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October 20, 2019

A fresh breeze for newcomers

Islamabad

October 20, 2019

Islamabad

Director: Awais Khalid

Script: Akbar Nasir

Cast: Ahmad Sufiyan ,Momina Iqbal, Salman Shahid, Shafqat Cheema

For a pleasant change, Urdu film ‘Daal Chaawal’ has come out from Lahore. This is at a time when Karachi has become active and flourishing film centre (credit for this boom largely goes to television in general and private TV networks in particular). Karachi and Lahore must now go hand in hand as two film cities with their own colours, style and flavour.

Many films have been made directly or indirectly under auspices and blessings of Army and Airforce (Qasam Aus Waqt Ki, Waar and Parwaz Hai Janoon). ‘Daal Chaawal’ comes with blessings of police (Read: Punjab Safe Cities Authority). The film deals with terrorism, underworld, corruption and thick layers of romance (call it lust of heroine Momina Iqbal for chubby Ahmed Sufiyan).

Leaving seasoned actors Salman Shahid (veteran from television) and Shafqat Cheema (overacting on big screen as vicious villain for over two decades now), it happens to be debuting venture for producer, director, composer and many more as well. Made at a shoestring budget (who said Punjab Police was rolling in big cash!), Daal Chaawal compensates lack of high-budget production and cast values with competent direction and location filming in walled city of Lahore. Wish other filmmakers, dining on impressive but false wedding sequences (film trade calls it and item numbers, inspired and plagiarized) , would learn budget competence and grasp "Less is More".

The unemployed chubby science graduate from village is not ready to follow footsteps of his learned but also unemployed ‘khalo’ in selling ‘Daal Chawal’ in a cart on sidewalks of interior of Lahore. Salman Shahid as dreamer ‘Khalo’ ‘Daal Chaawal Walla’ is on the forefront both with his competent performance and sarcastic ironic wit. Shafqat Cheema as petty don running a racket is loud and even obscene, inciting his henchmen to violence and acts of terror (‘Police walley boltey bohat haeen’, or ‘har deewar per khoon khoon’) but that is exactly what he paid to do and he does it pretty well.

All in all, ‘Daal Chaawal’ despite its inadequacies in script and character development, is a fresh breeze at the box office. Do see it to encourage the team by newcomers.

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