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“Bol” is Bold

If anyone of you has not been to the cinema to watch a Pakistani movie for the last many years, this is the time to break that promise to yourself. Just go and watch Geo Film’s ‘Bol’; the money you will spend on it will be worth it.A bold plot with twists and turns till the end, melodious songs, original locations, fresh and new faces blend with old and experienced cast, beautiful dialogues with a pinch of humor; and above all the creative magic of the Shoman, Shoaib Mansoor, this is what precisely Bol has got! Shoaib Mansoor has come up with an enthralling movie yet again breaking the myth that Lollywood has lost all its charm. With Shoaib Mansoor still in the market, don’t bet on that!

While watching the premiere show of Bol, I was trying to figure out what is the most outstanding aspect of the movie; and I came to the conclusion that it’s not possible to think of any one aspect. Let’s starts from plot. After watching trailer and stills of the movie, one tends to assume that this movie will be about the plight of the down trodden women of our society. Well this is true and this is false. There is no doubt that the movie revolves around the weaker sex; but the way this theme has been treated is exceptionally novel. The plot is not only shocking but it also hints upon some very sensitive issues which have never been touched in the past. Hence, the impression that this would be a traditional movie with some loud drama and emotional scenes, as created by trailers and stills, just vanishes away in the first 30 minutes and then you can’t keep your eyes off the movie till the end. I regret why I left in the interval to buy popcorns and Coke and then came late only to miss couple of scenes!

This is not a star studded movie as most of the Lollywood movies used to be in the past. No Shan, Saima, Moammer Rana, Meera, Resham, Sana or Noor; but still it has got Shafqat Cheema, Imaan Ali and Atif Aslam on one hand and Humaima Malick, Manzar Sehbai, Mahira Khan and Zaib Rehman on the other. The pick of the actors is no doubt Shafqat Cheema. He has performed role of his lifetime. Cheema has given brilliant performance in the role of Sahka Kanjar (a pimp of Heera Mandi) , a character which enters in the movie near interval and gets relatively much less time as compared to the lead roles of Hakim Hashmatullah Khan (Manzar Sehbai) and Zainab (Humaima Malick). Cheema’s dialogue delivery, especially his style of addressing the Hakim in a typical way “Hakim saab” and his acting like a traditional Heera Mandi pimp simply outperforms all others. Manzar Sehbai in the role of an orthodox, fundamentally religious Hakim who follows rituals rather than true religion, also performed his part with almost perfection, thanks to the perfectionist director. And the third main character is that of Zainab, eldest, sensible, uneducated but still progressive daughter of the Hakim whose arguments on religious beliefs just renders the Hakim speechless at times. Imaan Ali is in the role of Meena, a traditional Heera Mandi Tawaif who deals her customers according to their class and mannerism. She is impressive in her short but important role but she needs to look after her figure as in some shots, her face was looking bigger than her waist.

The surprise package is Atif Aslam who unexpectedly has performed well in the movie not only as an actor but as a singer as well. The song “Hona tha pyar” has been sung and composed by him and no doubt this was an instant hit as soon as it was out. He is in the role of Mustafa, son of Master Akhtar Hussain Jaffery (Irfan Khosat), Shia neighbor of Hakeem. As such there is no hero heroine in the movie in the traditional manner but if you still insist on having them, its Mustafa and Aysha (Mahira Khan).

Apart from plot and characterization, the third outstanding feature of the movie is obviously its music. Shoaib Mansoor has come up with a galaxy of young and popular singers of Pakistan including Hadiqa Kyani, Shabnam Majeed, Sajjad Ali, Ahmad Jahanzaib and others. One can’t resist the temptation to buy the songs CD immediately after coming out of the cinema.

The most outstanding aspect of Bol is that it’s an issue oriented film which has touched upon the most delicate subjects of our society and religion in an extremely intelligent and bold fashion. The Shoman has shown us how Shia Sunni differences can be harmonized, what are the issues of new generation with old generation, what really is family honor, how we have ruined ourselves by following rituals only and most horribly, how our society treats someone who happens to be an “incomplete male”!

The movie is also a personal delight for someone like me as it has been shot on original locations of Lahore. Shoaib Mansoor has captured the old walled city, the famous Heera Mandi and areas around Shahi Mosque in such an artistic manner that one is mesmerized by the classic outlook of Lahore. The Shoman has also not forgotten to capture the modern Lahore and its scenic beauty as well, what else can you expect from the class of Shoaib Mansoor!

The only thing missing in the movie is a dhuandar item number. There was no harm in asking Imaan Ali to perform a proper mujra instead of just making few steps as if she was performing before school going children. The story telling part of initial 5 to 10 minutes is a bit slow and dragged while the exact number of daughters of Hakim has been a mystery throughout the movie. Rest is awesome and unlike most of the films, second half is more absorbing than the first one. All in all Bol is a treat to watch, a real roller coaster of emotions!

PS: Atif Aslam would have done wonders in the role of that “incomplete male!”

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July 5, 2011 Posted by | Men, Movies, Society, Women | Leave a comment