When one of Pakistan’s well-known playwrights of the contemporary era decides to make a foray into film direction, you expect the script of the film to be the strongest department of the project as that’s where the primary strength of the above-mentioned individual resides. After watching Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar’s Kaaf Kangana‘s recently released trailer, the guarantee about the script of the film is already assured. We, however, are not too sure of its execution.
After the resounding success of Pakistani cinema’s iconic Punjab Nahi Jaungi, Khalil Sahab decided to make his dream project which saw many cast reshuffles and consequent disappointments and now that the trailer is released, we are almost pacified and distracted to wait for the film instead.
Will actors be able to do justice to the script?
As it is already known, the film is a cross border love story and keeping the basic template of a cross border love story intact, Khalil seems to have woven an intricate story on this very template such that you don’t give much attention to the basic Indian girl-Pakistani boy (in Bollywood’s case the gender configuration is reversed in most cases, the only exception being Ali Zafar’s Total Siyapaa) and instead fall for the dialogues, the intense drama, and seemingly well-crafted characters.
However, as mentioned earlier, we are not too sure if the actors will be able to translate all those good dialogues and intensity into their performances or at least that’s what the glimpses of performances, by the main as well as the supporting cast in the trailer, suggest. The dialogue delivery by almost every character seems forced. They seem to be doing what Indian films do when portraying Muslim/Pakistani stereotypes; focusing too much on how certain characters SHOULD look and sound like instead of showing what and who they actually ARE.
The trailer’s (maybe) redeemable characteristics
The trailer, however, is intense from beginning to the end and the reasons for that vary from moment to moment. There are rather unapologetic political and cultural references heating the environment in one moment and then there’s intense romance happening the very next moment. Either way, the trailer is laced with considerable intensity.
Thankfully, Sami Khan is given better presence unlike his previously released films, the leading lady Eshal Fayyaz also looks impressive albeit the intensity of her character seems to follow gigantic stereotypes. She, however, looks good onscreen and her dialogue delivery is relatively better too. But it’s the supporting cast that ultimately steals the spotlight.
An encouraging trend in the currently made local films is the presence of strong and amicable supporting characters and not relying on the leads entirely (PNJ, JPNA 2 and the recently released Wrong Number 2 are just a few examples). Kaaf Kangana, similarly, seems to have a strong supporting cast, the most noteworthy of which is Fiza Ali. Her character looks that of a strong woman who is an influencer and a protester.
Sajid Hassan, a politician who plays the bad guy and Kangana’s father is another actor to look out for. You also see Ayesha Omer for a glimpse and we wish she was there for a longer time but maybe her character is meant to be a surprise, I mean who knew Urwa’s Durdana in PNJ would steal the show in the film while she was barely there in the trailer.
Moreover, Neelam’s dance number “Khwabon Mein Jab Bhi” eases the tensions but we hope it’s shot better than it looks in the trailer. As for the music, well when you have Sahir Ali Bagga on the driving seat so you don’t have to worry about the final product. The romantic track may get to the playlist of many when it releases.
A final word
Although overall the trailer is a well-cut video, the graphics could have been better. The opening text and credit visuals aren’t at all sophisticated, giving an impression of poorly-done graphics and hence may be a poor final product. While they may not be a very vital part of the film, what’s the harm in getting good packaging when you say you have put so much effort in the actual product. Let’s also hope that the actors are able to do some justice to their characters (but well, it’s usually a director’s responsibility to bring out the best in them so we are looking at you Khalil Sahab).
Kaaf Kangana releases this Eid Ul Adha so let’s wait and see what the film has in store for us.