Laal Kabootar Is A Must See
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!
Laal Kabootar is a real action thriller by our very own youth. Produced by Nehr Ghar Productions, it has powerful acting, effective dialogues, brilliant direction, a soulful sound track, steady pace, relatable story, no vulgar jokes, no needless romance or item number inserts, intense action sequences and most importantly a strong plot. Kamal Khan (the Director) with Ali Abbas Naqvi (the Writer) and their impressively talented team truly deserved the standing ovation they received as soon as the premiere ended at The Packages Mall Lahore on Tuesday, 19th March 2019. But Kamal himself wasn’t there to witness it, because just like anyone who has put his heart and soul in a project like he has in Laal Kabootar, he was nervously pacing outside the cinema, anxious for feedback, even flaws. Yes, he was asking for criticism, and that’s a first! Seldom have I attended a movie premiere where the audience watch the entire movie in stunned silence and break into applause which changes into a standing ovation as soon as the last scene wraps up.
Laal Kabootar is an absolute must see.
It begins with a couple (Mansha Pasha playing the young, attractive and brave Aliya Malik and Ali Kazmi playing the happy go lucky journalist Noman Malik) chatting lightly while they’re stuck in a traffic jam somewhere in Karachi. Hardly a minute through the scene the plot is flung at the audience with a bang, and does not stop moving till the last second. I have never seen a Pakistani movie stay as loyal to its plot as this one has and that is what makes it a winner.
The plot revolves around Aliya (Mansha), her husband Noman (Ali), Adeel (Ahmed Ali Akbar), and Rashid Farooqi (a typical Police Inspector of Pakistan Police). The plot is beautifully knit and it ties strangers living their independent lives and fighting their own battles into complicated knots where some of the scenes will actually send chills down your spine. Each main character’s individual story is established within the first 15 minutes, and unlike majority of the recent Pakistani movies, it actually answers all plot related questions the audience may have before the credits (except for maybe one or two). Be prepared: Kamal does not pull any punches and will surely surprise you with every single plot twist by choosing the less expected, politically bold and if I may, the less popular outcome. His courage is evident from the fact that the entire cast comprises of strong actors and not a single, for the lack of a better word, “star”.
I can say it with confidence that no one in Laal Kabootar has a small role. Each and every character, regardless of their screen time, has done absolute justice to their role and you would surely remember them for this particular performance.
Ahmed Ali Akbar is an exceptionally brilliant actor who makes his job look really easy! He’s a cheeky, young and emotional cab driver working hard to pursue his dream to work in Dubai and has played the part to perfection. This was by far Mansha Pasha’s best work. She looks really good, and makes you feel every single emotion with Aliya through her particularly powerful performance. Rashid Farooqi has done a fantastic job as the corrupt-to-the-core police officer one feels like pushing away if encountered in real life, and yet we love him and feel his pain as a father and a husband. Ali Kazmi (Noman) is truly adorable. Mama (Saleem Mairaj) will actually make you cringe with his short but memorable act. The other cast members I feel must be appreciated are the talented Akbar Islam (Adeel’s Father), the lovely Shamim Hilali (Aliya’s Mother), Shazia (Inspector’s wife), Meesam Naqvi (Naeem Bhai), Syed Muhammad Ahmad (Bilal Shahi), The Assistant Policeman and Akhlaq. All of these and many others are crucial for the plot and the final product could not have been as fabulous without any one of them.
The cinematography is a treat and Mo Azmi deserves a pat on the back for successfully managing to show Karachi beautiful, bright and full of life while being absolutely filthy and dead silent. The sets have been arranged to the last detail keeping it closest to reality. The costumes are completely relevant to the characters; the makeup exactly how it should be: subtle. Danyal Hyatt and Taha Malik have made their mark with the moving and perfectly appropriate music. Last, but definitely not the least, the energetic and humble producers Hania Chima and Kamil Chima will restore your faith in the Pakistani youth and their level of commitment. We need to thank them for doing this for our industry.
I urge the seniors and veterans of the industry to appreciate team Laal Kabootar and their admirable effort. I definitely encourage all of you to go watch it. I will surely spend money to go watch it again, and this time I will take my 11 year son along.