The one thing that gives a Shaan Shahid film a head start, first and foremost, is the fact that it cannot look like a glorified drama. With years of experience on the silver screen, Shaan immediately brings cinematic value to anything he steps into. The fact that he’s assembled a very talented cast in Humaima Malik, Mohib Mirza and Uzma Hassan just makes his film all the more stronger. The trailer for Arth: The Destination just released and one has to admit, it is intriguing.
Arth: The Destination is a remake of the 1982 Mahesh Bhatt classic but one would like to observe and enjoy it independently for a minute. Or three. In this film Ali (Shaan) is shown as a fading artist who decides to return to Pakistan (from London) to reboot his music career. He is encouraged by a fan, Uzma (Uzma Hassan), who is writer by day and disgruntled housewife by night. Uzma’s husband Umar (Mohib Mirza) is a filmmaker and is shown to fall in lust with screen siren Humaima Malik (who goes by her own name). The premise is pretty much the same as the classic but the treatment is obviously different.
The casting has been done very intelligently, as it appears everyone fits into their characters perfectly. Uzma Hassan as the disillusioned housewife and Humaima as the diva. One has to also appreciate the fact that the film indulges in romance the way it should. There are hints of passion and raunchiness and it’s far from clinical. Ref: the hotel room scene. The problem with getting TV actresses on film is that they almost always want to hold onto their puritanical image as to not offend their TV-fans. Cinema demands a little more sizzle and spice and that spice is evident in Arth: The Destination. One didn’t expect Shaan to shy away from heat and thankfully he has risen to expectations.
“Purani cheez kissi ko pasand nahin aati yaar,” are lines that Shaan speaks when his career doesn’t take off as he had hoped and incidentally, they may also ring true for Shaan’s own career in Lollywood. Having kept Pakistan’s film industry going for years – albeit via crass Punjabi flicks – Shaan has had trouble adjusting to this new age cinema we talk about. But with Arth: The DestinationÂ it appears he’s about to wave a flag for all that he brings to a film.
A film that entertains unapologetically without delivering a sermon? A film that doesn’t look like a glorified tele-drama? Hell yes, bring it on!
Arth – The Destination releases on December 21, 2017