Movie Review: Yalghaar – A Hassan Rana Film
Yalghaar is based on a true story: the story of a 76-hour long military operation conducted in the ‘PIOCHAR’ region of Swat.
Yalghaar follows the lives of the young officers and soldiers who are fighting/have fought for the love of their country. A tribute to the slain children of the 2014 Peshawar school attack, Yalghaar set out to show us the TRUTH of those who are involved in such brutality: the militants, and how they are affected because of the on-going operation.
A story spreading a message of positivism as well as creating awareness among the ‘sleeping masses’, much like the ones who become movie experts and write reviews strongly criticizing our movies, Yalghaar set out on a mission to highlight the much more dangerous world outside our tiny bubbles; with our ‘fauji jawaan’ making us live in a safer world.
The moral at the end of the story was narrated clearly: everyone will move onto their daily lives, but let’s not forget the struggle of the soldiers who have given up their today for our tomorrow.
Why do we give our movies such tough reviews, especially at a time Pakistani cinema is trying to grow and progress?
We give up hundreds of rupees to watch films with ‘masala’ and ‘item songs’ and women eye-candy in sleazy attire, but a movie with bullets and bombs & absolutely limited dance numbers? No sir.
Sana Bucha (a journalist in Yalghaar) asks a question from Col. Asad, which inquires if the army feels wrong picking up arms against THEIR OWN PEOPLE. There are many instances like these where the struggle of the army vs. militants has been highlighted, so that people who are confused (film is a medium that reaches out to the masses) can decide for themselves what is right, and what’s wrong.
Maybe we can just all get together for once, and leave politics, religion and our own bias out of the movie and just enjoy it for the sake of it.
So many haters, but what for?
I actually found ‘Yalghaar’ to be one of the most promising movies of this year, even though the year has not fully summed up for us yet!
Entering the cinema, I saw a lot more people going forth to watch ‘Mehrunnia V Lub U’ (Don’t even make me comment on the title) than coming in to watch Yalghaar.
A few patriotic ex-army personnel and a few Pak-Cinema supporters, along with their bajis, ammis, girlfriends and/or wives came to watch.
Shaan Shahid as Col. Asad: Shaan did an absolutely wonderful job with his character, as always, although I did think he underplayed some bits, and should have put in a little more effort at his expressions. Even saying so, he was absolutely brilliant in all aspects (love, action and as leader of the pack) and it would be safe to state that he was one of the reasons people should go and watch the film.
Bilal Ashraf as Capt. Bilal: I did not see this coming! Even though I heard a lot of bad reviews on his acting skills in his previous movie, he seemed to do amazing justice to his role in Yalghaar. Capt. Bilal was at his finest at the very climax, where he has to show his true potential. He was remarkable and did an excellent job, it is good to see him growing in the field of acting.
Umair Jaswal as Capt. Umair: It was a disappointment that Umair Jaswal had almost a 5 minute (in total) screen-time, and we had hoped to see more of him, due to the teasers. Umair has performed really well in Television dramas previously and is a great actor who has a lot of potential.
Humayun Saeed as Torjan: Perhaps my only disappointment throughout the film, Humayun Saeed did not fit into the role of Torjan. The fake hair was out of place, for starters. Once the get-up isn’t promising enough, you already start losing interest in the character (atleast for me). He seemed a bit aloof from the rest of his gang, and kept a very straight accent throughout the film, even though he was shown as tribal.
Ayesha Omar: Ayesha Omar didn’t have much of a role in the film, except for crying (but she did a good job for someone who has screen-time only to cry throughout). It was, however, a distraction in focusing on Humayun Saeed’s dialogues. Overall she did a good job with her performance though, as compared to the other extra females in the film.
Armeena Rana Khan: Armeena has improved her presence on screen, but she is still ‘not there’ yet. Although she had a comic role in the romantic moments with Bilal Ashraf, she still has a long way to go till she totally makes her on-screen presence.
Sana Bucha: I was blatantly surprised by Sana Bucha’s performance in the movie, as she came out the strongest female character (being a journalist was also a plus in her scenario). Even though she had no previous acting experience, her expressions and dialogue-delivery were on point. Here to stay, we think.
Gohar Rasheed: Perhaps one of the most under-rated characters in the film, and someone who should have been given more screen-time (as his was an important character for the story-line), Gohar’s acting skills were superb. He left a mark in the hearts of many with his confused yet clear-headedness (towards the end), and we would have liked to see more of Gohar in the movie. However, all the characters had to be given their due share, which is why we couldn’t have seen too much of the supporting characters.
Adnan Siddiqui: Adnan Siddiqui did justice to his role and made many people teary-eyed with his emotion-evoked performance. One of the finest drama actors in the Pakistani media fraternity, he was fair to his character and had strong screen-presence.
Uzma Khan: Uzma Khan failed to impress with her performance in the movie, but it was expected of someone who was to bring a tinge of comedy, romance and show the lighter side of the film. Khan was very expression-less and looked zoned out during most of her dialogue-deliverance. Her good looks and exceptionally pretty hair did her a favour, and her character opposite debutant Ahmad Taha Ghani was what saved her from a completely unnoticeable role.
Ali Rehman Khan: We were hoping to see more of him, but were so surprised that he had very little part in the film. Even though a lot of people mentioned that the role of Ahmad Taha Ghani, as Capt. Asif, should have been given to him, I think there are no big or small roles. Everyone can do justice to their own character, by playing their part to the fullest. We hope you keep the good work up!
Aleeze Nasir: Not noticeable, even though Bollywood always has a few extras in their movies too. The girlfriends/wives were there to play their part, and nothing more. Apart from Sana Bucha, no one really left a mark.
Ahmad Taha Ghani: One character we were not expecting much from, but which turned out to be one of the best in the movie, Ahmad did a fine job for a debutant! The humour was on point, and the expressions were flawless. We thought he wouldn’t be able to handle the serious-ness, but even in those moments he did justice to his character. Job well done, and we are surely going to see a lot more of him in movies, after this strong performance.
Naeem Haque: One of the antagonists, it wouldn’t be unfair to state that Naeem Haque did a better job than Humayun Saeed. While Saeed couldn’t get out of his ‘I am Humayun Saeed’ bubble, Naeem Haque was hate-able, a feeling that should’ve been evoked by Torjan’s character more than Jalal’s. He really made us loathe him, and at the same time, be afraid of him. An exceptionally good villain, I must add.
Ashir Azeem: A true army-man and one of my favourite actors and director since I saw ‘Maalik’, Ashir Azeem didn’t have much of a role in this movie, but I was glad to see him be a part of it! I was hoping for more from him, but the film seemed to have been cut (on many occasions it was felt that some of the scenes had been deleted and that made me miss out on most of the story). However, we hope to see more patriotic films in the future, with Ashir Azeem being a part of them.
Ayub Khoso: Truly a legend in the Pakistani entertainment industry, a name like Khoso needs no introduction! Character played to the extent of perfection, he was insane with his dialogue-delivery, his accent, and even his action! Loved his performance, as always.
If the educated masses sit back in their homes poking fun at their own movies, paying thrice more to enjoy a dabba Bollywood film, how will our Cinema evolve? We truly need to pop our bubbles and see the bigger picture.
Now is the time to show the love and respect we have for OUR people: OUR directors, OUR actors, OUR army, OUR country, & OURselves.