Film Review: Khuda Ke Liye

Khuda Ke Liye
Movie Review (DAWN)

Shoaib Mansoor’s debut Khuda Kay Liye is a remarkable film. Premiered recently, it is the director’s very successful effort to revive Pakistani cinema. With an intense and at times controversial plot, storyline and dialogues, film stars Shan, Iman Ali, Naseeruddin Shah and Fawad Khan were at their best.

Rohail Hyatt of the Vital Signs fame has mixed the background score of the film. The soundtrack is as soothing to the ears as the movie to the heart and mind. The film aroused great curiosity ever since it came into production. Hats off to Shoaib Mansoor for having crafted a plot straight from his heart –– a plot common people can relate to and learn from.

The story of the film revolves around two pop musician-brothers in Lahore, one of whom (Fawad) becomes very religious under the influence of an extremist Maulvi Sahib. The other (Shan) goes to America to study music and gets unlawfully detained after the 9/11 tragedy. It is also the story of young Mary (Maryam), a British girl of Pakistani origin, who is brought to Pakistan by her hypocritical father and married off against her will in the Northern Areas and held captive for years.

The film is a respite from the typical horrendous Lollywood flicks. The youngsters as well as the senior members of the cast have done a remarkable job with the original acting and dialogues.

The only point where one slightly disagrees with the director is the fact that the most vital and significant role in the movie was given to Naseeruddin Shah, undisputedly the finest actor in the subcontinent, but an Indian. But then again, from the moment Shah appears on screen and delivers his bit of dialogues, the audience is thoroughly mesmerised.

All in all, Khuda Kay Liye is a film all Pakistanis can relate to, but it also has its controversial side as well. The stories that are shown remind us of real life happenings and it seems that every character in the film is someone we’ve all encountered at some point or another in our daily lives.

There were definitely moments in the film, which made one happy, sad, frustrated, and angry and triggered many other emotions. The way Mansoor has captured the underlying themes of our society and religion in a very subtle and professional manner, is astounding. Here one hopes that more new directors will step in to create masterpieces such as this for the revival of our nearly dead cinema. This is a film that will definitely change the way people think. Watch it over and over again until it sinks in!

- Review by Rabail Qadeer Baig (DAWN)

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