The Momina Duraid-Shehzad Kashmiri flick had been in the works for quite some time and now the effort shows all of the hard work that has been put into it. Bin Roye shows the world that a romantic flick doesn’t need to have steamy love scenes — the same can be emoted through expressions and the right kind of chemistry between the lead pair.
Priorities yield results
When your priorities are right, things happen and Bin Roye is an example of that. Sultana Siddiqi and Hum Films are behind the mega project which is the first-ever Pakistani film to have a worldwide release. Not only are they taking Salman Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijan head on, but are also confident that the combined star power of Humayun Saeed and Mahira Khan will be enough to see them through. A chick flick that takes on a Bhai flick, indeed!
Mahira Khan is one of the best young actresses of the country, looks good in any avatar and era and packs a powerful punch with her acting talent, otherwise subdued due to her less-demanding role in Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol.
In what can be termed as her first film in a lead role, Mahira excels big time. She steals the limelight from all her co-stars including Azra Manzoor who plays Dadi, and Javed Sheikh and Zeba Bakhtiar as her parents.
It has been a Bin Roye Eid for fans of Pakistani cinema
When it comes to Humayun Saeed, we have seen him rise to the ranks of one of the top three leading men in Pakistan. The emotionally-charged scenes where he displays anger are quite convincing and we cheer for him even though he may be a little over-the-hill to play the romantic hero.
The supporting lead Armeena Khan is a welcome addition and although she literally has a hit-and-miss role, her smile and mannerisms make her stand out in whichever scene she is present. The cinematography is mind-blowing and scenic at the same time. San Francisco and Santa Barbara have never looked so good in a Pakistani film; and the same can be said of the locations in Karachi which seem to have been handpicked by the directors. The ancestral house in which the family resides resembles the havelis of the ’70s Lollywood films and shows that our films can do well with all the right ingredients.
Room for improvement
There were as many as three directors involved in the production of Bin Roye — something that could have been avoided. Novelist Farhat Ishtiaq should have left the writing of the screenplay to professionals who would have done a far better job with the result that the dialogues don’t have that filmi edge to them except for a few instances. Javed Sheikh and Zeba Bakhtiar didn’t have much to do in the film. Also, the scene where Armeena’s character calls Zeba B’s “Maa” for the first time could have been conceived in a more graceful manner.
The characters remain half-evolved. For example, we don’t get to know what exactly is it that Irtiza (Humayun Saeed) does for a living. In one scene, he leaves for the office in one scene and comes back home in the very next frame.
The direction of Ballay Ballay and Tere Bin Jeena by Asim Raza and Sarmad Khoosat, respectively gives you the true picture of Pakistani society and that’s a step in the right direction.
The editing remains haphazard as Mahira’s character is shown to mature over five years but it hardly seems so on screen. America seems to be right next door to Pakistan as whenever the characters want, they end up in the US. If only it was possible in the real world! Then there is a lack of continuity on screen — in one scene people talk about Saman’s cooking skills and the way she has banished everyone from the kitchen, whereas she is shown sitting with Irtiza in the lawn.
Time literally flies in Bin Roye as the two years required by Irtiza to finish his studies pass by in a flash and then his wedding too becomes old news after a few moments. And then there is the mystery of Adeel Hussain’s character — he came, he danced and he disappeared. Musician-turned-actor Junaid Khan had three scenes in total — one with dialogues — and he didn’t give any reason why his mother forces him to marry Saba!
So will Bin Roye be able to hold her forte against Wrong No. and Bajrangi Bhaijan despite these shortcomings? Yes it will because it takes you back to the time when films without action sequences were the norm. The story might need some tweaking but when you give a visually striking film, everything else takes the back seat.
The direction of Ballay Ballay and Tere Bin Jeena by Asim Raza and Sarmad Khoosat, respectively gives you the true picture of Pakistani society and that’s a step in the right direction. Also, the casting must be commended because Armeena Khan and Mahira Khan have done justice by playing the daughters of Zeba Bakhtiar who herself is elegance personified.
Bin Roye is a must-watch film if you support the revival of Pakistani cinema.
Bin Roye features as many as three Bollywood playback singers — Harshdeep Kaur (Ballay Ballay), Rekha Bharadway (Chan Chariya) and Ankit Tiwari (O’ Yaara). The end credits also featured the names of Shiraz Uppal (who composed and sang two songs), Shani Arshad, Sahir Ali Bagga and Waqar Ali as music composers. The inclusion of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and the film debut of Abida Parveen and Zeb Bangash can be termed as a step in the right direction when it comes to film music score.
Published in Dawn, Sunday Magazine July 26th, 2015