Arth – The Destination: A visual delight

LAHORE – Arth is an emotional rollercoaster that attempts to highlight the underlying social issues in a society. The viewers got to witness the cinematic magic that was previously exposed merely through some of the songs like ‘Murshed Ji’, ‘Sanwar Dey Khudaya’ and ‘Aadat’. The songs themselves had quite hooked the audience but journeying through the life-story of the four artists – Ali (Shaan Shahi), Umer (Mohib Mirza), Uzma and Humaima – the audience could not resist but applaud at some of the most gracefully[SK1]  enacted moments by all four of the actors.

Either it was Uzma Hassan breaking into tears at the face of hopeless patriarchy, Humaima Malik at unfathomable psychological trauma, Ali at the mercy of helpless society that does not recognise talent of a good artist, or Umer at his own irreconcilable mistakes, the movie raised several issues that go unnoticed generally. The movie was not only limited to exposing the truth but it also pointed out how a person should take a stand in moments of crisis. The film lies safely between commerciality as well as art.

There is no doubt the visuals in the slow-motioned moments thinly filled the air with magic and glamour, a moment that a viewer immensely enjoys walking step-by-step through the expressions in each frame. The visual effects used in this film smoothly enhanced the phenomenal acting skills of the cast. Colors of the set and costumes used by the cast added to the grandeur of the movie. The song ‘Murshid Ji’ undoubtedly serves as the evidentiary support to the claim that the grandeur was restored through the Sufi medley performance by Rahat Fateh Ali interspersed with contemporary rock by Ali. Humaima’s sizzling performance in ‘Aadat’ was no less than a cherry on top. Sahir Ali Bagga has certainly added his expertise in the music compositions by making the best of Rahat Fateh Ali’s vocals.     

It goes without saying that the steaming chemistry between Umer and Humaima, who plays the role of a superstar, left everyone in awe. Humaima’s character also threw light on the psychiatric issues and the consequences they have on a relationship. On one hand, she portrays the personality of a glamorous superstar, and on the other hand, a severely disturbed psychiatric patient. Apart from that, the acting of Uzma and Ali with a tinge of humour kept the audience amused, at the same time curiously engaged to see what becomes of their unexpected love-affair. Uzma’s role also depicted the power of a woman to overcome inter-relational conflicts as grave as divorce.

However, the movie seemed to be dragged for three long hours. The storyline was not well-defined. The dialogues were long routed, which took a little longer to understand what the character is trying to say. The movie could have been simpler and better, instead of being so dramatic.


Ayesha Amin

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