Movie Name: Dekh Magar Pyaar Say
Release Date: August 14, 2015
Director: Asad Ul Haq
Review by: Momin Ali Munshi
Before a film starts, the opening credits play on screen which give the average cine goer an idea of who is behind the film and what to expect from it. There is a reason why in these credits, the director’s name is the last one to be shown before the film begins. The director is the captain of the ship and has a certain vision when it comes to the film and it is because of this that a film is usually referred to as a director’s film.
Asad-Ul-Haq took all this quite literally and has taken the director’s job to a completely different level in his film ‘Dekh Magar Pyaar Say’. The reason I’ve termed this film as Asad-Ul-Haq’s emporium is because well that’s exactly what it is! The film is his universe, where everything is being sold by Asad (he has even tagged everything with the DMPS logos). It’s his creation where rules of the normal world don’t apply and where everything works on Asad’s command.
It would not be wrong to say that ‘Dekh Magar Pyaar Say’, though looking like a romantic film set in Lahore, in reality is a a complete fantasy film. Here I would like to bring in the famous television show ‘Game of Thrones’ which on first look seems like a historical show based on real historical figures. But a closer look reveals that although the show may have humans in it and its world may mimic the way things worked in our world but at the end of the day it’s a fantasy show where white walkers, dragons and what not exist. Similarly ‘DMPS’ is another kind of a fantasy. It is set in a world where a rickshaw-wallah of Lahore is dressed to the nines wearing HSY and has an accent that would put many to shame, a place where the Police Station looks more like a court room, where Las Vegas seems to have made its way to the streets of Lahore and again where rules of our world cease to exist.
Yes that’s how ‘Dekh Magar Pyaar Say’ is in a nutshell.
Sikki (played by Sikander Rizvi) is a rickshaw driver who has been tasked to go pick up the woman who will be marrying Chacha (played by Irfan Khoosat). Sikki brings back the bride to be Ainy (played by Humaima Malick) and I cannot reveal more without spoiling the film. Then comes the big twist which is not that big and well the film moves at a painfully slow pace before finally ending on a very abrupt note.
The story of the film has been penned down by Saba Imtiaz, who is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, “Karachi You’re Killing Me”. Although I haven’t had a chance to read the novel but from all the praise around it, I was expecting something great from the film’s story. But sadly Saba leaves you disappointed as the story of the film is extremely weak. Moreover, the way the story has been structured is another drawback. I cannot comment much without giving away the main surprise but lets say that the time taken to get to it is too long compared to what happens next. The film should have been more evenly paced for a better impact.
The dialogues are genuinely funny in bits and pieces. There is a particular scene between Irfan Khoosat at the police station which probably has the best dialogues in the film. Other than that there is not much to discuss. The dialogues seem to be borrowed from here there and well, don’t really leave much of an impact.
The Acting Department could have salvaged the film’s weak plot but sadly it was another downer. The star debutant Sikander Rizvi really needs to polish his acting skills. Yes he has got the looks and the hero like persona but his acting seems unnatural and forced at times. Furthermore, his accent was another huge flaw if you take his character into account.
Humaima Malick as Geet, oh I mean Ainy, was strictly okay. The character seems to be heavily inspired from Kareena Kapoor’s Geet from ‘Jab We Met,’ but unlike the original character which was very likeable, this one was annoying and over the top. Though Humaima is a great actress, as she proved in the film ‘Bol’ , but here except for a few scenes she does not have much to offer.
Aqdas Waseem’s character is funny in bits but does not give the required comic relief.
The only saving grace here is Irfan Khoosat who showcases his acting skills in a role that seems to be tailor made for him. The comic timing he has is just brilliant and the scene with the police inspector is surely the highlight of the film.
Cameos by Humayun Saeed, Meera and HSY gave the film some much needed excitement.
The film was always pegged as a romantic film, but having seen the film I can safely say that the only romance I saw was what you have already seen in the promotional posters and video clips. The weak interpersonal relation between the two leads is probably the most important reason why you don’t really feel for them. We are supposed to believe that Sikander Rizvi’s character has gone crazy for Humaima Malick’s character just because the director envisioned it on paper. There is nothing to show for it! Needles to say the character development is missing.
Furthermore the film looks less of a film and more of a theatrical production due to the extended scenes and the sets. I kid you not, the entire film is basically some seven to eight scenes shot on seven to eight sets. Each scene is painfully long and you actually want to shout at the screen and say “Agay Bharo Bhai” (Move ahead). But no, the director takes his sweet time for each scene. Also, wasn’t the film going to show us the beautiful city of Lahore? Well, I have no clue which city they were planning to show because what I saw on screen was surely not Lahore. Yes, there were a few beautiful shots of Lahore but for most part the Lahore we saw was some glossy sets which Asad-Ul-Haq thought were a good representation of Lahore. The film could have easily been shot on real locations and that would have surely added to the film, but no, the director had something else in mind. Also Sikander’s character did not have to be a rickshaw-walla and I have no clue why the director wanted him to be a rickshaw-walla.
But I must give it to Asad and the cinematographer here because the film is surely a visual treat. And when you add designer clothes by the couture king HSY and styling by the maestro Saima Rashid Bargfrede, you are bound to have some exquisite frames. But for how long can one enjoy a scene with no soul in it? Had it been a fashion film or maybe an ad film the reviews would have been different. But considering it was a film well it surely disappoints.
When the music of the film was first released we were super excited because finally we could see that music was getting its due importance. The album had about seven songs in total and seemed like the perfect music to compliment a romantic film. But well Mr Director employed his creativity again and does something ‘different’.
Asad believes that the audience gets bored when a song plays for long so he wont let a song go over 90 seconds. Oh yes, the beloved Kala Doriya you saw as a teaser is exactly what you will see on screen because the director decided you wanted to just see that. Also the actors won’t lip-sync to the songs because that’s just too mainstream. So all the songs play in the background, even Kala Doriya, while the actors just dance to it.
The back ground score is magical at points but then at other points just falls flat. It does not have a consistency and has its ups and lows.