With the premiere of the much-awaited crime-thriller, Laal Kabootar taking place on Wednesday at the Cinepax Lahore and on Thursday at Nueplex Cinemas Karachi, the film opened to roaring applause and positive critique from the audience.
Present at the red carpet in both Lahore and Karachi were celebrities such as Mira Sethi, Jimmy Khan, Abdullah Haris, Jibran Nasir, Rachel Viccaji, Zoe Viccaji, Asim Raza, Sheheryar Munawar, Adeel Hussain, Syra Shahroz, Sanam Saeed, Adnan Malik, Mikaal Zulfiqar, Humayun Saeed, Wajahat Rauf, Osman Khalid Butt, Ali Rehman Khan, Hania Aamir, Bilal Ashraf, Saad Haroon, Momal Sheikh, Dino Ali, Junaid Khan, Ali Safina and Hira Tareen to name a few, who made the night one that was glitzing with stars.
Exploring the gritty underbelly of Karachi and how it entraps people into its perilous jaws, the film narrates the lives of two characters Aliya (Mansha Pasha) and Adeel (Ahmed Ali Akbar) whose lives intertwine when a dark series of events bring them into each others’ lives.
Delving into a serpentine narrative, where the good and bad meet in the dusty streets and back alleys of the metropolis, Laal Kabootar - which is directed by Kamal Khan - is a strong exploration of all that goes on below the banal layers of the socio-cultural crust this city shows to the world. Teeming with target killers, petty thieves with big plans, and land-grabbers who keep Karachi at bay, the film has been honest in its portrayal of a city that is unforgiving to everyone. Truly, it has all the elements of thrill and excitement to take the cinema goers on a rollercoaster ride.
However, that said, the narrative goes beyond a mere description of the city. It has so much more to bring to the audience with how it shows the character arcs, which thankfully are not just about one goal. Be it Adeel or Aliya, the characters have evolving aspirations throughout the narrative, which show that the end-goal can be interchangeable in the film. Similarly, the acting skills - which evoke a myriad of emotive reactions throughout - are also solid as both Mansha and Ahmed are able to mold themselves perfectly in various facets.
Additionally, another actor definitely worth mentioning remains Saleem Mairaj, whose role as the menacing target killer on the streets of Karachi brings out a new facet to the actor’s repertoire. Meting applause for such acting skills and for the edge-of-the-seat thrills, the film was able to get people excited by the end of the premiere. Out came the cast, and one saw a huge roar of fans and critics, who couldn’t get enough of the actors.
Adding onto the film’s magic was also Mo Azmi, who as the Director of Photography, has managed to create another cinematic experience after he was able to win people over with his work on last year’s Cake. The screenwriter, Ali Abbas Naqvi, is also worthy of applause; his intimate take on urban life in Pakistan has also worked to the success of Laal Kabootar.
Lastly, one must also commend the film’s exploration of local and traditional music, where Danial Hyatt - who following in his father Rohail Hyatt’s footsteps - has lent his sonic expertise to the score of the film that manages to create an experience of its own. Fusing classical instruments with modern beats, Danial will leave you wanting more.
Overall, Laal Kabootar has proved that it packs the right punch for those who want to go to the cinemas to enjoy a thriller without stereotypes and cliches that other films are full of. It makes one feel that finally, there’s an intelligent narrative, which doesn’t ask you to leave your brains at home.