Review | Chalay Thay Saath – But To Where, and Why?!


Kamran Jawaid  |  The post is the unedited copy of the feature published in DAWN’s ICON on 30th April 2017, which can be read here with jpegs of the print copy at the end


“What would make my film different. How would it stand out from the rest of the pack?!” asks a worried little voice inside a filmmaker’s head. The most obvious answer, and logically also the most effective one, is to use a “Cold Open” as the very first scene of the film.

Cold opens are a devious storytelling tool: they often use a dramatic scene from the middle or end of the film, and if need be, explain its relevance through a narrator.

Right now, these openings are notoriously popular with Pakistani filmmakers. Take for example the one in WAAR, which introduces Shaan Shahid’s gung-ho character in a good-cop bad-cop scene (there was no good cop in that room, by the way). Or the one in Jawani Phir Nahin Aani where a pre-intermission suicide scene is used as a ploy to heighten the film’s tension. Or the one in Bachana, Wrong No. and Dance Kahani.

The list is finite, but only because we have a limited number of motion pictures to count off.

Continue reading “Review | Chalay Thay Saath – But To Where, and Why?!”

Oscar Predictions 2015–Dawn, Images on Sunday

The following article is published in Dawn, Images on Sunday on the 22nd of February of 2015 here and here.

Oscar Predictions 2015

Who May Win the Oscars Tomorrow

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

Democracy, it seems, will make the Oscar guessing game a challenging exercise this year. So far, apart from a select few categories, a significant number are in disarray because of eligibility regulations in guilds, individual interpretation of placements (especially in both screenplay categories), and shocking snubs.

The series of shudders keep getting bigger, even though by this late in the award season the more respected of the ceremonies are done and over with.

Boyhood, a power-house destined for Oscar greatness, is seriously butting-heads with Birdman, which popped-up to secure wins in all the prestigious guild awards. Richard Linklater, once a shoe-in for Best Director is against Alejandro González Iñárritu. Alternately in Best Picture, Birdman is set to beat Boyhood. But then again, it’s also highly likely that Iñárritu may win Director and Picture would go to Birdman.

Other messed-up awards fall in Adapted Screenplay, Score (probably the most ingenious and competitive of all categories), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Foreign Film nominations. Continue reading “Oscar Predictions 2015–Dawn, Images on Sunday”

Review: Hercules by Kamran Jawaid

This is the edited copy of the review. A version of this review was published at Dawn.com

Son of Zeus? Maybe, Maybe Not

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

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In the years’ second – and far better – reiteration of the Greek hero Hercules, the action (as clearly defined in the trailer) takes as much precedence as the fact that this hero’s fantastic tales may just be a prolonged advertisement campaign in a world where gods and monsters do not exist. Continue reading “Review: Hercules by Kamran Jawaid”

Review: Saltanat By Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published at Dawn.com

An Empire in Shambles (On Eid Day)

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

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In one, maybe overlooked scene in Saltanat, Syed Faisal Bukhari’s real-life inspired underworld action movie, Javed (Chetan Hansraj) sits on a rock in deep emotional contemplation: he has been married to Zainab (actress Zainab Qayyum – or ZQ), a twice widowed, emotionally scarred soul who, unfortunately, is the younger sister of the movie’s chief protagonist – the underworld hero – Aslam bhai (played by Aslam Bhatti, also the producer and co-distributor). Javed’s problem, although told to be otherwise in the plot’s narrative, may be misleading; if you ask me, the character’s gloom may be because he’s seen Saltanat’s dailies – that is, if the concept of dailies existed in Saltanat’s making (dailies, by the way, are raw edits of scenes for review purposes during production).

Continue reading “Review: Saltanat By Kamran Jawaid”

Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Kamran Jawaid

The post is the unedited copy of the review published at Dawn.com

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‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Accepts Its Restrictions with Grace – By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Right now it’s hard to argue against someone making a superhero movie. After all, they are the fad – like 3D (and often times, in 3D). And why shouldn’t they? The masala combination of super-heroic pathos and pop-corn action that don’t exceed PG-13 censor certification is nary a bad thing for business.

So, when things run according to these pre-planned elements in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, does one applaud, criticize or roll’s eye at some of the creative fatigue that’s wiggled into the formula. Continue reading “Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier by Kamran Jawaid”

Oscar Predictions 2014–The 86th Annual Academy Awards

This post is the unedited copy of the feature article published in Images on Sunday, on the 3rd of February 2014. The originals copy is linked and attached below.

OscarPredictions2014

The Oscar’s, Come Tomorrow

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid and Farheen Jawaid

Every year, right about this time, we ask ourselves the annual, perennial, question: So, who do you think will win at the Oscars? Continue reading “Oscar Predictions 2014–The 86th Annual Academy Awards”

Movie Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Dawn.com on the 7th of December 2013.

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Jeepers, Creepers and Lost in Fog Screamers!

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By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Yes, the cast of “Insidious” sees dead people. Almost everyone in every horror movie does. Insert *gasp* here. Continue reading “Movie Review: Insidious: Chapter 2 by Kamran Jawaid”

Animadversion: 12 Years a Slave by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in my column Animadversion on 24th November 2013. The edited copy and the links are at the end of the post.

12 Years a Slave - Blog

Freedom

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

Many scenes compel you to squinch in “12 Years a Slave”, the adaptation of Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography about the most common of global racial injustices: slavery.

Continue reading “Animadversion: 12 Years a Slave by Kamran Jawaid”

Movie Review: Chennai Express by Kamran Jawaid

This post is the unedited copy of the review published at Dawn.com on 14th of August 2014.

Entertainment Page Blurb: This is Shah Rukh Khan’s Rahul – who we have seen before (sort of).

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Movie Review: Chennai Express

By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid

“Myself Rahul”, says Shah Rukh Khan’s character in Chennai Express – and obviously, we have heard the name before. Continue reading “Movie Review: Chennai Express by Kamran Jawaid”

Movie Review: Josh (Against the Grain) by Farheen Jawaid for Images On Sunday

This post is the unedited copy of the review published in Images on Sunday, 9th of August 2013.

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Trouble in Khuda Ki Basti

By Farheen Jawaid

A real life story told in film, Josh is about a young woman’s struggle to end oppression in a place called “Khuda Ki Basti”.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Josh (Against the Grain) by Farheen Jawaid for Images On Sunday”