The long awaited animation, Allahyar and the legend of Markhor released on Friday and proved to be popular with film lovers.

The film includes many colourful characters and has introduced untapped voices to the entertainment industry.

It conveys a message of valour, courage and patriotism through well-written dialogues and wonderful animations.

The film talks about animal rights, a topic rarely discussed in Pakistan.

The protagonist of the film is Allahyar, a school-going boy, voiced by Anum Zaidi, who lives with his father who is a forest guard.

The father and son are very close.

Allahyar is shy at first and is bullied by his school fellows. He has a strong bond with animals though.

One night, he goes out of the house when he hears some noise and finds a Markhor, voiced by Natasha Humera Ijaz, in a wooden cage on the roadside which has accidentally fallen off a poacher’s jeep.

The Markhor introduces herself to Allahyar as Mehru and they both try to escape from the hunter who also tried to kill his father and is now coming for them.

The story builds up when Mehru tells Allahyar that the hunter is going to her home, a cliff named Saiko to capture her family.

The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan, is an endangered species and is sold for high prices by poachers.

Allahyar promises Mehru he will protect her family and they set out for Saiko.

They come across a pack of wolves, an owl and a snow leopard, all of whom want revenge from the hunter.

As the story progresses, the director, with the use of very apt dialogues, shows courage and positivity in Allahyar as he remembers his father’s saying such as himmat-i-marda, madad-i-khuda, or not to judge anyone based on their cast or colour.

The second half of the film shows Allahyar standing up for Mehru against all odds.

They both help each other against many enemies and make new friends as well.

Zohaib Hassan’s all time hit, Himmat Na Haar, Muskuraye Ja plays when Allahyar is misinformed that his father has been killed while another song, by Natasha Ijaz, is about courage and fighting against all odds.

All the frames are very well synced and the dialogues are very rhythmic, making for a joyful cinematic experience.

The cinematography is captivating and will appeal to audiences of all ages. The film treats the audience to a scenic tapestry of the northern areas.

The images of the streams, trees, changing seasons and the snow clad mountains of the country are very realistic.

The various cultures are also depicted so delicately such as through a hand water pump or a frosty window on a winter morning, men wearing waist coats and women clad in dupattas.

The film is feel-good and has a warm and pleasant tone with some very impressive story telling techniques and artwork.

Published in Dawn, February 3rd, 2018

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