For God’s sake!

August 25, 2007 at 11:18 pm 1 comment

khuda kay liayWhen 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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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Vic  |  August 26, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    For unfortunately very sound reasons, I too do not enjoy seeing films out of Bollywood – the very name is pejorative, as one Indian film-maker recently rued at an international film-fest recently (Indian producers have started infesting Cannes every year).

    However, three good films have restored my faith in the good sense of cinema artists. The first was The Blue Umbrella, a very good enactment of a short story set in the Himalaya.

    Second, Gandhi, My Father. This is the transfer to screen of a series of theatrical performances (in Hindi, English and Marathi, and I recently heard they were preceded by a Gujarati enactment) that enthralled local theater audiences 3-4 years ago. It has now become what I sincerely hope will be acknowledged as a film classic.

    Lastly, a more masala film, Chak De India, a sports film set around – not, not cricket, but women’s hockey! Although it features a major film star, the film is well handled (except for the forgettable and unnecessary music score – better seen on video with subtitles on and sound muted).

    All very watchable films. I look forward to catching Khuda kay liye soon.

    Reply

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