A new Pakistani movie was releasing in Canada and in my city Calgary, so I just had to go watch it! Here’s my review without any spoilers.
Watching a movie in a cinema is an experience and I truly felt for those couple of hours I stepped into the world of a Pashtun family in Swat Valley, Pakistan. I have always had Pashtun friends while growing up in Islamabad but even for me this movie was insightful as I experienced the scenery, culture, music, poetry and language of the area. The movie stays loyal to its goal of showing Pashtun culture, both its beauty and the challenges. Sadly the world is more aware of the challenges which is why cinema is so important to narrate the stories that don’t make the headlines but stitch a society together.
The plot is simple, the visuals breathtaking and the cast is a great sample set of how good looking Pakistanis are! There is family, beautiful dresses, wedding functions, emotions, tears and many laughs. This family could be anyone’s family with their ample flaws and complicated unconditional love. The fact that this family lives in Swat, makes this movie important. Yes, the women cover their heads when they go out, guns are carried easily and education is a challenge but this is also a world where women have ambition, education is a cause many work for and respect, loyalty and kindness are virtues deep rooted in the culture.
The whole cast has done a great job. Bilal Ashraf is the new McDreamy and Armeena Khan is flawless. Wherever the movie gets too serious, Osman Khalid Butt’s one liners and Ali Rehman’s comic timing saves the day! If I had to find one fault in the movie, I would say that it could have benefitted from more editing and chopping.
Otherwise it’s an amazing insight into Pashtun culture and you will walk out with more Pashto knowledge: the poetry, music and a few choice curse words!
Go out and watch the movie! Support Pakistani cinema.