Sulman Ali

LAHORE

Dhuwan-famed TV actor, writer and director Ashir Azeem is back in the lime light as a movie actor, director and writer.

Like his famous 90s drama, the story of Maalik is based on police and military action against non-state actors, and politicians. The story revolves around a retired SSG Commando, who is running a security agency and unlike other agencies is helping common people on the promise that they will help other Pakistanis in the time of need.

The storyline of the movie consists of flashbacks, number of stories running simultaneously and the game of politics being played in Pakistan. In short, the movie is for a common Pakistani who has grudges against the country’s political leaders and is waiting for a ‘miracle’ to happen, not realizing he/she is the miracle.

During the span of movie, three different stories run parallel to each other, so one has to concentrate on the movie to understand it completely. At times the viewer can feel lost in the storyline, because it is leaping from one end to the other so rapidly. The writer has definitely tried to merge these stories with each other towards the end, but it seems rushed because at times it feels that the story has spread a bit much into Afghan War and has a somewhat forced love story in it involving a Pathan girl and a Punjabi boy.

One of the small but important aspects being shown in the movie is showing a Sikh boy in SSG of Pakistan Army who later becomes part of Ashir’s security agency. The inclusion may look very subtle but gives a very significant message that minorities are given equal opportunities in Pakistan, be in civil sector or Army jobs. These very details will definitely a commendable effort for portraying Pakistan’s soft image at international level.

The viewer feels this because of editing, which may be the weakest point of the movie. Sudden jumps from one scene to another and one story to another definitely break the flow of the movie. A good editing job would certainly have made this movie more entertaining and 15 to 20 minutes short.

Sultan Shah Tipu (Rajab) and Hassan Niazi (Waddera/CM) have surely taken the lead in the acting. Both have delivered their dialogues with full command and expressions. Besides that the role of Master Mohsin (played by Mohammed Ehteshamuddin) was short but strong - his dialogue delivery is beautiful and impactful.  Other than that the acting was either good or average including the lead Ashir Azeem.

The cinematography may be the best aspect of the movie. The action scenes are excellently shot, especially the operation done by SSG forces. These battle scenes can definitely be compared to any international standard work. Furthermore, the scenery of Balochistan and inner Sindh is shot beautifully, showing the striking landscape of Pakistan.

Music by Sahir Ali Bagga is another strong suit of the movie. The extremely talented music composer has composed a treat for the ears. Although all the songs are being played in background, and there are no flashy dances or item numbers, but the score has done complete justice to the scenes and the story of the movie. Naina Roye by Masoom A. Anwar and Mann Mora by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan are the best songs of the movie. They have beautiful lyrics, soulful composition – a musical extravagance

The movie is not exceptional work like Manto or Moor but it is definitely worth watching. You will enjoy it and despite its few lapses, it fulfills the value of your ticket. So go watch it, have an entertaining time and support Pakistani Cinema.