KARACHI: The likes of you and I, the so-called ‘English’ reading and writing audience, feel like pulling our hair out whenever we watch a wedding on a morning show. We are the first to criticise how ‘commercialism’ has taken over Ramazan transmissions. Anything less polished, sophisticated is tweeted about while the sun continues to rise from the East and set in the West. We love it or hate it, but TV and its obsession with ‘tacky entertainment’ keeps on getting fuelled by what they like to call the Lowest Common Denominator (LCD): the segment of our society that the producers believe likes to put in the least amount of thought while being entertained.
Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is a film that caters to the LCD while explaining why they’re worth nothing more than a bunch of rating metres.
Anjum Shahzad is an extremist of sorts when it comes to film. If Mah-e-Mir was meant only for the thinking audience then his next offering is largely meant for the not-so-thinking ones and the film will give the latter enough reasons to stay till the end.
Zain Ahmed (Feroze Khan) is a struggling screenwriter who tries really hard to afford his family’s lavish lifestyle despite a lack of opportunities in the industry. The financial crisis eventually worsens and that’s when his wife, Maira (Sajal Ali), decides to leave Zain and take their son Dodo with her.
So begins a tale of love, deceit and innocence, surrounding the moral corruption within the TV industry, told through the perspective of a child who acts the least bit like one. Jibraiyl Ahmed Rajput as Dodo is the kind of kid in your family who would start singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star in the middle of the drawing room so that you can pay attention to him and not the shami kababs.
It becomes even more problematic when an entire film is anchored by on such kid’s innocence and you obviously don’t feel for any of his Grandpa one-liners. Rajput is indeed very talented but Dodo is equally annoying; I actually felt for the bird that once existed.
Ali however, turns out to be the surprise package. Having not seen her work on TV, her brilliance comes as a surprise to me. She executes melodramatic scenes with terrific ease and doesn’t make it seem like the film debut of a TV actor who doesn’t have a background in stage. From the perfection of each character in Mah-e-Mir, it’s clear that Shahzad is a director who likes to spend time with his actors but then the actor also needs to offer something truly unique to stand out.
That is what’s unfortunate with Khan, who fails to leave any lasting impression despite having the ideal combination of looks and physique and a dynamic character arch. His and Danish Taimoor’s film debuts are case studies of how a TV actor fails to make a mark on the big screen. Perhaps they need to hit the theatre as regularly as they hit the gym.
Ally Khan rules every inch of the screen and so do Rashid Farooqi and Nayyar Ejaz. On a side note, a goon who looks like the teenage version of composer Waqar Ali holding a boom box in his hand is not to be missed; it is played by Jerry, one of the crew members of the film.
On the whole, Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay is a film full of clichés; in fact Shahzad has mastered the art of reinforcing clichés in storytelling and used them in his favour. From the angry young man on the bike, to the husband and wife who cannot live with or without each other, the film is full of moments, embedded in our film memory, that movies like these refresh, every single time. It all depends on whether you’re willing to pay to watch it happen all over again. I won’t.
Verdict: ‘Zindagi Kitni Haseen Hay’ is a film we have already seen numerous times.
Courtesy : Express Tribune