eid 2013

Conspiracy Theory 101: Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Chennai Express and the entire drama.

If you live on planet Earth then by now you surely know about the entire drama surrounding Main Hoon Shahid Afridi( which from now on  in the article will be referred to as MHSA),you know how it was to release on Eid but then four days before the release news came that it would be releasing on the 23rd  and all . In this post we  will be analysing all the happenings  surrounding the film and will also tell you what was actually going on behind the scenes. So lets go to the beginning from where it all started  which is with team MHSA making this status update :-

“We regretfully announce that the release of Main Hoon Shahid Afridi has been delayed until futher notice due to the death of a senior Pakistani film editor, Mr.Azam Khan who had been working on the post-production of MHSA.
The new release date will be annonuced soon.”

(Get someone to check your spellings team MHSA!)

mhsa

This update from team MHSA is well quite confusing. It tells us that that a certain Mr Azam Khan, who was editing the film, has passed away but does not clarify whether the film is postponed due to his death or because the film was not edited.

Then came the Express Tribune article which answered this question of mine. In the article the  film’s writer Vasay Chaudhry  says

“Azam Khan, a well-known film editor who owns the post production house Xperts, passed away during the fine-tuning of MHSA. It was really sad for everyone. To troubleshoot, we had to rush abroad to continue the post-production process but unfortunately, we wouldn’t have received the final prints on time”

Okay so let me try to digest this important ( read crap) piece of information. Well I may have not made a movie myself, but I do know this as to be a fact that you surely have the complete  movie in your hands ( like literally in your hands) if nothing more than at least a week or two before the release. Its not that you find out on monday that you don’t have the prints of your film which was to release the coming friday.

Anyway taking this information to be the truth I was trying to make peace with it when Vasay had me all perplexed again when he added :-

“the tiff competition from the Shahrukh Khan-starrer is a reason for the delay; Chennai Express has the killer combination of King Khan and Rohit Shetty, a director who has never flopped at the box office.Whether you like it or not, we are not ready or willing to compete with a big budget Shahrukh Khan film”

Dude you just said that your film is not complete! If asked about the Chennai Express question you should have said that “No we have nothing to do with Chenai Express, our film was not ready.” What do you mean we cant compete and all? Everyone pretty much knew that Indian films would be releasing on Eid as they NEVER get banned in favor of Pakistani films.Let me add that the last year banning of ‘Ek Tha Tiger” was not for the protection of local cinema but because the content was apparently anti-Pakistani.

In case you are wondering how Chennai Express came to Pakistan and who was behind it here I go. Once upon a time GEO and Humayun Saeed were friends and GEO was the official partner for the film MHSA. Then for some reason Humayun went to ARY films and made them his partner. The film was all set for an Eid release now. GEO was now all pissed off and decided to bring onboard Chennai Express and release it here in Pakistan!  and that’s how  Chennai Express landed in Pakistan.

So where were we before this Chenai Express release story? Oh yes the Chennai Express factor in MHSA’s delay. I was actually pondering over the MHSA postpone while I came across this status update from actor Gauhar Rasheed, who plays a vital role in the film. It reads

mhsa2

“At the eleventh hour, the previous understanding between distributors and film-makers that no Indian film will be imported on Eid has suddenly been overruled. So because of this nHOON SHAHID AFRIDI has decided to postponon-professional attitude of our authorities the producers of MAI ed there film release from eid and the new date will be announced very…. Sad !!!”

Now Im like WTF is happening!
Quick recap…

Humayun Saeed (producer/actor/everything of MHSA) says ” The film is delayed because our editors dead!”
Vasay Chaudry (writer) says: ” Our film is not completely edited, plus Chennai Express is coming and we are scared as hell”
Gauhar Rasheed (actor) says : “Chennai Express is coming so we HAD to postpone our film!”

All I want to say to team MHSA is get your story straight!

If you ask me whats my take on this. I think there was never a film called MHSA and it was all a figment of our imagination. We all thought there was this film coming up and you know imagined all this…

OR

Maybe Humayun Saeed wanted to stay in the news so he shot a cool trailer and shot some kick-ass songs where he got to do all he wanted to do which is ( romance beautiful women, have item numbers picturised COMPLETELY on him, fight like Salman Khan and whatever). Maybe thats all he has and there never was a complete film!

OR

Maybe Humayun Saeed was actually never planning to release his film on Eid and was playing a master game. A game where he knew Chennai Express would be coming on Eid and wanted to get rid of his Pakistani competition. Thus he encouraged  Josh and Ishq Khuda to come along and release on Eid saying ” We Pakistani films will kick ass of all the Indian /American films” Then leaving Josh and Ishq Khuda to fight the MEGA MEGA MEGA Shahrukh Deepika starrer Chennai Express! and getting himself the 23 August date where the only Indian film releasing in Pakistan is Madras Cafe ( which will probably get banned).

Ill go with the third option 😉

Btw we asked team Ishq Khuda and Josh as to what they had to say on the Chennai Express /MHSA delay factor. Team Ishq Khuda was ready to fight Chennai Express as they had a lavish premiere for Ishq Khuda and Shehzad Rafique was absolutely confident about his product.

Iram Parveen, the director of Josh however said

“As a producer, releasing a film is a high pressure and strategic time so I am sure that a delay is not desired. However, whatever’s best for the film must be done and this was probably in their best interest for reasons only known to them entirely. We wish them good luck.”

We at team Galaxy Lollywood wish Josh and Ishq Khuda all the very best of luck and urge all our readers to be Pakistani and support Pakistani content !

Ishq Khuda( Review): Its a “Khuda Kay Liye” for the masses says Momin Ali Munshi.

Before I start the review let me say that Ishq Khuda is targeted towards a select audience and everyone will not like the film. No I’m not discouraging anyone from seeing it, on the contrary I strongly urge all my readers to go see the film and support Pakistani cinema. I’m just saying that the film is made keeping the masses in mind. The way the film is picturized and the way story moves forward is a bit different from what the average cinegoer is accustomed to. However I believe  one should always experiment and see different kinds of cinema specially when its a Pakistani film which as everyone knows comes once in a blue moon.

With that out of the way lets move towards the review…

The Plot

Ishq Khuda is pretty much  like a double feature  where you get to see two films in the price of one. The first plot  revolves around Ahsan Khan , Meera and Wiam Dahmani. Basically Meera and Wiam are best friends, no they are more than just best friends, they are pretty much “do jism ek jaan”. This friendship is put to test when both WIam and Meera fall for the same guy i.e Ahsan. What happens next, well you have to watch the film to see what happens in this love triangle and let me assure you  it is NOTHING LIKE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN!

The second plot has the legendary Shaan-Saima jodi. Shaan is, well I dont really know how to describe it, a small time local don,thug, goon whatever, quite simply put he is the bad guy. Whereas Saima is the local dancer/Shaan’s mistress from what I could make of the given information. The story moves forward when Shaan has a revelation of sorts and decides to go the religious way, which is clearly visible in the promos too. The main USP of this plot is the  transformation process Shaan goes through and the powerful dialogues that Shaan performs.

Acting/Direction

Shaan did a marvellous  job in the role he was given to play. In the earlier parts he was his “Gujjar self”( reference to his countless Punjabi films) a role he is a pro at  and hence not much to say about it. However it is  in the later parts that we got to see Shaan perform. He did a commendable job in the “Sufi” portion as everything  Shaan did was just perfection. Moreover he was given lots of thought-provoking dialogues which he performed with the utmost conviction. It is due to Shaan that I have called this film a Khuda Kay Liye for the masses.

Saima did not have much to do except for maybe the so-called item number and a few scenes which she did just okay. But towards the end even she gave quite a stellar performance. I just loved the way she reacted when she saw Shaan towards the  end.

Ahsan Khan was the romantic/choclate hero/boy next door and did his role to perfection.I dont know Ahsan Khan in person but I can safely assume that Ahsan’s character was pretty much like he would be in real life. He had to somewhat underplay the character and be like a person we could relate to and he just did that. He had lots( and when I say lots I mean LOTS) of songs to sing and look cute and be all desirable and thats just what he did with his killer looks. Towards the end even he had some high voltage drama scenes to perform and did them amazingly. I have no idea why Im seeing Ahsan Khan for the first time on the big screen in all these years. We need more of Ahsan Khan directors!

As for Meera she was strictly just okay. Nothing special to mention.Maybe a bit over-acting?

Wiam Dahmani is drop dead gorgeous. Im absolutely crushing on her right now and could not not see anything except her pretty face when she came on screen. Anyhow as a new-comer she did really well and actually did a pretty decent job. She was in a foreign land speaking a foreign language and acting for the first time.If you take all that into consideration you will note how well she played her role. Special mention to the cute “Baoo Jee” dialogue she had which made me smile again and again. Thums up for Wiam!

The supporting actors( Im sorry I dont know the names) also performed as the role was just written for them. Shaan’s mentor, Wiams father all of them were just a delight to see.

As for the director Shehzad Rafique he is not new to the field of direction, rather quite the master I would say with reference to the hits he has to his credit. He did a fine job with the direction, but I do have a few tiny teeny complains.The first  being  that “Tapaal Danedaar” as a sponsor was given so much of screen time that it got way beyond annoying. Also the climax scene between Wiam-Meera-Ahsan was one of the main highlight of the film and could have been shot a bit better. Lastly the film may be a musical but most of the songs seemed to be similar in terms of the sound and location. They just added to the length of the film which already needed some editing. Other than these  these little issues Shehzad Rafique did a legendary job with everything. Why? because  it takes guts to cast so many A-listers and make a film in these hard times. I actually salute you and your dedication to Pakistani cinema Shehzad sir. Bravo!

Music/Costumes/Makeup

Shehzad Rafique films are usually know for excellent music but Ishq Khuda let me down in this department. One of Rafiques earlier film “Mohabbatan Sachiyan” had such an amazing score that expectations from Ishq Khuda were really high. Anyhow  the music may not be perfect but some of songs were actually quite nice. I for one  loved the song “Dukh howay Sukh” specially the sad version of it. Also the item song by Sanam Marvi  had a catchy element to it.

Usually I dont go into the makeup/costume department but Ishq Khuda is an exception because  most of the costumes were too loud and some pieces were a complete nightmare. Even the make-up was a disaster. Ahsan Khan was the only saving grace in this department as he looked uber chic in everything he wore. I wish Ahsan Khan had used his clothing brand as a sponsor or whatever and had the actresses wear those clothes instead of the hideous “Babu’s” clothes!

Conclusion

I will be the first to say that Ishq Khuda is no classic, and it has its fair share of mistakes noteably bad editing but I will also say that it is a laudable attempt by Shehzad Rafique and we should support his cause. So go get your tickets and go see Ishq Khuda in cinemas right now!