Pakistani cinema, much like its global counterparts, has seen a long drought of nearly two years. And what better film could end this drought other than a Nabeel Qureshi directorial.
The most prolific director-producer duo, Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meeerza, are coming with two films over a period of two months, including ‘Khel Khel Mein’ and ‘Quaid-e-Azam Zindabad’.
Khel Khel Mein
The first film, made on a relatively limited scale, is ‘Khel Khel Mein’, which recently dropped its trailer. The novelty, freshness and content-oriented nature of the trailer have given another reason to the fans to rejoice.
‘Khel Khel Mein’ is about a very important yet cinematically under-explored territory of our history. Surprisingly, even Pakistani TV, despite its relatively prolific and versatile nature has failed to take up the challenging yet important topic of the 1971 war and the subsequent Dhaka Fall because of various understandable as well as obscure reasons.
The trailer gives a glimpse into what the film has to offer. The main protagonists, Bilal Abbas Khan and Sajal Aly are trying to delve into the heart of the 1971 war, some unanswered questions attached to the unfortunate war and the human cost of it that both sides had to bear fifty years ago.
It starts with a flashback sequence where the announcement of the fall of Dhaka is made showing a helpless and desperate Sheheryar Munawar playing the young grandfather to Sajal Aly.
We further see a group of students who are about to perform a theatre drama on the fall of Dhaka at a competition being held in Bangladesh. The ensuing drama explores their struggles against hostile attitudes both from their own authorities as well as their competitors in Dhaka.
We see glimpses of veterans like Javed Sheikh, Marina Khan, Samina Ahmad and Manzar Sehbai alongside a troupe of younger actors. There is a lively and cheeky quintessential Sikh character alongside some, seemingly stereotyped Bengali characters. One hopes the rest of the Bengali characters are well written and more smooth sounding than the ones featured in the trailer though.
The trailer ends on a powerful note with a stage performance and a background voiceover from Bilal and Sajal: “Ek ghalti hui, kisi se bhi, maang lete hain, maafiyaan donon. [A mistake was made, by one or the other, let us both ask for forgiveness].” This very line seems to portray the attempt and purpose behind the film which is to abrogate the distances between the two South Asian nations who were once part of the same country.
Another encouraging feature of the trailer is that it doesn’t seem to cross into the Jingoistic territory. Where it points fingers at the culprits, it doesn’t shy away in pinpointing the own shortcomings of Pakistanis in a daring way.
Cinemas are back
The trailer surely would generate an appropriate buzz for the film and there could be no better time to release such an important film than close to the date of Dhaka Fall itself.
Whether it captures the audience’s attention or not, only time will tell. Khel Khel Mein is already cleared by the censor board and is slated to release across the nation on the 19th of November bringing the audience back to the cinemas after two years.