Movie review: There’s no limit to how much a film can move you

It’s a very sensitive topic handled just as sensitively. And all credit for that goes to [ad] filmmaker Asim Raza.

Behadd (Limitless), a romcom telefilm by Hum TV, was premiered at Karachi’s brand new monument Cinepax (at Ocean Mall, Clifton) on Saturday. There was barely anyone in the audience who wasn’t moved by the nicely written script and the brilliant performances.

The plot is incredibly easy to predict, but the beauty of the film is that you still want to watch it. Masooma (Nadia Jamil) is a doting single mother who practically lives for her 15-year-old daughter Maha (Sajjal Ali). Through her job, she is reunited with Jamal (Fawad Khan) the younger brother of her bachpan ki dost and they are both overjoyed. As they catch up over a cup of coffee, Masooma tells Jamal about her husband’s death and Jamal tells her about his failed marriage with an American girl. Masooma takes it upon herself to find a girl for Jamal but eventually he ends up proposing to her. Masooma speaks to Maha, who on the face of it says yes but is deeply distressed by her mother’s decision and, in her insecurity, destroys Masooma and Jamal’s relationship. However, the ending is a happy one – predictably, again – but it is so sweet and so well-executed that even the most cynical audience member cannot help but cheer.

Nadia Jamil is, as expected, excellent in her role. She looks lovely and is perfectly natural as a mother. Her role in Behadd is quite similar to the character she played in Meray Paas Paas (a play by Hum TV circa 2005) but it is a testament to her versatility how differently she has done this role compared to that one. Fawad Khan is about as good and has truly, truly grown as an actor, which we saw in Humsafar and the recently concluded Zindagi Gulzar Hai. It is such a wonderful experience, seeing him on the big screen even if it is not a feature film. I seriously hope that he has some feature films coming up in the pipeline – and hopefully one where he plays the quintessential romantic that he does so well.

While Nadia Jamil is the star of the film, kudos to Sajjal who has done a very nice job as the somewhat spoilt yet perceptive young girl who has grown up having her mother as her one-and-only. Nadia Afgan is also great as Shafaq, Masooma’s best friend from work, and adds a lot of colour with her natural flamboyant style.

What was a surprise for me though is the progressive message of the plot. Behadd is written by Umera Ahmed, of the Shehr-e-Zaat and Zindagi Gulzar Hai fame. I am not a fan of her writing, because I feel that it is full of regressive ideas and sweeping statements, like the girl who wears jeans is the evil one and the one who wraps a dupatta round her head is the good one. In this telefilm, however, she has taken a position in favour of a woman, a mother, marrying again and that too a man younger than her.

All in all, I have little bad to say about the film other than the fact that the plot is utterly predictable. It is heartening to see managers of Hum TV, the television channel that singlehandedly steered us out of the reign of awful Indian [and Pakistani] soaps, taking such an initiative. Moomal Productions’ choice of plots is always interesting, and I think it is great that people with artistic sensibilities like that are now looking towards entering cinema. I am hopeful that the revival of Pakistani cinema is nigh if media professionals like these continue to produce film after feature film.

Verdict: Watch out for it on TV and don’t miss! It’s a really sweet film, which is also very well made. An evening well-spent! 



7 thoughts on “Movie review: There’s no limit to how much a film can move you

  1. As a reviewer you have the responsibility of getting your facts right before making “sweeping statements” like Umera Ahmed wrote Humsafar. She is one of the best writers we have currently and I have never felt her being regressive.

  2. I enjoyed the telefilm – it was one I could watch with the entire family and I am so pleased that we did. I love the fact that it took on issues which permeate our society in so many ways.
    I respect your views about Umera Ahmed’s writing but I’ve found her to be delightfully intellectual and consider her to be a brave writer of our time. The powerful views which I’ve seen her portray in many of her dramas (e.g. Daam) took me back to a time when a Pakistani woman was portrayed as strong yet vulnerable. I think those qualities are beautifully portrayed in her scripts and the very real characters she presents.
    Kudos to Hum TV for being so professional and engaging; they have promoted dialogue to take place in all kinds of groups. Plus, having directors such as Asim Raza bringing such plays to life in so gentle yet so beautiful a manner is what I feel deserves more than an award. The entire team from the cast to the crew should get fan mail flowing in from all parts of the country. Such talent should not go unappreciated.
    Also, thank you for writing this review. Now I’ve got an eloquently penned opinion to share with my family abroad in convincing them to spend some time hearing this story! 🙂

    • Hi Makola,
      Thank you for your very detailed response and the words of praise.
      I agree with you that sometimes, Ms. Ahmed’s work is refreshing but for the most part, I have found her to be gravitating towards established social norms which really could be challenged. For instance, I hated the way Zindagi Gulzar Hai ended. But, of course, it’s all about tastes. I also really appreciate the fact that she has become such a household name solely because of her talent, even though she comes from one of the smaller cities of Pakistan (Sialkot). Success stories like those always make me very happy!

  3. Hello mam
    Just wondering y u didn’t lykd the ending of zindagi gulzar hai?beautifully written characters n strong message also..amazing show.

    • Hi Kakul,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I didn’t like the way it ended because the character gravitates to established social norms and I would have liked that to not have been the case, since the character started off as someone who doesn’t believe in societal characterizations like women should behave in this or that way. I am glad you enjoyed it, it was a very good TV show.

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