza the director has meticulously helmed the film together with attention to details and simplest nuances. Said to be loosely based on the British film Four Weddings and A Funeral, PHL exceeded expectations for the cinema fans and the overall industry. But did it match it? Well, here is another one with a mixed bag of reviews. The plot of the film is divided into four integral chapters, which slowly unfold over the course its run. The film grossed about Rs. 26.8 crore at the box office, tailing Superstar.
Heer Maan Jaa
The “crowd puller” from the Eid releases was Heer Maan Jaa, which in spite of facing a tough box office clash with other releases, passed with flying colours. The light-hearted comedy film with Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq in leading roles. Selling point was how the film is socially responsible, as it does not advocate toxic rituals which usually tarnish desi weddings. It grossed over Rs.10 crores at the box office. • – Editorial Desk