For God’s sake!
When Sajid Hameed, Resident Director of Etilize Pakistan, invtied me to join him and his team and their families at the Cineplex yesterday evening for a showing of Khuda kay Liye, I must admit I was initially not too keen to do so. I am not really a Pakistani or Indian film fan although I used to watch some of the Indian Art flims and classics with my mother. I rather liked those.
So why did I accept Sajid’s invitation? For a couple of reasons. First of all Sajid is a nice guy and I considered it an honour and a privilege to be included in this Etilize outing. Secondly, I had heard a lot about this film and I was a little curious about all the hype.
When I got to the Cineplex at Seaview I met up with a lot of the young people who work at Etilize. Sajid had booked the entire cinema hall – the group included mostly Etilize staff, their families and some guests. It was nice to see the head of one of our major IT companies making an effort to bring the staff together in a non-work environment. Having fun outside of work helps bring teams closer together.
Anyway, let us get to the film. I must admit it was different from what I had imagined a Pakistani film to be. So much for preconceived notions! The movie has been well produced, the cinematography, the music and the acting is good too and some parts of the script are absolutely brilliant.
I didn’t like the storyline too much, but then that’s me. I always want a happy ending so the male lead star ending up maimed and the female lead star opting to live on her own on the borders of Afghanistan and run a girls’ school rather than go back to London and restart her life, is not my idea of an acceptable ending.
The movie addresses the misconception propagated by some leading Maulvis that beards, form of dress, hatred of anything that is ‘different’ and so-called jihad are what Islam is all about. The misleading of the youth of this country in the name of religion and the status of women in Islam, are also addressed. Khuda kay liye is a film that is very different from the ‘normal’ popular form of Pakistani or Indian film. It addresses real issues; it doesn’t have dance sequences; the music is not the main event – the script is; Clothes, jewellery and glamour are not the focus.
There are parts of the movie that don’t appeal to me but overall I think Shoaib Mansoor has done a wonderful job. He has changed my perception of Pakistani cinema. I think that this is a good start to the revival of cinema in Pakistan.
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