Movie Name: Raasta
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Director: Sahir Lodhi
Review by: Momin Ali Munshi
Raasta is a Sahir Lodhi film.
The reason I say this is because not only has he acted in the film but he has also written and directed the film. So, basically, the three main pillars on which a film rests are all Mr. Lodhi and hence making or breaking the film is almost solely dependant on the capabilities of Sahir and Sahir alone.
Does he succeed in his endeavor?
The answer is a harsh no!
Unfortunately, the film is a disaster from the word go and as soon as Sahir makes an appearance on the screen, the film goes haywire. The screenplay department for Pakistani films, in general, is rather weak but Raasta takes it to another level as the storyboarding is completely amiss. Add to that, the half-baked time jump post-interval, and you’re left scratching your head and questioning the sanity of the makers. Also worth mentioning is the fact that quite a few sub-plots are never really explained, hell the ending itself is just a call to join Sahir on his journey and get your answers in Raasta 2.
The plot of the film revolves around Sameer (Sahir Lodhi), who lives with his quintessential honorable police officer brother (Aijaz Aslam) and bhabhi (Sana Nawaz). Sameer has been trying his luck at securing a job for the past eight years but has failed because he lacks the sifaarish. Enters Maya (Saima Azhar), along with ‘best friend’ Sherry (Naveed Raza) and Sherry’s elder brother Don (Shamoon Abbasi), who loves to dance it between his don-esque duties, and the trouble begins.
The main issue with the film, as mentioned earlier, is the lackluster script/screenplay. It seems as if the story was improvised as the film was shot and scenes added merely so Sahir Lodhi could shine bright (though he’s hardly able to make an impact). There is no fluency between the scenes and the film seems like a collection of scenes just put together: something like a showreel for Sahir to take along. Moreover, the writing is so brainless that you’re left questioning why!? From Sahir’s first interaction with Naveed Raza, his love story angle with Abeer, the track with Saima Azhar, they all come across as a joke because of bad writing where the acting didn’t help much either.
The acting department which again is almost Sahir Lodhi from start to finish is another weak point of the film. Sahir is a great host, but acting, unfortunately, is not his thing. Intense scenes appear comical because of the way Sahir emotes and hence the essence is just lost. Aijaz Aslam and Shamoon Abbassi are the only two actors who do well given the limited capacity they had to perform in. Debutants Abeer Rizvi and Saima Azhar definitely need to work real hard as their performances were forgettable, to say the least! Naveed Raza was okay, a bit too over the top and theatrical at times but a good debut nonethless and a special mention for his wardrobe which, barring a few looks, was probably one of the best things in the film!
The music of the film was definitely a redeeming factor. Yes, they were Bollywood inspired, with Dil Fakeer being a Bollywood rip-off frame by frame, but the songs were soothing to the ear. If only they had been shot and choreographed well; specially the Chote Umariya and Pee Lay, the impact would have been unbelievable. Nonetheless, almost all songs from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Dil Fakeer to the item number Pee Lay were good additions to the film.