Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay (Review): Great music and good acting make up for the clichéd story and absurdities

Movie Name: Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay

Release Date: Sept 13, 2016

Director: Anjum Shahzad

Review by: Zeeshan Mahmood

Anjum Shahzad is a talented TV director and Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is his second big screen venture after Mah e Mir. Shahzad doubted that the Pakistani audience was able to understand an intelligent film like Mah e Mir, so he came up with a romantic drama this time to test the intellect of the audience again.

Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is neither an out-and-out disaster nor a magnum opus of any kind. It is a clichéd story and has a great deal of writing and directorial absurdities but it still makes for a decent and bearable watch thanks to the good performances by its young cast and the hugely popular music.

However, figuring out its one true genre is a daunting task. It aims to be an intense romantic drama but some of the characters and situations are too comic (read absurd) for a serious movie like this. It is also part social commentary and part fairy tale where magical realism comes into play covertly. In short, a lot of things are tried to fit in the film spoiling its charm.

There are two parts of the film story which are gelled together. The major one is related with the upheavals in the lives of Zain Ahmad (Feroze Khan) and Mahira Khan (Sajal Ali) who are married for seven years and have a son. Their rocky marriage reaches the breaking point and they decide for the separation. This follows an emotional journey of once very happy family now tearing apart.

There is no novelty in this part of the story, but that’s not the issue with it. In the wake of writing a highly predictable story, the writer of the film misses out establishing a convincing reason of the dissent between the leading pair. The film starts with super sonic speed as in first scene boy meets girl and in the very next scene (after a party song) the girl is packing her luggage leaving boy’s home. In their quarrels they play the blame game but we get to know no back story to get ourselves convinced of their emotional fallout. We just tend to believe either they are done with each other or they are bunch of mercurial, sentimental and paranoid people. I guess the second option seems more appropriate.

The other part of the story is the satirical commentary on TRP-hungry and ratings-crazy TV industry of Pakistan. The placement of this odd plot line in an intense emotional story if serves nothing else then at least one good purpose of self-introspection of the film. The film criticizes the TV shows for generating ratings from the tears of the weeping women, whereas it itself relies on the same gimmick of exploiting audience emotionally and shedding rivers of tears (glycerine) on the big screen. Its ironic as the film falls short of its own essence.

Anjum Shahzad is a very talented director and it is obvious from his commendable work in Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay as well. The film is beautifully shot and has a reasonably good screenplay. The editing of the film is also crisp and done well. However, the film has certain elements and scenes which one cannot expect from an intelligent and talented director like Shahzad. Shafqat Cheema’s character and the fight scene are two unforgivable disappointments from the director. Probably, he did not want to make a film as intelligent as Mah e Mir this time (sarcasm intended).

Feroze Khan and Sajal Aly are one of the most popular on-screen couples of TV and they debuted at the silver screen together in Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay. They brought their signature small screen chemistry to the big screen but one of them outshone the other in terms of performance and potentials. Sajal Aly who is mostly known for playing characters of weeping women on TV had nothing much different to offer in her first film. On the other hand, Feroze Khan did a better job and exhibited skills of a promising film star. His voice, poise, range, and screen presence all show that he has has a bright future.

In terms of acting the child star stole the show with his adorable performance. He was a treat to watch in the whole film. His chemistry with his on screen parents and especially with Feroze Khan was spectacular. Although he was playing a character too wise for his age, but he made it believable and lovable. Ally Khan, in the role of a ambitious TV producer of a morning show, also acted well.

It goes without saying that the music of Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is one the best in the recent times. The whole album has a repeat value and it will stick with us for long. All the artists have done a great job of creating a memorable musical experience, which is also integral part of the film and its USP. The songs are aptly integrated with the story of the film. “Ali Ali” and “Totiya Tara” are the two best songs to experience in the movie.

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