• 31 Mar - 06 Apr, 2018
  • Sidra Khan
  • Reviews

There are good movies, bad movies and then there are those that don’t qualify as one. Tick Tock is to suffer the same fate. In a way, the film could be compared with Syed Noor’s comeback of sorts, Chain Aye Na, mainly for taking its genre, and consequently the budding Pakistani film industry, a few steps back. This poses more danger and does more harm right now, as audiences already find it hard to invest their time and money to watch a local venture on big screen. And since animated movies in Pakistan are a rarity, one has to treat the genre that much more carefully. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy was the first producer to make such movies here and as good as it is that more directors are entering this field, it is also highly disappointing to see that we still have a long way to go before these ventures can generate enough buzz and money, a fact reminded after watching Tick Tock.

The only refreshing thing to come of this venture is the music by Emu. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s start with the animation. Remember the video games from back in the days that seem so low-quality now that there are far better versions out there? That’s exactly what the film offers. The effects are so bad that most of the time, character faces remain flat and you can hardly notice any facial expressions. This might as well have been an audio film. But wait! Even the voiceover artists, including Ahsan Khan, Maria Memon, Alyy Khan and Ghulam Mohiuddin, disappoint big time. While Alyy tries to give his best and seldom succeeds, the rest fail to impress. For starters, why would Ahsan dub for a school kid? As husky and soothing as his voice is, does it really suit the character in question, one wonders throughout?

Coming to the story, on paper, the idea seems flawless. In fact, even though there’s not much novelty in it, the concept, when combined with a few details, actually sounds quite interesting. What’s not fascinating about it? History buffs Hassan and Daanya get on board a time-travel adventure along with their teacher KK to stop the anti-hero, Gobo, who wants to change history for his own benefit, it all surely sounds fun, think of the possibilities. However, the excution part of the idea is a whole different ball game and that is where the film fails miserably. Not to mention some of the most inapporiate parts of the film. For a movie that aims to educate and entertain children, Tick Tock projects way too much violence, what with all the headshots, neck snapping and fighting sequences. Do we really need to impress any of that on young minds anywhere let alone in Pakistan?

The movie feels like an even poorer attempt at large probably because one sees it in contrast with Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, the last-month release that was a far better venture in every sense. Award-winning documentary film-maker Sana Tauseef marks her debut in this genre, and to see her deliver such a project just makes it a tad bit sadder. Many would agree that the movie could have fared better had it been turned into a television or web series or distributed in schools, given the right direction, a few tweaks and a financier, perhaps. Interestingly, this was the original plan, according to Tauseef, but lack of funding encouraged her to bring the concept to the big screen instead. The makers have constantly said that they want a larger reach for the movie for it is as educational as it is entertaining, but how do you ensure that happens when you can’t get the audience to the theatres? The concept, story and screenplay have been co-written by Omair Alavi, a well respected movie critic, yet there are shocking inconcistencies in the characters as well as the dialogues (mentioning the Oscars in the 1800s when they weren’t around, really?). The movie has been directed by Omar Hassan, another well-known name in the industry. Sometimes, you can have the best team working on a project and yet have little to no worthy results. Tick Tock is a prime example of that and perhaps of how one should be unbiased while judging if there work is worthy enough of being displayed for public.

In the end, it all comes down to this: there are way too many details in the film that don’t make sense (and not in a good way, either), and leave a bad aftertaste. I have saved a lot of details so as to not give out spoilers, but is there a point?