Every once in a few years comes a film that surprises the audience by being closer to reality, different from the run-of-the-mill stuff and making the audience stay on the edge of their seats with its gripping execution.
Last year it was Cake, this year it is Laal Kabootar!
Laal Kabootar revolves around two central characters – Aaliya (Mansha Pasha) and Adeel (Ahmed Ali Akbar) – who are brought together by circumstances.
While Aaliya is searching for her reporter husband’s killer, Adeel wants to make quick money to go to Dubai and to a better life.
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Insert a corrupt police officer (Rashid Farooqi), an evil businessman (Mohammad Ahmed) and their henchmen and you have a crime thriller that shows Karachi exactly as it is. Does Aaliya manage to apprehend the killer or does Adeel make it to Dubai, that’s the secondary question.
The primary question is ‘What is Laal Kabootar’ and that question will keep you engrossed in the plot till the climax.
When was the last time you saw a Pakistani film where you saw characters instead of actors?
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Laal Kabootar takes you in that zone with its perfect casting and rehearsed performances where Mansha Pasha looks the girl in search of a Laal Kabootar, Ahmed Ali as the guy who wants to have a better future and Rashid Farooqi as the cop we don’t want to piss off. Furthermore, the film is shot like a film, with no black frames in between, with proper frames, larger than life action sequences and use on real locations instead of sets.
The background score compliments the story although old cine-goers might not accept it, it perfectly syncs with whatever is shown on the screen. First-time screenwriter Ali Abbas Naqvi does a fine job, although the cuss words come out as disturbing and could have been lessened to add more commercial value.
Verdict – 4/5
Laal Kabootar maybe Kamal Khan’s first feature film but he has been in the field for quite some time, making impressive music videos as a director. He chose an interesting topic for his debut flick and what helped him was the success of web-series notably Sacred Games and Mirzapur. He seems highly inspired by the Guy Ritchie style of filmmaking and its good, considering no one in Pakistan tries to emulate the British director when his films seem closer to our situation than others.
The prominent actors perfectly fit into their characters although the theatre ones have either nothing to do (like Syed M Jameel) or they try to make most of the onscreen time to showcase their talents (Akbar Islam) and going overboard in the process. On the whole, it’s a one-time watch for all those who believe that we can’t make good films in Pakistan, because Laal Kabootar is right there at the top, with the best films ever made in the country.