Innovative Biscuits’ recently-launched digital platform Digestive Showtime gets the ball rolling with its first release, Yorker, a short film that aims to amuse while holding a mirror to society
Staring: Wahaj Ali, Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, Faizan Sheikh, Salman Saqib Sheikh (Mani), and Jawad Bashir
Direction: Ahsan Rahim and Syed Nini
Innovative Biscuits’ recently-launched digital platform Digestive Showtime gets the ball rolling with its first release, Yorker, a short film that aims to amuse while holding a mirror to society. The superiority associated with the English language and our collective tendency to mock those who are unable to master it is the theme of this 24-minutes-long episode.
Actor Wahaj Ali stars as the hapless protagonist whose imperfect English lands him in an unexpected mess.
Despite receiving praise for his on-field performance, up-and-coming bowler Ammar Saleem (Wahaj Ali) becomes the subject of ridicule for a Man of the Match acceptance speech that goes very awry, reducing him from “the future of the Pakistan pace attack” to a laughing stock.
When the police’s search for a burqa-clad criminal leads to the arrest of an individual who is unveiled to be the aforementioned cricketer, Ammar’s predicament goes from bad to worse. Why was he wearing a burqa? And why did he have a stolen mobile phone in his possession?
It’s a mystery that you are likely to solve even before the film is done setting it up, but that still won’t take away from the project’s impact. The video highlights a very valid point and does so in an interesting way. The quality of the humour may not be very high, but the film’s light tone helps keep the viewers engaged. Plus it is always refreshing to see our filmmakers venture off the beaten path of domestic issues and romantic entanglements, and explore new grounds instead.
The proceedings do get bogged down by occasional over-acting, which tends to be more distracting than amusing, but the performances overall are fairly serviceable. Wahaj Ali is especially impressive and holds the proceedings together really well. A host of cameo appearances – George Fulton, Danish Anis Shaikh, Sikander Bakht, Shoaib Akhtar – also add to the fun.
Overall, Yorker may not be the most impressive sketch that you can find online, but it still manages to entertain while effectively delivering its point. The concept behind it is decent, and the film itself is fairly well-acted and well-shot.
Sure, it could have been even more solid with a bit of fine-tuning – the script could have been sharper, and the short could have been, well, shorter – but if you are in the mood for a brief burst of light entertainment with a positive message (especially one that doesn’t revolve around the same old topics of pyaar, mohabbat, and bewafai), then Yorker certainly fits the bill.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection