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Showing posts from October, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: O21 in the House

Published in Daily Times (Entertainment section) / 15 Oct 2014

O21 takes a shot at cerebral cinema and sets out to explore the only genre left standing - espionage. It goes on to pair American / Afghan, Pakistani CIA assets embroiled in a game of global deception with corporate interests that govern the region. There will be sky high stakes that go so well with super spy tropes. And a ticking clock to send viewers into paroxysms.

The events take place in a span of 21 hours hopping from Washington (shabby looking CIA offices), Afghanistan (dreary cafes) to Pakistan (darkened halls & melancholy train tracks). The darkness is literal and metaphorical. It is conceptually strong, and viscerally claustrophobic. A moving soundtrack (Alfonso Gonzalez Aguilar) echoes in the background. The grandiose vision beckons from a distance.

Despite these intriguing parameters - it is not an edge of the seat drama. The build up is excruciatingly slow. The urgency is MIA. Then again, it is about go…

Na Maloom Afraad Press Show

Published in Daily Times / 6 Oct 2014




There are two Pakistani films geared to open on Eid, both with female producers at the helm - one of them recently held a premier show for the media. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ is a term synonymous with Karachi – a sly reference to the ‘persons unknown’ who terrorize the city already on knife’s edge, and vanish without a trace. It takes skill to conjure comedy from such a bleak premise. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ finds a way.



The three leads – film veteran Javed Sheikh, Fahad Mustafa, and up and coming stars like Mohsin Abbas Haider, are in perfect sync as the upright small business man, eager beaver / insurance sales agent, and down on his luck Moon making his debut as their rent buddy in Karachi while dreaming of living large in Dubai.

Their transformation takes place in the backdrop of Karachi’s gritty streets, and as their lives unravel, the wreckage provides plenty of merriment, and some surprisingly insightful commentary about the state of the world we inh…