After releasing two parts of her animated film series, 3 Bahadur, two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy premiered the last sequel, 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors on Thursday night in Karachi.
Featuring new characters voiced by Pakistan’s top celebrities like Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat, and Nimra Bucha, the film is set out to entertain children and adults alike as the story of Saadi, Kamil, and Amna comes to an end. However, the question remains; did the end to the three-part series bring anything new to the table?
Exploring once again the lives of the 11-year-old trio, the plot of 3 Bahadur: RotW largely looks at the entry of two feuding powerful characters – Erma (voiced by Mehwish Hayat) and Babushka (voiced by Nimra Bucha) from an alien land called ‘Poshinia’ who accidentally make it into the world of Azad Nagri. The revelation about who the two whimsical characters really are, and how the ‘3 Bahadur’ will tackle issues rising because of the new entrants onto their land such as famine and the entry of evil forces is what the subsequent story delves into.
Albeit the film is not extraordinarily unique and still follows the formulaic narrative the previous two parts have utilized, 3 Bahadur: RotW is a step towards the right direction. It has managed to introduce new characters, without caricaturing their narrative too much, while also properly culminating the story of the series. Adding onto it, for the first time, it also felt like SOC has managed to do away with adding a myriad of exhortations throughout the film.
However, 3 Bahadur: Rise of the Warriors is far from perfection.
While the film may have given the series a much cleaner palette to work on than the first two, the issue remains the lack of development in any of the characters in the film. Three films in, Saadi, Kamil and Amna still are as unappealing to children – as it was visible during the screening – as they were to the adults. One wonders if keeping the characters stuck to their archetypal characteristics really helped the film at all.
On the other hand, the film’s animation still signals towards an archaic design, which seems to have gotten no better since the time when the first film released in 2015. At a time when Pakistan has released not one but many films with better animation such as The Donkey King and Allahyar and the Legend of Markhor, it’s a shame that there has been no advancement in this series.
However, none of the aforementioned issues are as big as unnecessary branding exercises and product placements of which, it seems 3 Bahadur always seems to draw the shorter straw. One wonders, for a film that is all about fighting evil and keeping things safe, how does converging the animated world with a fast-food eatery help in moving the discourse forward.
All in all, while the film is probably the better one of the three, it still falters at places where by now, it shouldn’t. However, with new animated projects by Sharmeen releasing soon, one can only hope there are bigger and better things in the market for the Pakistani audiences.
Something Haute Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars