Movie Name: Halla Gulla
Release Date: September 25, 2015
Director: Kamran Akbar Khan
Review by: Momin Ali Munshi
Can good actors save a terrible movie? That was the only question on my mind when I walked out of the cinema hall after having seen the film ‘Halla Gulla’. It may not have a star studded cast like the other Eid release ‘Jawani Phir Nahi’ but it did have some great actors which include veterans like Javaid Sheikh, Ismail Tara and even the newer lot includes promising actors like Asim Mehmood and Sidra Batool who have already made their presence felt. Moreover the film seemed to have good music, the production values seemed fine too and on paper it seemed as if everything was in the films favor. So what exactly went wrong?
Here I would like to use a paragraph from my ‘Dekh Magar Pyaar Say’ review which perfectly answer this question:-
‘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.’
While Asad-Ul-Haq took this job to a different level in his film ‘Dekh Magar Pyaar Say’, Kamran Akbar Khan does something similar too. I have no clue as to what our director did before coming into cinema but I’m fairly certain that this is his first time dealing with direction. Even a rudimentary level of knowledge of cinema is enough to avoid the blunders you see in the film. Let me give you a very basic example. There is a scene in the film where one of the actors is talking to the other and her jhumkha drops and falls onto her hands.Instead of re-shooting the scene the director goes with it. The make up concealing is visible and dont even get me started on the 90’s shots with the camera zooming in and zooming out. The screenplay, whoever did it, is super bad and there is no flow in the film. The editing has its flaws too as some sequences are stretched without reason and you wonder why!
All the director bashing is not fair as Raheela Mushtaq Shah, the writer, has not done a wonderful job either.I promise I tried to write a brief synopsis for you all but sorry my English failed me as I could not produce coherent sentences that could describe what the story was. Basically its a mixture of a dozen films and this comedy of errors has a script which would make Newton question his sanity . New characters are introduced at the drop of a hat and what makes this even more annoying is that there is no character development as such. So you don’t really feel for anyone as you don’t really know anyone.
The only good thing about the film is that it has given us some young talent. Asim Mehmood and Muneeb Butt are two young actors who will surely go places. They are both good looking men and are hero material for sure. Muneeb may seem to be overacting in the film but it was a comedy film and exaggeration is always welcomed. Moreover I have a feeling that it was what the director wanted him to do. I say this because everyone in the film is so loud that you cannot help but wonder what the directors vision was. But it would not be wrong to say that these gentlemen have surely arrived! Can’t wait to see more of Muneeb and Asim on the silver screen.
As for the leading ladies well the less said the better. Sidra Batool is the only actor amongst the lot and knows what she is doing. Wont label her as the next big thing for cinema but she does look good on screen. Ismail Tara and Jawed Sheikh obviously know their comedy and no wonder they have the best scenes in the film. Whenever they make an appearance on the screen a heave dose of laughter follows. Although their roles could have been meatier but they were fun nonetheless.
I must add that the casting of the film could have been better. Muneeb Mutt being married to two women did not look believable at all. Also, when I was at the Lahore premiere of the film I was perplexed when I saw lots of theater artists ( the Nargis, Deedar theater) and wondered what were they doing at a film event. To my shock when the film began I realized that all these ladies had dance numbers in the film. Im sorry but these songs were outright disgusting, vulgar and suited for the local stage’s where they would surely elicit a few ‘seethis’.
The music of the film has some really peppy numbers and it would not be wrong to say that the music is the saving grace of the film. However the way the songs are picturized is another story all together. The songs might not appeal to everyone but that doesn’t mean they are bad. The ‘Thumka’ song is surely my favorite and had it been shot on someone else it would have done wonders. The ‘Halla Gulla’ song also adds to the film and of course the ‘Saroor De’ song is the highlight. The ‘Zero Meter’ song and the ‘Kamla’ song seem a bit off but on the whole this album is a decent one.