Not long ago, our cinema screens witnessed a film called Manto – a biographical film based on the life and works of the controversial writer Sadat Hassan Manto. The film not only received widespread accolades from the audiences and critics, both local and international, alike but also cemented the fact that a strong content-driven serious film can also prove to be an economically viable venture.
The genius who made Manto come alive onscreen, Sarmad Sultan Khoosat, is all set to release his second cinematic directorial Zindagi Tamasha, the trailer of which was released just yesterday. And judging from the looks of it, Khoosat is set to enthrall the audience with an intense, dark, gritty, disturbing but an equally engaging and a rather intriguing social commentary on various taboo subjects of our society.
A look at the trailer
The roughly two and half minute trailer opens with Arif Hasan as Muhammad Rahat Khawaja, recording himself in a video message asking forgiveness for his allegedly indecent and vulgar actions. The following scenes show him as a devout Muslim, a distressed father, and a man shunned by the society around him due to the controversy he is involved in and how he struggles to endure it all. It is a sign of a well-cut trailer as the trailer manages to grip the audience with the many questions it raises by sharing a very brief but profound peek into this world Khoosat has captured.
Yet another win for Sarmad Khoosat and Zindagi Tamasha is the way the film has deviated from the traditional portrayal of Lahore. Instead of the happy, chirpy, lively city that Lahore has come to be known in the mainstream commercial films, the Lahore of Zindagi Tamasha is a dark, somber, and serious. This Lahore is gritty, seeped in darkness, and claustrophobic both in the literal and metaphorical sense.
According to Sarmad himself, the film is an “intimate portrait of a family as well as a scorching political commentary on little gods on this earth who police our private passions.” The trailer hints at the film being a serious commentary on our social and religious taboos and certain “no go areas” of our social discussions. Although it doesn’t give away what actually has happened to the main protagonist, we presume it’s something serious involving religion and/or social taboos. It has been a while that a well crafted Pakistani film has provided a commentary on these rather restricted social topics like religion, social norms, sexuality, marginalized people, and more topics.
Made under the banner of Khoosat Films Productions, Zindagi Tamasha stars actors like Arif Hasan, Samiya Mumtaz, and Ali Kureshi. The model/actress Eman Suleman debuts on the big screen with the film. The film is all set to premiere at the Busan International Film Festival and hopefully, will get a Pakistani release soon after.
You can watch the trailer here: