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Umro Ayyar – A visual treat you should not miss

Umro Ayyar – A visual treat you should not miss

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Umro Ayyar - A visual treat you should not miss

When it comes to Pakistan’s film industry, many filmmakers prefer to play it safe. It is a formula that may or may not work, but even if it is the latter case, there is not much to lose.

However, when it comes to experimentation, a filmmaker has more to lose than to gain in a country like Pakistan. This is not the first time a science fiction/fantasy film has been made in Pakistan.

What makes Umro Ayyar – A New Beginning different from other experiments in Pakistan? This is the first time a film of such calibre with a story different from a wedding or a rom-com or even comedy or simple action for that matter has been successful.

What attracted me to watch the film in the first place was the name Umro Ayyar itself. It is considered a childhood favourite, especially in Pakistan. If you have not read it yet, make sure to read the books. It is something both you and your children will enjoy.

The film is connected to Umro Ayyar, however the primary focus is not Umro Ayyar but Amar (Usman Mukhtar), a descendant of the legendary character. It is a modern retelling of the childhood classic. There however is a very special connection to legendary Umro Ayyar himself and it is not limited to Amar but for that you will have to see the film.

Amazing use of special effects

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The best thing about the film are its special effects. On a 1-10 scale, I would rate it 11. One can see the effort placed in the film’s special effects that needs to be applauded.

If film students in Pakistan want to learn and observe the use of special effects in a film, then this film is a wonderful reference point. How you feel about the other aspects of the film can be quite subjective but one cannot praise the film’s special effects enough and what makes it even more amazing is that all of it was done in Pakistan.

The Story

The story is a classic case of good versus evil. Amar is a university science professor who believes science is the absolute truth and thinks that Jinn and ghosts are nothing but nonsense. He does not know in the beginning that in a world outside his average realm, he is destined for something bigger, and Laqqa (Faran Tahir) and his people are after him.

Amar has to prepare himself among other Ayyars led by Guru (Manzar Sehbai) to fight against Laqqa and his army and put a stop to his rule. As the last living descendant of Umro Ayyar, he is the destined one that can put a stop to it, however, it will be no easy feat as it’s a very different transition from a university professor to a chosen fighter and that too in a limited time.

Actors were completely comfortable in their element

With the exception of Faran Tahir, who shines in his role as Laqqa, this was a new genre for many of the actors involved but it seemed like they were quite comfortable in their element as it seemed like nothing new to them.

Usman Mukhtar plays the protagonist with pure brilliance. Sanam Saeed as Meena, Ali Kazmi as Maaz, and Salman Shaukat as Azam were amazing supporting characters.

The rivalry and tension between Amar and Maaz was an interesting element to the film. Manzar Sehbai as Guru, Adnan Siddiqui as Amar’s father, and Simi Raheal as Farhana had such a brilliant presence and added so much colour to the film that you would forget that they were acting because they were so absorbed in their character.

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Hamza Ali Abbasi plays a very special role in the film and he does a marvellous job at it. Osama Karamat (OCL) has a cameo in the film and while I have always been a fan of his rapping with his songs like The Balance and Desi Thumka with Nouman Khalid, seeing him on the big screen was a treat too.

Uloomi Karim and Shehroz Sunny both had minor role but made their presence known.

There were three actors who really stood out to me. Asad Chauhdry might be a new name to Pakistan’s entertainment industry but he has shown his versatility in a limited time. I remember him playing a nerdy character in Green Entertainment’s College Gate. He played the part of Safeer really well. He might be one of Pakistan’s biggest names in the near future.

Sana Fakhar as Cheena Bai, the secondary antagonist and Laqqa’s follower, did an amazing job. If more films or television shows are made in sci-fi/fantasy genre, she would be the preferred choice of an antagonist.

Danyal Raheal was another standout actor in his role as Babar. If there was one actor’s storyline that I found the most interesting, that would have to be Babar and Danyal Raheal did justice to his character.

Direction and Screenplay

Azfar Jafri showcases his direction prowess with this film. The element of direction needs to be applauded as one could see how much hard work was put into that department.

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Atif Rehan Siddiqui as the screenwriter played his part well too. The story was engaging but the writing was pretty good as well. There were certain complexities that might have been hard to understand but if you find a film’s writing complex but at the same time engaging and want to know what’s happening, then that is an example of a successful formula.

If there is ever a sequel which there should be and will be, these two need to be responsible for it otherwise the sequel might not work.

What Next?

I watched the film on a Monday at a cinema in London. There was not much of an audience as it was a working day but unfortunately, a lot of people missed out on something amazing that day.

As the film ended, many people celebrated by clapping, and a lot of people that were there for the 7:20pm show at Vue in Westfield Stratford on June 17 can vouch for this. There were a few shouts of a sequel as well from the audience.

As much as I would love a sequel, this film needs two prequels as well. You need to watch the film to understand why I want a prequel and why two prequels specifically.

Umro Ayyar is a visual treat that you cannot miss. You have to watch it. I cannot wait for it to be released on OTT but this film is an amazing cinematic experience. If films like this are made, they will show how relevant cinemas are in the age of streaming.

I know I have said a lot but when films like this are made, it forces you to say something. So you need to go to your nearest cinema right now and watch it. It will be an amazing decision on your part.

Overall rating: 10/10

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Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

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Noor Xarmina crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024

Noor Xarmina from Islamabad has been crowned Miss Universe Pakistan 2024 and will represent Pakistan at the 73rd Miss Universe competition in Mexico this November.

Noor’s diverse upbringing across nine different countries shaped her global perspective.

She studied biology and business and worked as a venture capital investor in London before pursuing a career in acting and modeling.

In her free time, she enjoys running for mental clarity. Noor aims to increase Pakistani representation in the international entertainment industry. The first runner-up is Nimra Jacob.

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Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

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Shaheera Jalil joins star cast of Selahaddin Eyyubi Season 2

The makers have reportedly “confirmed” that Shaheera Jalil Albasit, who is known for her role in drama series Razia, has now joined the star cast in Season 2 of the mega project Selahaddin Eyyubi.

Earlier in November last year, Shaheera appeared on Amna Isani’s Haute Talk, where she shared some inside information about the auditions for the Selahaddin Eyyubi series.

Shaheera explained, “In 2021, I auditioned for the Pakistan-Turkey joint venture Selahaddin Eyyubi. It was a formal process; I applied, received a call, and traveled to Karachi. I was thrilled and surprised to see amazing actors like Ushna Shah and Ayesha Omar there.

The auditions were conducted by the Turkish team. I was selected out of 60 people, which was a significant achievement. Standing next to actors like Humayun Saeed felt like a milestone. After being selected, I thought I was set with a role in a Turkish drama.

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The drama has since been completed, but none of us are in it. They selected

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Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

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Khalilur Rehman released after abduction, police register case

The Lahore police on Sunday registered a case on the complaint of eminent writer Khalilur Rehman Qamar that he was kidnapped and tortured.

Qamar is a famous writer and has given the industry some major hits. He is also known to have some controversial views on a variety of subjects.

According to the details, a woman named Amina had called Qamar to her house saying she wanted to make a drama and when he reached the woman’s house, the armed men kidnapped him.

The Payare Afzal writer had to give a huge sum of money to the kidnappers for his release.

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Later the Sundar police registered a case of the incident based on his statement.

In the FIR, it is mentioned that the accused kept on torturing Qamar and kept moving him to different places, the accused threatened to kill him and asked him to request for more money from his relatives.

It was further stated in the FIR that the accused had transferred Rs250, 000 from Qamar’s mobile phone and also took his watch, cash and ATM card.
 

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