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DEKH MAGAR PYAAR SAY
by OMAIR ALAVI
05 - 11 Sept, 2015
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DEKH MAGAR PYAAR SAY

Every director wants to produce a film that has a brilliant story and screenplay, cast the best available actors for the respective roles in order to entice the audience and then hope to hit the bull’s eye – businesswise. I don’t know what was going through Asadul Haq’s mind when he was thinking of making Dekh Magar Pyaar Say (DMPS) because he missed the target big time, although his heart was in the right place.
DMPS goes wrong on all counts – in fact, it doesn’t do right in any department except the ones under Asadul Haq. He has painted Lahore beautifully, but for an outsider it looks like a ghost town where people don’t roam around, where there is no traffic and where owls are more in numbers than humans. The red and green effect is quite arty and had that not been done by Asad and his crew, people would have been surprised. With an adman with 20 years’ experience behind him, Asad manages to paint a beautiful picture on the canvas. It is the characters in that painting who disappoint him, as well as the viewers by being mediocre.
The main culprits in this debacle are the main leads – Sikandar Rizvi and Humaima Malick; and the writer – Saba Imtiaz. For someone who hasn’t made a film in his life – just ad films – going for new people out there was the biggest mistake. Sikandar might be the most handsome man in the room, but he can’t act. There are countless grandsons and granddaughters of Madam Noor Jehan who cannot act and he is one of them. He runs a successful café in Karachi and he should stick to it; Humaima Malick’s career has been going down since Bol and this film could have helped her career but it did not. Instead, she gave a performance that reminded people first of Jab We Met’s, Kareena and later Bunty Aur Bubbly’s, Rani. Yes, the conning was something new to Pakistani films but by the time the con began, half of the public was either asleep or had left. Novelist Saba Imtiaz should make note of what went wrong in the film because she is as responsible for it, as the actors.
Talking of actors, there was loads of overacting done by Irfan Khoosat and Aqdas Wasim who break whatever is the tempo of the movie. They actually don’t fit in the plot where Sikki a rickshaw driver (played by Sikandar) mistakes Annie (Humaima) for someone else and she turns out to be something else and that sums most of the first hour of the film. Sikki changes sides after Annie convinces him of a better life (he wanted to become an actor) and the two wreak havoc with masoom people so much so that some of them give them their money to travel in an airplane which is standing in main Lahore, instead of the airport. That is hard to digest, sir!
And finally, there were the lengthy scenes and the cameos… Amna Ilyas, Humayun Saeed, HSY and Meera try to jump in and save Asad’s film, but fail. How can you save a sequence that is nearly 15 minutes long, takes place in just one set where nothing is out of place – be it the police station, a barbershop or a motor garage. Yes, I know Asad is a perfectionist but sir, the audience isn’t… they like their food hot, their drink cold and their sets dirty. And trust me, the viewers are very intelligent; not only did they mind the cheap attempt to pay tribute to Crime Master Gogo (via Aqdas), they still don’t get it why Sikki was cast as a rickshaw driver. Aqdas looked like a truck, bus, qingqi and even a rickshaw driver, but that is because he resembled one. Sikki looks like a prince from the tales of Hans Christian Andersen and Co. and it would have been great had he been cast in a similar role. One hopes Asad learns from his mistake and manages to give a hit the next time he dons the director’s cap – because there is no chance for a second failure in films, especially in Pakistan. •


BROTHERS

BROTHERS

For a sports film, Karan Malhotra’s Brothers is extremely predictable. Everyone knows who the winner will be, the moment the film starts… it is the execution that makes this remake of Warrior worth your time because it features some excellent performances from the cast.
The flick revolves around a fictional martial arts competition, R2F (Right to Fight) where the world’s best fighters battle for the coveted trophy. Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra enter the competition as brothers, David and Monty Fernandez who can’t stand each other due to something that happened in their past. Their father Gary (Jackie Shroff) – an ex-fighter – trains the latter after returning from jail, but believes that the former was a better fighter. The backstory about the family is revealed during the course of the flick and takes the plot forward. Needless to say, the better fighter wins the competition but not before a lot of blood is splattered in the ring and tension and emotions reach the top.
The leading men, Akshay Kumar and Sidharth Malhotra have worked a lot on their bodies as well as the action sequences. Although Akshay has all the lines and punches, Sidharth gets the fighting scenes where he knocks out the best of the world. Jackie Shroff is good in the young-to-old sequences and if the film was made 25 years earlier, he would have been there in the role of one of the fighters. What’s sad is the depiction of Catholics in India – the ladies wear skirts, the men have crucifix around their necks and they speak like Anthony Gonsalves.
Talking of the ladies, well they have nothing much to do, except a few powerful scenes that too for Shefali Shah who appears in flashbacks. Jacqueline Fernandez plays Akshay’s wife and looks beautiful in every scene whereas Kareena Kapoor Khan continues to waste herself in item numbers. And yes, it was nice to see Kiran Kumar and Ashutosh Rana get meaningful roles in a major Indian film; one plays the tycoon who brings the game to India, the other is the trainer who helps Akshay become the fighter he was destined to become before he left it all for teaching.
On the whole, Brothers is a good film especially for those who a) haven’t seen the Hollywood flick Warrior b) are into martial arts and c) love Akshay Kumar for being Akshay Kumar. The rest is bonus… May the best martial artist win. •


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