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I was a little disappointed when I found that there are no reviews online for this awesome Pakistani flick released this Eid-ul-Azha. So, here you are.
Well, I saw the trailer after ordering the tickets and so I had to go even when my spouse and I felt it was a little drag and boring. “The only thing that might save this movie can be the patriotic sentiments if inculcated properly”, we thought. But boys, we were in a surprise to see how the screenplay and the narrative engrossed as soon as the first scene hit the celluloid.
The story begins with Sania (Hania Amir) enjoying Dhaba’s tea- one cup after the other- somewhere near Risalpur it seems and enjoying the view of fighter planes taking flights. Before you start wondering what the plot is about, Hamza (Hamza Ali Abbasi) and Nadir (Shaz Khan) mesmerize you with their flights fighting an enemy where their coordination and valor to save the day.
The basic plot revolves around Hamza and Hania with two narratives, one in the present day where Hania embarks upon her journey to become a Pakistani Airforce pilot, while the other one going into flashbacks showing how she fell for Hamza and ended up here. While on her training, Hania meets AVM Haider (Ahad Raza Mir) who after being condescending to her, falls in love with her in the second half. Other trainees with her in the key roles include Mustafa Changhazi, Rachel Viccaji, and Shafaat Ali, playing a hilarious character.
I don’t want to reveal the story further so let’s talk about other fragments of the movie. About the acting, Hamza Ali Abbasi looks and plays the part of a quintessential hero required for this story. He gets applauded and cheered after in many scenes. Hania impressed with her awesome finesse and subtlety in light-hearted as well as emotional scenes. Her character seems a little too dramatic in the couple of scenes which she also dealt with conviction. Ahad Raza Mir lends support that is remarkably well, along with veteran actors Asif Raza Mir, Marina Khan and Shamoon Abbasi. I don’t want to miss Shafaat Ali here, who definitely makes his mark in a small debut performance as a trainee who’s only there for his love. He gets the laughter out of the audience right from the word go.
The music suited the drama perfectly with a must Atif Aslam romantic number, and a ‘Shaadi’ song (soon to be popular in the upcoming wedding season). The choreography on this song was also carried out creatively with characters are given dance moves resembling the exercises soldiers would do, which made it both funny and novel.
The only flaw in the movie for me was how the story keeps moving into and out of the flashbacks without informing us, which got rather confusing at times, but all is well that unfolds well, like this plot. The story penned by Farhat Ishtiaq is not something we haven’t seen before. The hardships our soldiers face while being trained and throughout their lives whenever duty calls, and the romance is all we’ve seen.
However, the storytelling and direction by Haseeb Hassan, the screenplay, and the crisp editing win it for this 2 hours 10-minute adventure-drama. It’s more like the old vine presented in a new bottle. The romance is not sugary sweet either and the intent and soul of the movie is cent percent genuine. The cut-away flight scenes will keep you on the edge of your seat and the cross-dissolve drone shots capturing the picturesque beauty of Pakistan will soothe you throughout. A heads-up, in emotional scenes you may shed some tears even if you don’t cry easily so carry some tissues.
All in all, it’s a must watch. I’d even go the extent of saying that I haven’t seen a better Pakistani film in my life and not even any Bollywood or Hollywood movie which was better than this, in last one year or so. If I acted like a seasoned critique, I’d give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Got for it!