Premiere for Na Baaligh Afraad held

Published June 17, 2024
The cast of the film.—Dawn
The cast of the film.—Dawn

KARACHI: Nabeel Qureshi is a filmmaker who likes to make massy films. This means that his movies — barring one — usually have middleclass characters trapped in relatable situations. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest it was his very first effort, Na Maloom Afraad, which, in a manner of speaking, breathed a new life into the Pakistan film industry when aspiring filmmakers resumed entertaining the idea that they could make films that they wanted to make.

The premiere for his latest venture, Na Baaligh Afraad, on Saturday at Nueplex Cinema was, naturally, a well-attended event. This time around, though, the cast doesn’t include renowned leading men or women. It is slightly different.

Talking to Dawn about the movie to be released on Eidul Azha, the director said, “The story of the film centres on some na baaligh afraad (adolescent individuals). They are the Gen Z of the 1990s, meaning, the story is set in the ‘90s and carried along by a bunch of youngsters.”

The youngsters who are essaying the three main leads in NBA are Aashir Wajahat, Samar Jafri and Rimha Ahmed. Apart from them, seasoned artists such as Muhammed Ehteshamuddin, Mani, Saleem Mairaj and Irfan Motiwala are in important supporting roles.

What’s so special about the ‘90s? Well, for starters, the wonders of technology had just begun to dazzle citizens, namely, the VCR. While going to cinema was arguably the most popular pastime three decades back, the advent of the VCR had put new ideas into people’s heads. Now they could watch stuff in the privacy of a room or a closed space. Curiosity for the things unknown had sharpened. But too much curiosity can cause trouble which the characters in the film face.

The production design of Na Baaligh Afraad is good as are the funny moments that Qureshi has been able to create — something he does well — to highlight the innocence of his protagonists. The challenge, however, is to make Gen Z and Gen Alpha identify with his story.

Published in Dawn, June 17th, 2024

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