Walking into the theatre, not much was expected from a Pakistani movie doing good business on Eid in Pakistan. It was the usual holiday get-away, a place where you can sit and enjoy with your families and binge-eat all night long watching people run around and make you laugh.
However once the movie starts, it can be seen that the projection, the storyline, even the most random details are on point. Visually, there’s so much to offer that you tend to forget the person sitting next to you and are focused solely on the movie itself.
The first time I have seen such a strong story-line in a comic film, we would like to congratulate the director on behalf of the whole of Pakistan, because he has touched those topics in comedy that not alot would have dared to, in serious films.
Directed by Nabeel Qureshi while produced by Fizza Ali Meerza, the movie takes us on a roller coaster ride where the lead (Fahad Mustafa), is shown as someone who aspires to be an actor some day. He is ridiculed by his father (played by the very amazing Om Puri), while a journalist (Mehwish Hayat) is the one who gets him to take up on his acting career.
But how? We’re JUSTTTTT going to tell you!
Shan Mirza is a budding artist and hopes to make it as one of the biggest actors in the industry one day. He performs at various gigs and festivals and dances to classic Indian tunes, with people cheering him on. He sees flashes of himself becoming somebody respected, popular, and ofcourse, rich.
However his father, Rafaqat Mirza, does not approve of the thought, being a lawyer himself. He hates the thought of his son becoming an actor, and thinks down upon anyone who is in the profession.
One fine day, Shan is heart-broken after a little feud with the superstar Humayoun Saeed on the sets of a movie. He leaves the place heart-broken, and has to collect files from his father’s office before coming home.
A family awaits him.
He is taken aback by a father who asks him to fight his case. Shan tells him that he is not a lawyer, and he asks him why he is wearing a black coat then. Shan remembers everything that people have told him, all the bad things people have ever said about him never becoming an actor. He goes upto court and wins the case, all with his acting.
Suddenly, news spreads like wildfire about a new lawyer in town who fights for the rights of people. Shan makes the government electric supply pay for all the equipment and machinery people have lost due to load-shedding and fluctuations in electric supply. People start believing in him and do as they see. They take their equipment to court in exchange for money.
Another important scene from the movie is when it is shown that corrupt leaders (projected in the movie, and not a bias by us) tend to increase their own ratings with being associated to a popular person, or someone in the news. Politicians offer him to join their parties, and he politely refuses, saying that he fights for the rights of people and they want EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.
The third most important scene from the movie was when he is in jail because of what the media projects him as, and how the lead anchor finds news about Shan being an actor and not a lawyer. The way in which it is shown how popular icons of the country and media as a whole can influence the very common man, was so real and at the same time, saddening.
One minute, they think of Shan Mirza as a hero, a saviour for them who is fighting for their rights, and the next moment, they fail to realise all that he’s done for them, and instead focus on that one negative side to him, the thing that is being HIGHLIGHTED in media.
The work of media is to highlight the news that people will be more curious to know, and sadly, we as a nation are so much more curious to know the negativity of things, the downfalls of people.
People are seen burning his face and tyres, exactly the way they behave here against someone. However, a viral video made by Meena Screwala, the journalist who knows his truth, urges people to think about what’s right and what’s wrong, and to realise whatever he did was, even if it was acting, was for the benefit of the common man.
All in all, Shan’s Mirza’s case is fought by his father, who once thought there was nothing good in acting and nothing good about his son. Om Puri impresses in his role as a father, and brings tears to our eyes with his exceptional performance as a heart-broken father once he finds out what his son has been upto.
Overall, the movie has not only made us laugh, cry and dance around on the amazing songs (featuring Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan), the movie has made us look into the deeper mess that has become us. It has shown us how we, without speculating, follow the media blindly and trust whatever we see and hear. It has also shown us how women are afraid to fight for their rights in the courts, because they have to protect the izzat (respect) of their family, and their men, most of all. It has shown us how minorities are disrespected in courts and elsewhere, just because they are in small numbers. It has shown us how deep-rooted corruption is within politics, and how media is all about ratings and rankings on the scale. And last but not the least, it has shown us that we need to fight for our rights, and have a mind of our own.
Fahad Mustafa has excelled in his acting and shines through his character, his expressions are so captivating and it is evident through his vocal projection and expressions. Everything he does he does with emotion, and he is perfect in his role! Hats off to this one, he is going to be the next big thing very, very soon!
Mehwish Hayat performs well in her role as a journalist, however the squeaky dubbing voice doesn’t do too well with her overall persona. She entertains as a supporting character.
Om Puri was exceptional as always, and the supporting characters as mother and sister were great too!
Nayyar Ejaz as lawyer was rather humorous and sarcastic, with a tinge of witty! Talat Hussain was seen after so many years as a judge, and it was a treat!
With an amazing cast, power-packed performances and good music, not to mention the fairly strong storyline with exactly the kind of messages we need right now to be aware of whatever is happening around us, this film was sure to be a block-buster, and is a MUST-WATCH for all those cinema goers who love good cinema!
Thumbs up for this one!