Review | In ‘3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam’, Forget the Children – the Makers Learn Aplenty…By the End


By Kamran Jawaid  |  The post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on December 24th, 2016. The print version will be uploaded below soon.


Stars - Mag 3.5In a startling shake-up, 3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam, creative directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (I don’t understand what the term implies…seriously), grandly one-ups on the previous part…although very late by the climax.

The animated film, unjustly misquoted as a 3D film (the right term should be CGI – computer generated imagery; 3D today ties in with stereoscopy), in one self-congratulatory scene, has a lot of false starts and monotony, until it revs up like one of those pull-back cars from your childhood and goes vroom.

Continue reading “Review | In ‘3 Bahadur: The Revenge of Baba Balaam’, Forget the Children – the Makers Learn Aplenty…By the End”

Review | Rogue One: ‘Just Another’ Star Wars Story

rogueone-0


By Kamran Jawaid  |  The post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on December 24th, 2016. The print version will be uploaded below soon.


Stars - Mag 3

In Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — or what I believe to be yet another in a string of factory-made expansions around the original Star Wars — the universe far, far away is a grim place. So grim in fact that the film wallows in its eventual near-depressive inevitability, and deliberately forgets to add emotional connections and a sense of humor.

Continue reading “Review | Rogue One: ‘Just Another’ Star Wars Story”

Review | Dobara Phir Se — Literally, In Some Cases

dps-00


By Kamran Jawaid  |  The post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on December 10th, 2016. The print version can be read here, and below.


Stars - Mag 3.5In Dobara Phir Se (DPS) – or as some would call it, ‘The Independence of bechari Zainab’ – a woman in red with a black chic overcoat (obviously Zainab, played by Hareem Farooq) catches the fancy of a man, (Hammad, Adeel Hashmi). The problem is, Zainab is married to a brusque self-centered bad-guy (as if the brusque and the self-centered didn’t give it away). Asim – her husband, played by Shaz Khan (of Moor) – is perhaps the only bad-guy in DPS; he’s just built that way for the screenplay by Bilal Sami. From the moment Zainab and Hammad meet again at a mutual friend’s party (we’ll get to them in a bit), and when Asim comes over searching for her, one can see that their marriage is in its last rites.

Asim and Zainab’s divorce, or how she and Hammad get together, aren’t big spoilers. Most of this is evident from the narrative’s outer frame, literally framed within the confines of a DSLR’s video recording graphical overlay, where Hammad and Zainab, individually, talk about ‘what went wrong’. The video-recording bit, which pops-up now and again, is but one of the elemental conventions employed in decorating the screenplay. It doesn’t help the film at all – not that the characters are helping the film themselves.

Continue reading “Review | Dobara Phir Se — Literally, In Some Cases”

Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back by Farheen Jawaid

The post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on the 12th of November 2016. Copy of the published version is at the end of the post.

blog-jackreacher2

Jack (Or Tom): Run Man Run, Just Not Alone This Time

By Farheen Jawaid

Stars - Mag 3.5Jack Reacher (2012), the prequel to Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, was one of those movies that was okay in most parts, rose to something better by the time the end credits rolled, and when it came on TV elevated to a solid four-star entertainer.

Why you ask? Jack Reacher has an old done-right Hollywood action-thriller feel to it. It is a creeping feeling that warms up with time. Its story was generic, but the actors and the execution made it intricate, maybe even sophisticated. Like an onion with its layers – even if there is nothing new at the core, it’s a delight to see something with depth (the film, not the onion).

Continue reading “Review: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back by Farheen Jawaid”

Review: Trolls by Farheen Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on Friday, 18th of November 2016. Published copy will be updated at the end of the post.

blog-trolls

Trolls: Singing, Dancing, Much Romancin’…Oh, erm…

By Farheen Jawaid

Stars - Mag 2The creepy looking dolls that made a splash on the pop-culture from the 60s till 90s got a movie of their own – and that just shows how marketing and sales can make one do most anything they want, besides making it a big hit, which is something only a select few from the industry can do. Bless commercialism.

Continue reading “Review: Trolls by Farheen Jawaid”

Review: Lahore Se Aagey by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on Friday, 18th November, 2016. The published version’s jpeg will be updated by Tuesday.

blog-lahoreseaagey

Wholesale ‘Be Fiqriyan’

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Stars - Mag 3In Lahore Se Aagey, the sequel to last years’ hit Karachi Se Lahore, time, space and relevance are dispensable assets that may have everything – and yet nothing – to do with the film. Regardless of their utter disregard, Lahore Se Aagey is a quick-release enterprise – a revved-up ride that factors fun above everything else. Fun, of course being the film’s imperative impulse, which greatly – and at instances, roaringly – resonated with the audience.

When the sound of laughter drowns senses, sensibilities are politely escorted out of the cinema hall.

Continue reading “Review: Lahore Se Aagey by Kamran Jawaid”

Review: Jeewan Hathi by Kamran Jawaid

The post is the unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly on the 12th of November 2016. Copy of the published version is at the end of the post.

JeewanHaathi-Blog.jpg

Jeewan Hathi – Or No Wonder Why Elephants Are Going Extinct

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Stars - Mag 2 In Jeewan Haathi, a perplexingly made long-form short film of about 60 minutes, that is also for some reason also a socio-comedy, we see mass-corruption of a string of characters. The perplexing part is not that there is mass-corruption, or that it chooses to play the ever-so-popular “pin-the-blame-on-the-media” game and call itself a socio-comedy. No, the fact is that it wants us to believe that it is a feature film.

At about an hour’s mark, the film, written by the can-do-most-everything-wrong screenwriter Fasih Bari Khan (and I am talking in context to this film only), the characters reach a zenith of senseless awkwardness, and the end credits, strangely, start rolling by. My fault actually, because, first of all, I didn’t check to see what the running time was, and secondly, unlike most feature films, I was definitely looking forward to what directors Meenu and Farjad had to offer.

Continue reading “Review: Jeewan Hathi by Kamran Jawaid”

Feature: India Vs Pakistan – Friendly (Media) Fire

The post is the unedited copy of the feature published in MAG the Weekly, on the 15th of October, 2016. Published copy below.

indiavspak

India Vs Pakistan: Friendly Fire – Why Bollywood Will Always Sell, and Why We Can Never Be ‘Reel’ (and Real) Friends

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Flashback: 1997. I was young, and incurably enamored by Bollywood (after Hollywood, of course); the Pakistani film industry was near comatose – done in by its own hands. Across the border, there was mesmerizing music, lush cinematography (that is, frames of high-contrast and brighter colors), and star-power. Cable television and unauthorized Indian television channels assisted in the familiarization process, and, personally speaking, as a consequence, I knew more about Indian political shenanigans than meeker upheavals at home.

Continue reading “Feature: India Vs Pakistan – Friendly (Media) Fire”

Review: Mechanic: Resurrection by Farheen Jawaid

The post is an unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on the 8th of October 2016 and can be found here.

mechanic2

The Return of the Mechanic: He Fixes Villains – Not Your Car!

By Farheen Jawaid

Stars - Mag 2

While not much is expected from action movies as a whole, few things are mandatory besides the action, and that is a kind of attachment with the leading hero or heroine. It can be done with a background story, revealed through dialogues, or the way they live, or a reveal that describes them as master of one’s art, pushed against their will into a situation, or normal people who become heroes when faced with life threatening situations, amidst a string of other generic ideas that makes an action hero, an action hero.

Continue reading “Review: Mechanic: Resurrection by Farheen Jawaid”

Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016) by Kamran Jawaid

The post is an unedited copy of the review published in Mag the Weekly, on the 8th of October 2016 and can be found here.

mag7-blog

The Magnificent Seven: Or, a Remake, of an Inspiration, of an Original.

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Stars - Mag 3.5

As child of the 80’s, I doubt if the cinemas in Pakistan had shown a re-run of The Magnificent Seven (1960) in my time. The original, which officially acknowledges its inspiration from the far-superior Seven Samurai (1954) by master Akira Kurosawa, was an adequate time-filler that had a lot going for it. The chief of these was a spectacular score by Elmer Bernstein – whose bits one can pick up in the remake by Antoine Fuqua.

Continue reading “Review: The Magnificent Seven (2016) by Kamran Jawaid”