The first official trailer of Balu Mahi is out and it’s nothing like Bajirao Mastani, as was being speculated. Yes, the first poster did appear inspired but thankfully the similarities ended there. Balu Mahi does remind one of several Indian films rolled together – there are several ‘been there scene that’ moments, from the cute meet to the headstrong, rebellious girl to the mystery woman who the hero is apparently in love with. We can safely bet that the mystery woman will be a stunning Sadaf Kanwal (barely visible in the trailer so truly kept a mystery) and that Osman Khalid Butt (Balu, short for Bilal) and Ainy Jaffri (Mahi) will fall in love. But somehow, the resemblances to old Bollywood films don’t bother us.
Balu Mahi looks a bit predictable but the trailer is cut well and it appears fun just the same. God knows we need an unapologetically glamorous, fun film that doesn’t require a lesson in psychology to decipher. It looks like a well shot film with a glamorous, good looking cast and some catchy, foot tapping music. Haissam Hussain does come with a lot of expectations because if you remember, he was last directing and walking out of Bin Roye because of speculated creative differences with the producers. And after directing several hit TV dramas (he also won several Lux Style Awards for Best Director for Dastaan, Aunn Zara and Durre Shahwar) he is now trying his craft in filmmaking. To his credit, the trailer does not look like a drama teaser either.
I especially enjoyed the appearances of Shafqat Cheema and Durdana Butt because the 80s style Punjabi Chaudhry has been missing from the big screen and brings back fond memories; it’s even better as he’s meant to be comic this time around.
The only problem, and only time will convince one otherwise, is the acting capabilities of both Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jaffri. They look good but can they act and are they convincing enough to carry the film to success? Yes, they both have TV experience but the big screens demands a larger than life persona and that’s always our concern when TV actors switch over. That’s something we’ll have to brood over till we see more.