Parwaaz Hai Junoon (Review): A disjointed collection of beautiful scenes

Movie Name: Parwaaz Hai Junoon

Release Date: Aug 22, 2018

Director: Haseeb Hassan

Review by: Momin Ali Munshi

“What? Is it over?” I asked myself once the cinema lit up and the end credits began rolling. I was amazed, partly because of the rather bizarre climax and abrupt ending of the film, but mainly due to the fact that the film had successfully managed to capture my interest from the beginning till the end – a rarity with our films. The crispy editing (a bit too crispy in fact) ensued a run time of about 130 minutes, translating into a film that was not dragged, except for maybe a scene or two, and the shortest among the Eid trio in runtime.

One of the major reasons why the film was so engaging was the inumberable characters and sub-plots, which served as garnish. The film had a plethora of fascinating characters and plots, which though half-baked at times as most of the poor characters didn’t even have a decent character arc, but in the bigger picture, they made the world of ‘Parwaaz Hai Junoon’ seem more real, believable and interesting. A significant drawback of this, however, was that it shifted the focus from the main plot and gave the film more of a drama serial feel- which was a major concern I had before seeing the film.

HUM Films’ last signature production, ‘Bin Roye’, was a feature film cut out of a drama serial for which it received a lot of flak despite being a decent product. Parwaaz Hai Junoon had a similar problem wherein, I kid you not, it seemed like a film edited out of a 20-something-episode serial. It seemed as if some beautiful scenes and tracks were picked out from a bigger content pool and stitched together to resemble a film. The viewer definitely felt that backstories, properly developed character arcs were all chopped from the film. I wish that they make a drama serial and the stories of all the interesting characters we met on screen are finally told!

The story of the film… I so wish I could do a spoiler included plot summary and I would share the one-liner of the film which would definitely leave you scratching your head. But since we don’t do that,  here is a no spoiler plot: The film has two timelines where one is set in the Pakistan Air Force Academy with all the cadets including Hania Aamir, Ahad Raza Mir, and the other,  a romantic track between Hamza Ali Abbasi and Hania Aamir. I can’t say more without giving away spoilers, and that should be reason enough for you to question the central premise.

The characters in the film, as I earlier touched upon, are not ripe and carry flawed motivations, leaving the viewer baffled and hungry for answers. The entire Marina Khan angle and whatever role she has in the story is confusing. And don’t even get me started on poor Ahad Raza Mir’s massively underdeveloped almost stock-y character. When we first meet him, he is the guy with his eye on the prize. Then somewhere down the road, we see him as an insecure chauvinist, and then later as a quintessential villain in between a love story. Either the writer is confused, or there was one long arch that they wanted to play in a twenty episode serial!

Performance wise Hania Aamir takes the cake and comes across as a powerhouse performer who in the coming years will definitely be amongst the league of actresses known for their strong performances. It would not be wrong to say that the film largely rests on her shoulders in terms of performance! Hamza Ali Abbassi pretty much plays himself, and that is not to say he was bad, he does exactly what is required of him and plays the charismatic pilot role to perfection and will undoubtedly have made the hearts of a lot of girls skip a beat or two. Ahad Raza Mir is another great performer, and even though the character given to him wasn’t well etched, he provides a balanced performance and leaves an impact.

As for the supporting actors, Shaz Khan does well in the limited space he had, which included action sequences and conversations with Hamza in military jargons. Kubra Khan looks breathtakingly beautiful, better than JPNA 2 actually, but acting wise, there isn’t much scope for her except for a scene or two she has done beautifully. Shafaat Ali, Adnan Jaffar, and Shamoon Abbasi do justice to their parts and bring the desired effects on screen. All veteran actors, including Asif Raza Mir, Marina Khan, and Hina Bayat add to the film and give the performances one expects from them. 

The music of the film has been composed by Azaan Sami Khan while background score has been done by Mohsin Allah Ditta and together this duo prove to be a winner. The songs are memorable, decently shot and serve as a break from the seriousness of the film, although some may question their placement, I thought it was smart on the directors part. The background score is beautiful and has a major role, in addition to Hania Aamir’s performance obviously, in making you cry.

To sum it up, while director Haseeb Hassan’s debut is a far cry from a great film but despite all the flaws it surprisingly makes for an entertaining watch. The director beautifully captures the cadet training period with the coming of age track and the romantic track, the action sequences have been well shot with a whole lot of majestic planes and efficient use of CGI, there is an emotional climax though very predictable yet engaging.

Verdict: The telefilm like feature film makes for an entertaining one time watch despite a plethora of flaws.

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I might be an Economics graduate from LUMS, but cinema is where my heart truly belongs. Always up for a discussion on fims and I guess you could call me a Pakistani Cinema aficionado. Email: mominalimunshi@yahoo.com