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20 Jul

Haute Review: Teefa in Trouble is a perfect mix of humour and action

Teefa in Trouble

Despite being troubled by controversy in real life, reel-life Teefa can finally breathe a sigh of relief as his success surely is no longer in trouble.

Directed by Ahsan Rahim and starring Ali Zafar and Maya Ali in lead roles, the film premiered on Thursday to a fair share of protest and applause, which all crumbled under the film’s sheer power.

Exploring the life of a Lahori hoodlum who has been born and raised on his bebe’s love and criminally nurtured by Butt Sahab (Mehmood Aslam), we find Teefa (Ali Zafar) as a do-all street criminal for whom money and power is an aspiration. On the flipside, there’s Anya (Maya Ali) – a rebellious girl living in Poland with her father Bonzo (Javed Sheikh) and his second wife (Fia Khan), whose only mission is to do what she wants to do and not be dictated in her life choices.

So, how do these two poles apart lives actually meet? That’s the whole story!

It’s this simple; what does one do when their Polish mafioso friend, Bonzo, refuses a marriage proposal for his daughter? You call Teefa, the ace-enforcer to abduct her, of course! Narrating this exact journey, the story traverses from the crooked streets of Lahore to the scenic forests of Poland, where Teefa arrives only to truly find himself in trouble of a different kind – love.

Befriending Anya and thinking of dropping the plan to kidnap her altogether, Teefa has two options; either he does what he came here to do…or let Anya live the life she wants. Well, as the story would take it, it can’t be either of the two when there’s a whole world chasing you, can it? That’s where you just cue the right music and go on the wild ride that is Teefa.

Running for about 2 hours and 35 minutes, Teefa is a strong competitor to any film that has been successful in Pakistan. Where it lacks from a meatier story, it covers up with stellar cinematography, beautiful music, strong acting skills, and an overall comic persona of the film. In no scenes would you feel that the film lacks from the genre it’s meant to be. Do you want action, romance or humour? This film happily comprises all three! Special mention for Faisal Qureshi here, who plays an annoyingly humorous Tony Dot Shah.

That being said, there are moments in the film where unfortunately the script and structure stumble. In true Bollywood masala sense, everything just seems to happen perfectly for Teefa. He’s probably the only Pakistani street criminal who can easily get a Schengen visa in moments. At points, this unbelievable luck really makes one wonder, how much are we willing to leave our logic at home and believe what we see on the screen.

In other parts, the film’s overall length becomes an issue. If the film could have trimmed down the last half hour, it would have done wonders. Believe us when we say that the first half is so smooth that you wouldn’t realize it has already been an hour, whereas, in the second half, we could have done with twenty minutes less.

All of that taken into consideration, we’d still consider Teefa in Trouble as one of the strongest Pakistani films, to date. If this is how Ali Zafar planned on making his debut, he’s really arrived.

So, what exactly do we think of Teefa being in Trouble? 

Something Haute Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Contributing Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.