For quite some time, Mahira Khan followers have been waiting for a film that features her with her Humsafar co-star Fawad Khan. In similar vein, critics have been waiting for a film where her acting skills shine, the way they did in Neeyat, a Mehreen Jabbar play many moons ago. The diabolical screenplay of Verna robbed Mahira Khan an opportunity to take on a sensitive and difficult subject because it felt unbelievable to say the least. The only nuance was present in the music video of ‘Power Di Game’ by Xpolymer, where expressions carried weight more than any word spoken by Mahira.
The Fawad Khan-Mahira Khan fans will see them together in The Legend of Maula Jatt, hopefully some time this year but the film is more focused on Fawad Khan and Hamza Ali Abbasi’s rivalry than the Khan-Khan pairing. Similarly, both Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan are making guest appearances in Parey Hut Love but according to Mahira’s recent interviews with online channels, they will not be sharing screen space.
Critics certainly are counting on Superstar to provide Mahira Khan with the material, depth and direction (to get out of her skin) and immerse herself in a role that is unlike her previous characters. With direction by Ehteshamuddin of Udaari and Sadqay Tumhare fame, the possibility exists.
And, now that the trailer of Superstar has released, those moments where Mahira does not echo Mahira but Noori (her character in Superstar) is a good sign.
The trailer, running just over 3 minutes, begins with Mahira talking about her world; the world of dreams where one minute she is wearing a Marilyn Monroe-esque outfit and the next minute, a top hat.
Bilal Ashraf enters the frame as Sameer Khan, an established star and the two fall in love. In between them stands the film industry where Mahira wants to make a name for herself. She sizzles in this role while Bilal Ashraf doesn’t make as much of a mark, at least not in the trailer.
Will she become the superstar she wants to or succumb to the ways of an industry we all know exists - is one dimension of the film. The other dimension is that Noori’s stardom later on surpasses that of Sameer Khan. Amidst all this, where does their love story go is another question the film should answer.
The idea that the hero is surpassed by the heroine was used in the Bollywood film, Aashiqui 2 and decades before in the beautiful film, Abhimaan. The classism is a theme straight out of Luck by Chance. But ideas and stories are often cyclical and it isn’t necessarily the idea but the execution that makes or breaks a film. With screenplay and music by Azaan Sami Khan, Superstar should make for an interesting watch.
Meanwhile, the film has begun unrolling its soundtrack, beginning with a song called ‘Bekaraan’. With Ali Sethi and Zeb Bangash singing (who also collaborated on Manto’s ‘Kya Hoga’), the song is penned by Shakeel Sohail with great sensitivity and crafted and composed beautifully by Azaan Sami Khan and Saad Sultan.
Despite working on Parey Hut Love, Azaan and co-composer Saad Sultan remember the dynamics this intense romantic drama needed and to that end have provided a song that does just that. Intensely romantic, subtle and beautiful in its arrangements; the bonus is the music video featuring Khan and Ashraf wearing black, dancing to the verses and melody of the song, almost as if they’re not playing two ‘characters’ we will learn more about as the film releases, but two people (dancing) in love and joy.
‘Bekaraan’ is a love-induced subtle song that is good enough to find a space on your iPod, MP3 player or heard on your favourite streaming site. Superstar, the trailer and the soundtrack that also features Atif Aslam, so far has us intrigued.