Saqib Malik’s long journey as a director is finally about to see its pinnacle in the form of his long-awaited big screen offering; Baaji. Starting with Ajnabi Sheher Mein, the director has had to witness multiple setbacks and shelving of many projects during his career. However, it looks like his dream is about to come true on the 28th of June with the release of Meera-Amna Ilyas starrer Baaji.
The trailer for this Saqib Malik’s big screen debut is finally out and after watching it, we can firmly say that the wait was truly worth it. There is gloss, grandeur, drama, confrontations, sabotage, songs and lots of dance.
A glimpse into Baaji‘s trailer
The two and a half minutes long trailer although quenches your thirst (created by the earlier released, tightly cut teaser) to want more, it gives away a lot of the story and plot that we, as an audience, probably didn’t even ask for. The rest of it, however, is a true delight to watch.
It opens with a sneak peek into the lives of two ladies with extremely contrasting backgrounds but similar aspirations and dreams. One a yesteryear star with a crumbling career and romantic life, the other a younger middle-class girl with glittering dreams and blooming romantic life. They cross paths in a salon and develop a camaraderie which later vanishes, augmented by the evil schemes of an ex-boyfriend and some scheming coworkers who group together to teach the already distressed star a lesson. We don’t know how things unfold from there on. Guess we’ll have to wait for the film to come out to find out.
Moving on, the trailer gives some Madhur Bhandarkar’s Kareena Kapoor starrer Heroine vibes but as per Saqib himself, his film, unlike Heroine is about two colliding eras of Lollywood and not just about a single “fading star” (we hope that’s true). Apart from that, we don’t see any noticeable shortcomings in the trailer, even if we tried and that honestly, makes us a little too happy.
Of Meera’s comeback and brilliant lead performances
The positives outweigh the negatives conspicuously in the trailer and with the comedy-family-weddings bandwagon that the whole film industry seems to have hopped on, Baaji being a dark thriller proves to be a breath of fresh air, at least that from the trailer.
While Meera and Amna Ilyas occupy most of the trailer’s canvass and give awestruck performances, the supporting cast doesn’t lag behind either. Starting with the leading lady, Meera, Baaji may prove to be the best work of this 90s star. Her expressions, dialogue delivery, and presence in every frame are simply matchless. The 90s cinema buffs may (almost) have a hard time finding any better work of Meera from her 90s portfolio.
Amna Ilyas’s character is another strong feature of the trailer which shows a dramatic growth as the trailer progresses; from a dreamer to an achiever, she seems to fit the role like a glove.
Of perfect villains and daunting characters
But it’s not just the leading ladies who shine. Nayyar Ijaz, Nishu Begum & Ali Kazmi attract your attention in whatever scene they appear. They aren’t outrightly loathsome yet are scheming enough to be the effective villains. Particularly Nayyar Ijaz’s character which appears to have some homosexual tendencies would be a supporting role to look out for. In one of the scenes, he suggestively looks at Mohsin Abbas’s character while in yet other, his vanity mirror is adorned with semi-nude men, depicting his sexual tendencies in a subtle yet daunting way, for a film made in Pakistan.
Although Mohsin Abbas and Osman Khalid are given relatively little screen time for it’s just a trailer, after all, it still hints massively at the journeys their characters seem to go through.
Of foot-tapping music, impressive choreography and more
As for the music, not much exposure is given to it, albeit the line-up still remains interesting. There is a jazz track by the talented Zeb Bangash that stands out amongst all. The club sequence has foot-tapping beats but it remains difficult to infer whether the song would be a hit or a miss. Undoubtedly, the songs are choreographed in immaculate ways. Particularly the ballroom jazz number and club song are worth mentioning. When you have names like Wahab Shah and Nigah Hussain onboard, the choreography department is sure to be impressive.
The cinematography by Salman Razzaq needs no words of praise as the super talented man has proved himself on countless occasions. The set designs and artwork of the film add depth to the canvass of the film’s trailer.
The gloss and grandeur, combined with the gritty feel of the trailer, are as fresh as they could get. It’s the content that would give an edge to Baaji especially when the Eid releases are loaded with too much saccharine comedy. The trailer aptly hints at how Baaji could prove to be a game changer for its lead cast and the director and, who knows, for the industry too.
We are yet to see how the actual movie will turn out but for now, Baaji has turned all the necks to itself, outshining its other contemporary cinematic offerings.
You can watch the full trailer here: