As a film, 7 Din Mohabbat In is absurd. It’s a suspension of all logic and senses, encouraging you to take creative control and believe in the impossible. It’s also absurd enough to allow you to believe in love, magic and the unexpected. It allows you to hope and that can never be a bad thing. Kudos to Faisal Bari Khan for writing such an emancipated script and to Farjad and Meenu for directing it to perfection. Attention to detail and special effects in the film are commendable.
The plot revolves around Tipu, played by Sheheryar Munawar, who I think nails the most important performance of his career yet. He plays a dorky, mother-pecked 29 year old loser, but there is heroism deep inside him, which he is unaware of. Munawar manages that balance quite convincingly and proves that he can act beyond the role of ‘urban cool’, which he is all too often restricted to. Tipu encounters a genie called Dwarka Prasad from Delhi (played brilliantly by Jawed Sheikh) who grants him his wish of progressing from zero to hero if he can make a girl fall in love with him in 7 days. The catch: she must have a mole on her face.
Tipu sets off on this seemingly impossible task with nothing but his friend Tingu Master’s advice for help. While the plot is riddled with clichés and seen-before-scenes (we’re all too familiar with this storyline), it’s the characters that weave interest in the plot.
Tingu Master, played by Danish Maqsood, allows a dwarf to have a normal, well-rounded role as opposed to being reduced to a caricature.
The film’s item number is performed by prominent transgender Rimal Ali, who again, is allowed to integrate in the main story without being stereotyped. Rimal’s character is being abducted by the local Don when Tipu discovers she can’t be the girl of his dreams, but instead of running off he returns to save her.
Amna Ilyas plays the feminist activist Ghazala, who heads a gang called Auratzat Ki Laat, and I love the fact that she’s the one who saves the day at the film’s climax.
Princess Sonu, played by Mira Sethi, is another girl that Tipu sets his eyes on. She lands from Bradford with a Punjabi/British accent and rebels when she finds out that she has been tricked into coming to Pakistan, to marry her incredibly sleazy cousin. Her grandmother, played by Beo Zafar (who’s an actor to look forward to on the big screen), gets drunk with the cousin (played by Adnan Shah Tipu) and helps Sonu get away.
Last of all, I personally loved Mahira’s character. She’s an orphan, raised quite harshly by her Khala – the bullish Hina Dilpazir – but she’s a dreamer not a whiner. She breaks into verse and song and dance. And when she’s heartbroken and locks herself up – Khala thinks she is about to hang herself – she emerges dramatically in a red chiffon sari and dances in the rain. It’s most refreshing to see a girl who’s an optimist instead of a victim.
Low light: The only downside to 7DMI, in my opinion, is the fact that Tipu and Neeli are first cousins, and that plays right into the hands of our national obsession with cousin marriages, which need to be discouraged on popular media.
Back to the film overview, we need to understand that we, as a nation, are held hostage to reality, which at times is stranger than fiction. What it has done is severed our senses to a point where they cannot operate beyond the real. 7DMI asks you to shake off that jaded view and love a little, live a little. Sometimes the answers are not in the 9 o’ clock news that we watch but in dreams that we dare to see.