I haven’t seen Siyah, so I don’t know what to expect from (director) Azfar Jafri, but the lead trio – Armeena Khan, Bilal Ashraf and Ali Rehman Khan are pretty much known to us. Armeena we know via Bin Roye; I’m still not convinced that she can act. She’s a pretty face, and that more or less describes Bilal Ashraf as well. We’ve seen him as Brand Ambassador for HSY and we know he’ll be appearing in the endlessly ‘upcoming’ Yalghaar. Armeena and Bilal are both easy on the eyes so we don’t mind them at all. Ali Rehman Khan, however, is the most anticipated part of this trio; his work in Diyar e Dil and the fact that he’s a theatre actor gives us the promise of a good performance. And the trailer proves as much.
What else does the first full length trailer of the film – a substantial 2 mins 59 seconds of reel – reveal? It looks like it reveals everything. Janaan appears to be the story of three people; two boys who are in love with the same girl. It plays in the situational-comedy genre with fun dialogues and whacky incidents being the star attraction. Written by funny man Osman Khalid Butt, the film does promise to be fun, if nothing else. The question is: will there be anything else, like a strong story or a twist in the tale, for example? Or will it be a chain of senseless yet comedic incidents?
It sure does look pretty, at the risk of repeating the word ‘pretty’. Shot in Islamabad and Swat, the film’s main intention was to promote and put Pakistan’s northern areas in a bright light and that purpose does seem to have been achieved, which is good enough. I have to remind everyone that the film’s initial excitement was generated by the fact that it was Reham Khan’s foray into cinema. And now, can the feel good factor of seeing a cleaned-up Swat Valley on the big screen make up for any flaws the film may have? That, only time will tell.
- Janaan is expected to release on September 13, 2016.