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The efforts of the Pakistani security forces in their fight against terrorism and how the lives of security officials are affected. A retired security officer returns to save Pakistan from a major terrorist attack.
Hamza Ali Abbasi,
Deedan tells the story of two friends from a rural village: One girl serendipitously finds fortune in the big city while under the thumb of her husband; The other is forced to remain in the mountains in a warped family situation.
I'm getting sick and tired of this rhetoric propagated by each film-maker that their film would be the harbinger of the revival in Pakistani cinema. Films in Pakistan have fallen short in each aspect of film-making, from screenplay to direction to cinematography (which is not even considered a technical specialization here). Chambaili, sadly, falls under the same category and although its production value seems to be better than the rest, it falls horrifyingly short when it comes to story, screenplay, acting and direction.
Let's begin with what can be called a story for this poorly written film. It almost wholly focuses on the national sentiment of the audience rather than their intellect. The dialogs are the same old 'do something for your country', 'rise up', 'be the change you want to see in the world' type clichés that my 10th grade below average students write about when given a topic similar to the context of the whole story. The narrative is so banal and passé that it seems almost non intellectual and poorly emotional coming from the recesses of a hormonal 14 year old. The whole concept of the story is preaching how to bring about a revolution rather than showing a chain of events that lead to one. The former being some tel evangelistic style of indoctrination whereas the latter would've been actual story-telling and true art.
For instance, the sequence of the first three acts is forced and the lines between them are severely blurred. Most characters have no development and the protagonist is the most boring character of them all.The story, as a whole, is what every Pakistani talks about in their drawing rooms or cafés. It would have taken fine screen writing to bring a run-of-the-mill idea and make it something truly special but alas it was not to be. The final act of the film, when the protagonist is on his way to becoming the champion of the people, things just happen as in there are no major conflicts, no 'all is lost' scene. Instead, the whole country just follows through and a revolution is achieved. How childish, cheesy and just absurd! The worst thing about the film are the actors. The lead played by the screenwriter I think, is absolutely ill fitted for the role. He isn't emotional enough to seem passionate about a revolution and what transpired to bring it about. He just seemed like a man trying to look 'cool' in front of the camera, which most actors think is appropriate in Pakistan because of the whole 'Bollywood hero' complex. Every single actor did an injustice to their respective roles except for Moosa who truly seemed to play the part of a revolutionary journalist and reminded most of us of our journo friends who are exactly the same. That was true acting. The villains weren't sophisticated enough, the women weren't tough enough. It all showed how Pakistani cinema won't revive for some time as the media professionals have not understood the importance of character building and a solid screenplay. They are just infatuated by their stories and it all ends there.
The only plus point of this film was the production which, although on a relatively low budget, showed promise. The lighting, costumes and sound was better than most productions and it looked and felt like a film unlike most Pakistani films which tend to look like television plays, another chink in the Pakistani cinema armor.
The director played it safe. There was nothing out of the ordinary in the frames and shots he had taken, but it was enough to get the message through. This aspect requires a lot more professional education before anyone in the cinema industry can actually even come close to foreign content.
The soundtrack was probably worst of them all. Not a single song struck a chord and it was simply some horrendous background noise that one had to bear. The score, on the other hand, was subtle and poignant enough but barely made an ripples within the audience.
Weak story and screenplay, poor acting, awful soundtrack and average direction make this movie, in my opinion, a failed attempt at the 'revival' of Pakistani cinema. One doesn't need 'Bollywood-esque' vulgar song and dance or 'Hollywood-esque' mindless special affects and big budgets to make a good film. Iranian cinema is one of the best examples of good films that tell compelling stories and rely purely on the art of film making rather than cheap thrills to win over an audience through half-cent emotional stimuli of nationalism (in this case) or sex and action (in the case of most commercial cinema).
I give this film a 3/10 and would like to add that it is a much better film than most of the self-proclaimed 'revivalists'. You know who you are.
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