Syed Noor is back with Chain Aye Na and his latest offering resembles his work from the 90s. The writer-turned-director seems to have been stuck in the pre-Internet era where everything was smooth and simple. Even then, he has managed to gather an ensemble cast that has the senior most actors around followed by newcomers who have shown promise and all are set for a bright future.
The film revolves around a one-sided love story of Rayan (Shahroz Sabzwari) who falls in love with Ruba (Sarish Khan) who is all set to marry Murad (Adil Murad) in two months. Shahroz takes the DDLJ route to vow Ruba, win over his family (Nadeem and Atiqa Odho) and marry her but all in Pakistani style. Instead of dancing in the sunflower fields, he uses a saxophone to raise allies such as Danish bhai (Danish Nawaz) and his Justin Bieber followers. Murad also has a secret life where he loves Dolly (Sobia Khan) and is backed by his father Chandio sahab (Mustafa Qureshi) who is a powerful minister and an ally of Bushra (Atiqa Odho). Behroz Sabzwari portrays Rayan’s father and they all have an important role to play in the proceedings that lead to a wedding on February 12. Now the million-dollar question is... who will be the groom?
Acting wise, the film belongs to veteran Nadeem Baig who keeps it undertone until he loses it in the climax. Adil Murad comes out as an improved actor and looks all set to revive the legacy of his father Waheed Murad. His dialogue delivery and expressions are much different from the actors of today who seem to have neither. Shahroz impresses in his first outing as a leading man but he needs to look mature to make it big in the long run. Sarish Khan has all the qualities to take the legacy of her grandparents forward but she could have been portrayed in a better manner, considering she is former Miss Pakistan USA. In many of the scenes, she looks different from her previous frame – something that can only be solved through experience.
Director Syed Noor must take a crash course to learn how people respond in the modern era – no one takes autographs these days and neither do people sleep wearing a bathrobe. In the age of Facebook and Internet, you don’t rely on others for telephone numbers. For someone who has given classic films in the past, Syed Noor seems stuck in the past. Gone are the days when people could write dialogues on sets and actors could have made sense out of it; in modern times, you have to have a script ready before the shoot, otherwise, the lack of preparation will be visible on the screen.
The movie’s songs are catchy but too 90-ish – a time when Kumar Sanu and Waris Baig were considered world’s best singers. Both of them are nowhere to be seen now, although Aisa Basi Dil Main Too was Waris Baig’s comeback song and the rest were sung by his son Ammar. But vocals of both father and son did not suit Shahroz; nevertheless, the song sung by Waris was a hit. Let’s hope Ammar manages to break shackles and experiment, unlike his father. Two of late music composer M. Ashraf’s songs are used in the film to give him a tribute while the rest take you back into the 90s.
Chain Aye Na is certainly better than many of the films that have come out of Pakistan this year. It was a good thing that the film’s release date was moved forward because the amount of damage the leaked trailer caused was too much. On the whole, it comes out as an attempt from a veteran director to connect with a modern day audience – he needs to use modern words rather than gaarhi Urdu, as nowadays, people pay for tickets to get entertained, not to learn new words in Urdu. Watch the film if you want to pay tribute to Syed Noor’s legacy. •
The name of Shah Rukh Khan was once considered the benchmark for others to follow but sadly, that time is gone now. The veteran Bollywood actor is currently going through the same phase as Amitabh Bachchan was during the 90s and if he wants to extend his career, he must not do films that don’t suit his age. Such as Imtiaz Ali’s ordinarily titled Jab Harry Met Sejal that offers nothing new. It has a middle-aged hero who considers himself a womaniser and a heroine who acts stupid yet thinks she is cool.
The film is about a journey that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. A girl named Sejal (Anushka Sharma in an irritating role) asks her travel guide Harry (Shah Rukh Khan) to find a ring in all of Europe. Yes, you read it right! They visit all the places in Europe where they had been a few days before to search for Sally… I mean Sejal’s engagement ring. They go from one country to another, meet characters of all kinds and do some soul searching in-between. They meet unexpected people in unexpected of places yet are always on the right track. To burst your bubble, let me disclose that they finally find the ring in the most unusual of places to give you a ‘face palm’ moment.
The moment has arrived when Shah Rukh Khan must realise that he is too old to romance even the young actresses; had his wife not been the producer, he might not have gotten the role of a tour guide in Europe. As for Anushka, the Gujrati character doesn’t suit her at all. When she speaks she adds a ‘Ne’ to the words delivered but when she sings Main Bani Teri Radha, everything is prim and proper. May be it was some other Imtiaz Ali who was behind the camera because the one we know is too close to perfection, usually. The story has no connection with the characters and the real world as it treats Europe like a drawing room where one tiny winy ring has gone missing and the lead pair is searching for it. Pathetic, isn’t it?
Yes, there are songs in this film but they come and go, just like the two lead characters who seem to have nothing else to do but invite trouble. They fight goras in their land and get away with it; they sleep side by side outside a church (duh!) and go for a mock date among other things that are equally unbelievable. The redeeming feature of the film is its cinematography but Europe has been used as locations for films on countless occasions before. This is easily one of the least likable films from Imtiaz Ali who needs to shed the Jab We Met and Rockstar avatar, and rediscover himself rather than going around in circles, cashing his name to annoy cinemagoers. He got away with copying A Perfect World to make Highway, but not anymore.
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