Directed by: Haissam Hussain
Produced by: Sadia Jabbar, Mohammad Arshad
Written by: Saad Azhar
Starring: Osman Khalid Butt, Ainy Jaafri, Sadaf Kanwal
Music by: Sahir Ali Bagga
I have started to lose faith in Pakistani Cinema. What is coming out of Pakistani cinema industry these days is beyond my understanding. Pakistani cinema revival started at such a high note with movies like Khuda kay lyay, Bol, Waar , Ho Mann Jahan etc and now instead of going further up we have reached to the level where Balu Mahi lies. Balu Mahi feels like a teen you tubers halfhearted attempt to create a parody of Jab we met and Dil bole hadippa.
Saad Azher’s story line was very illogical and at time appeared as a deliberate attempt to test viewer’s patience and intellect. It felt like writer had bunch of individual scenes in mind and without much of a thought process forced a plot around them. Dialogues were clichéd and out of place, for example at one point Mahi shouts out loud to Balu that I love you and the same moment Balu turns and says to his friend that I think she loves me. Also I thought we were passed double meaning cheap comedy but clearly in Saad’s world we are not.
I believe another big problem is the casting. I like Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jafferi but as Balu Mahi they just came across very pretentious. I am shocked to see such bad comic timings from Osman whose career started as a YouTube comedian but more disappointment came from Ainy as I have seen her work in Aseer Zaadi before and believed that she had potential. It was refreshing to see Durdana Butt after a longtime but in the absence of proper script and characterization, along with the rest of the cast she failed to impress as well.
It was very pleasant to see all the famous landmarks of Lahore as the first half is shot around the city but again presentation lacked creativity. Hundreds of years old British Raj monuments looked quite ordinary.
Sahir Ali Bagga’s music was forgetful and I am not sure how he managed to achieve that with big names like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Pappu Samrat’s choreography was pretty decent especially the dance number in the first half. But Osman’s body curved a lot more than the dance move required and gave very Beyoncé’s I am a single lady sort of feel and one should never get this feel from the male lead.
The whole production was a train wreck but the department that takes the award for being the worst was makeup and costume. Pakistani cinema has never failed in this department before. Regardless of how bad the film was, people have always looked good on screen. But for Balu Mahi from ever changing skin tone of Osman to Mahi’s random Snow White ensemble, everything was inconsistent and unprofessional.
With inappropriate casting, clichéd script, amateurish production standard and lack of single skin tone of the main lead there was nothing much Haissam Husain could have done as a director.
There was a voice over at the end that said, “fitay mo aeho jay pyar da, Chinese Shahrukh Khan na huay tay” and that’s exactly how I felt after the movie. I go with 1.5 stars only for the amazing locations of northern areas and Javed Sheikh’s cameo.