By Huma Baig
Janaan (‘Beloved’ in Pashto) presents a stylish, witty and often emotional observation of contemporary Pakistan that resonates globally.
The story of Janaan was simple- a little slow to start with but picked up in the second half of the movie. Meena (Armeena Rana Khan) goes back home after 11 years and experiences “culture shock” of sorts, thanks to her zany, wacky Pukhtun family. She also finds herself unwillingly caught up in a love triangle between the silent, sweet and brooding Asfandyar (Bilal Ashraf) and the confident, friendly, class clown type Daniyal (Ali Rehman Khan).
Each character was very pronounced and it celebrated Pukhtun culture very well. The cast was overall relatively new and fresh. This really worked in the movie’s favour, as I didn’t have the feeling of watching a drama on the big screen. have to give special mention to Ali Rehman for being really funny. He was really enjoyable to watch, in both comedic and emotional scenes. Bilal Ashraf is a real heartthrob and he acted really well. He has everything it takes to be a “hero,” and a popular one at that. Armeena looked beautiful, and is a naturally talented actress. I also really enjoyed the very brief special appearances by Osmaan Khalid Butt and Hareem Farooq.
The movie had a lot of potential and the attempt was really good. The cinematography was excellent, the beautiful locations of Swat were captured very nicely, you wanted to be transported there immediately. The two main songs, Janaan and Reidi Gul, were beautifully used and definitely added to the movie.
It was a good-hearted attempt and I appreciated it. I would encourage everyone to go watch it to support these efforts made to lift the Pakistani film industry. As a step in the right direction, it was really good. I wish Janaan a lot of success and I do hope it fares well.
I encourage every Pakistani to go out and support this movie – and all the other Eid releases coming out.
If these movies don’t make money, they won’t even get that chance to improve, so please support Pakistani cinema.