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Telefilm: Three`s a crowd

July 18, 2010

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Oscar Wilde, the English writer and creator of acerbic aphorisms, once said about marriage Men marry because they are bored, women marry because they are curious. Both are disappointed. This train of thought was cursorily picked up by Ahmed Ali Butt, writer, director, singer and the protagonist of Aaj Kuch Na Kaho, the fifth of the ongoing Hum Telefilm Festival 2010, aired on July 3.

Sameer (Butt) is a happy-go-lucky guy (a stereotype sadly meant to be played by every large person on screen) whose day job is directing commercials and music videos. He is chums with his manager Shireen (Juggun Kazim) who one night forces him to attend a party where he is impressed by the crooning skills of Esha (Fatima Ahmed). Sameer convinces a reluctant Esha to give a shot at professional singing and offers his help in producing her debut music album.

Esha's hesitancy stems from the fact that she is trapped in a loveless marriage with Rehan (Fawad Khan of Khuda Kay Liye fame) even though they were college sweethearts. Esha, looking for an escape from her sham marriage, accepts Sameer's offer and starts frequenting his studio. Rehan, her husband, is the archetypal middle-class, conservative, suspicious, workaholic, urban man who is oblivious to his wife's suffering. Esha attempts several times to get her husband's attention but instead he reciprocates by angry glares and outbursts. Rehan, who senses that Esha is spending way too much time with Sameer, asks her to invite him and Shireen over for dinner at their house. Rehan instead of being the perfect host ends up insulting Sameer, who abruptly departs with Shireen. Esha has a huge fight with Rehan over this incident and leaves the house in her car and has an accident. At this point the director realises that his time is running out and he needs to quickly end this convoluted telefilm. He shows Rehan visiting Esha and apologising profusely for his mistakes, and Esha in typical naik parveen fashion accepts it.

The hasty ending highlighted the fact that Butt had too much on his plate and thus wasn't able to concentrate in any of the departments that he was involved in. Aaj Kuch Na Kaho also had crammed in three forgettable songs that didn't take the story forward. Kazim's role was pointless and this talented actress' skills were largely wasted. However, Ahmed certainly needs a vocal coach to work on her diction for even though it seemed that she was giving her best shot in some heavy duty scenes it was her speech that was hindering her performance. The only redeeming factor in this was Khan who was superbly convincing in his role of a sourpuss of a husband.