It is about time that cinema in Pakistan is looking to evolve and technology and young talent are being given their due importance. Like evolution in any other field in Pakistan, cinema too is experiencing difficulty in ridding itself from influence of other countries and cultures. A story no matter how well written would somewhere start ringing bells in the audience’s minds and they immediately identify the imprints of either Bollywood or Hollywood on the storyline. The same applies to cinematography where several shots seem completely reproduced with just the local cast as a difference. Pointless item songs, unnecessary slanging and useless characters are some of the few things that Pakistani cinema would have to learn to liberate itself from very quickly if it is to have any standing in the league of countries that produce cinema which is both impactful and original.
In an era such as this where there is bombardment of so much ‘inspired’ work, Jamshed Mahmood (AKA Jami) is keeping his head down and silently producing work that is in a league of its own. The nation was gifted this Independence Day with Jami’s second directorial venture, ‘Moor’. A movie which in fact is much more than just a movie. ‘Moor’ for many like myself is a long awaited project that has taken more than 5 years to have finally become a reality on the big screen. No matter what the box office collections say, for me, ‘Moor’ is arguably the best work of cinema Pakistan has produced till date.
This is why:
‘Moor’ is based on the story of the decline of the railway system in Baluchistan. It is both original and eye-opening for the audiences and could even bring a tear or two to the eyes of some who’ve been to the places shown in the movie.
The dialogues are simple yet impactful.
- ‘Yeh watan ka muhabbat, pyaar wyaar, bolnay mein tou buhut acha lagta hai, laiken milta kuch nahi hai.’
- ‘Sauda karna hai tou jao apnay Allah se karo.’
- ‘Hum jaisa kartay hain, hamari aulaad bhi waisa hi karti hai.’
Written by Jami, Nazir Ali and Riaz ur Rehman Saghar (Late), the story touches your heart and makes you wonder how little you know about your country and how is it being robbed each and every day in so many different ways and how families fall apart as a result of the circumstances created by the corruption around them and the greed for money.
With acting talents of newcomers such as Shaz Khan, Ayaz Samoo and Sonia Hussain etc. the casting department has done exceptionally well to include veterans like Hameed Sheikh, Abdul Qadir, Shabbir Rana, Sultan Hussain, Nayyar Ejaz and even a very special appearance by Akbar Subhani. Hameed Sheikh holds everything that there is in the movie together like durable cement and packs a punch with a memorable performance. He is extremely well supported by Abdul Qadir who has made an impactful comeback on the mainstream acting circuit after ages. Samiya Mumtaz doesn’t have a lot of screen time but whatever time she gets, she does justice with her role.
No, ‘Moor’ doesn’t have an item song in it. Instead, it gives you Strings and Anwar Maqsood joining forces together this time to give one of the best music albums of the year.
From ‘Gul Bashri’ in Pashto by Rahim Shah till ‘Talabgaar hoon’ by Javed Bashir, everything about the music of ‘Moor’ is close to perfect.
Shot Completely in Pakistan
‘Moor’ is visually stunning with jaw dropping locations shot in extraordinary fashion. Every single shot is original and an absolute piece of art. The whole movie is filmed in different areas of Sindh and Baluchistan and shot in a manner nobody has ever done before. There are moments when you completely give in to the idea that these are locations either in Russia or Switzerland etc. Well, they are not.
Kudos to the Director of Photography, Farhan Hafeez. You’ve done a fabulous job!
Writer-Producer-Director, this guy is a genius. From selecting a topic such as that of ‘Moor’ and doing so much of an in-depth homework and to finally having the guts to actually travel, live and shoot the movie in areas where there were serious law and order issues in those days is a commendable effort in itself. The weather wasn’t too accommodating either for the cast and crew during their stay in areas like Muslim Bagh, Shela Bagh and Khanai etc. In short, as captain of the ship, Jami has handled each area of movie making brilliantly well when it comes to making ‘Moor’.
The only thing better that could’ve happened was that they could’ve premiered the movie in a foreign film festival first, gathered a few awards internationally and then released it in Pakistan. It is only then, when the so-called ‘intellectuals’ of our country come to the forefront and appreciate somebody’s work, even if they don’t understand it one bit.
From a business point of view, I’m assuming that the makers knew already that they wouldn’t get money pouring in. Especially after the same team’s first effort, ‘O21’ was a bit too much for the audiences to understand.
No offence to any film makers of this country but as far as I am concerned, it is a shame that movies like ‘Wrong Number’ earn more than ‘Moor’ and are given more screens and shows in cinema houses. Unless this situation gets reversed, Pakistani cinema needs serious work done.
Hammad A. Mateen