• 02 Dec - 08 Dec, 2017
  • Omair Alavi
  • Reviews

Think of the worst Pakistani film you have ever seen, not from the pre-2000s but the ones made in the last 17 years. Then go and watch Verna because after watching the supposedly social drama, you will rethink about your choice. Verna is not a film, it is an NGO checklist – those run by people who have never done anything for the country – that must have been handed over to Shoaib Mansoor since the film clearly looks funded by them. There was no reason why the leading man was shown to have polio but then there was no reason for a lot of things to happen in the film. In fact, it was one of those films where whatever you didn’t want to happen, happened.

What qualifies the film as a ‘must-miss’ is the fact that it looks worse than a college-level film; there is nothing that you take back from the viewing except hurt and disgust, especially if you are a man. Unlike Rangeela’s Aurat Raaj, this one makes you hate yourself because we men – according to the film – use women only for pleasure or when we need to curse someone. There are so many misconceptions left by Verna that you will be made to think if this is the same ShoMan who wrote and directed Khuda Kay Liye and Bol. On one hand was also the person behind Fifty Fifty, Ankahi, Music 89, Geetar 93 and Alpha Bravo Charlie to name a few, hence there were one-time-listenable songs in the film that shouldn’t have been there at all!

The film revolves around Sara (Mahira Khan) and her husband Aami (Haroon Shahid) whose happy life is disturbed by an incident that tears them apart. Instead of taking the legal route, Sara takes the mental one (no pun intended) and goes back to her rapist to get his DNA sample; her lawyer friend tells her husband to ‘be a man’ (exact words were dil bara karo) and that’s where the plot went down the drain. The film was made worse with below the belt (literally) dialogues and non-acting by most of the non-actors (except a few), resulting in a spoof version of revenge films. The court scenes were nothing short of a joke, as if the whole machinery of the country’s government is corrupt, criminal and have bucket loads of money to throw around. Pakistan is shown as a country where rape of a strong woman can shatter the very foundations of the government, and that is acceptable only to the film-maker, not the audience.

Shoaib Mansoor is easily the Steven Spielberg of Pakistan who has always raised the bar high, and this film can be given a miss. But then when you start criticising the critics and question their ability, that’s where things go south. No one questioned ShoMan when he condemned a woman to the gallows (that doesn’t happen in Pakistan) because there were no films being made then and people took it as part of fiction. But here, the topic under discussion was much more serious than murder and without proper research and understanding, no one would dare to go into that territory. But Shoaib Mansoor did because he had the guts to come up with something and we all value his bravery but had he spent a little more time on the script like he usually does, things would have ended well. Instead, he came up with dialogues where the character refers to their parents as ammi and abbu in anger; where she calls the bad man a ganda aadmi; and then carries a heavy load in a Volkswagen with the help of a similar sized female... these are some of the questions we need answers to… Verna! •


After watching the supposedly social drama, you will rethink about the worst Pakistani film, which is an NGO checklist handed over to Shoaib Mansoor since the film clearly looks funded by them.