‘Bol’ screened in London, wins over media critics
Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Eros International screened on Thursday critically acclaimed Pakistani film “Bol” at a theatre at the company’s headquarters here in Manchester Square to a selected group of showbiz critics from the British Asian ethnic media.
Directed by Shoaib Mansoor of ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ fame, starring Atif Aslam, Iman Ali, Mahira Khan, Manzar Sehbai, the film has won plaudit from critics in Pakistan and India and has seen the record number of viewers turning up at the cinemas. The film is being released in the UK on 30th of August in 21 sites, including the prestigious Empire Leicester Square.
Bol is a gripping drama dealing with harsh and real life issues of the status of women, the underclass of homosexuals, sectarian tension lines, the reality of red light areas in the heart of Pakistan, the hypocrisy of the clergy, police corruption, conservatism and attitude towards women. Killing in the name of honour is a subject in the film which has become a hot topic in the west in recent years.
Promoted by Geo films and Jang Group, there is a huge excitement in Britain about the film as the entertainment columns, especially of ethnic media, have been mention the success of the film for many weeks now.
Leading showbiz critics who watched the film here were full of praise for the acclaimed director who has been credited with dealing with highly controversial and taboo subjects with effortless brilliance.
Asjad Nazir, top film critic and renowned entertainment writer told The News that the film is “tremendously brave and very powerful”.
“Bol is a thought provoking film that should be watched by everyone. Apart from being a gripping drama, this is an important film that sheds light on a number of important issues. Great performances from the entire cast elevate the drama to a higher level.
“The only thing that will prevent this from being a film that crosses over is the fact that it’s too long and that it could have been better technically. Hopefully this will be a first proper step towards resurrecting Pakistani cinema.”
Ashanti Omkar, Bollywood editor for BBC Publishing, found the film adult-themed and shocking in the sense that it deals with the real life issues of South Asian culture with up-front bravery. “The acting is good and the heroine of the film (Humaima Malik) is really good with what she did but I would have liked to see happier and progressive side of Pakistan but kudos to the director for creating the Hakeem character (Manzar Sehbai) we hate so much.”
Raj & Pablo, presenters of Love Bollywod on BBC Asian Network and B4U Bollywood Showdown, described the film as “very powerful, gripping and full of fantastic performances”.
“We loved it, the director excels in this film and visually its stunning too. Bol presents the social issues in a positive way. It leaves it to the viewers to decide what is right and what is wrong. The release of this film is a plus point for the Lollywood and shows the massive Pakistani talent is there, there are brilliant directors and actors but their work need to be highlighted more. The film is slightly long and we think it could have been edited a bit more.”
Amit Roy, a veteran London based Bollywood critic and author of the Asian Rich List, loved the film and was impressed and gave the film “8 out of 10”. “It deal with difficult issues in a very modern way.
The central character of Hakim is trying to do his best for his family but he is a prisoner of the circumstances, cultures and traditions. In Shoaib Mansoor and Bol characters, we have Asian stars.
“I was in Lahore a few months ago and the film reminded me of the rich texture and colours of the beautiful old city. The film also shows that the film-making quality of Pakistani shouldn’t be underestimated.”
Amer Shoaib of Cinema Journal said that more films like Bol should come out of Pakistan to the wider audience to show how good Pakistanis actors and directors are. “The film should receive great reception wherever it goes for it has all the hallmarks and the characteristics of a successful film.”
Source: The News