Two people are fishing for their dinner but as they unroll their fishing rod, what do they get? A Shoe!! (surprise!surprise!). This sums up Lahore Se Aagey in terms of predictability and tiresomeness.
In a nutshell, LSA is the story of a rich girl (typically love deprived) who wants to be a pop star but is engaged to a guy who looks down upon her hobby. She has a chance encounter with Moti, who is trying to escape from two villains, and eager to escape her own life, agrees to give him a ride to Swat where Moti’s dying Mamoon has called him urgently. If the plot rings a bell in your ears, chances are you must have gone deaf by now. The plot is stale and the sequences between the lead pair are flat. Tara (Saba Qamar) falls for the stuttering Moti (Yasir Hussain) after meeting him just once and it is quite unconvincing. In short, the chemistry is missing from the word go!
The film will also remind you of Mohib Mirza and Sanam Saeed’s film Bachaana, which in comparison was done much tastefully than LSA.
Saba Qamar who was earlier seen in Manto, in what was touted to be one of her best performances, acts well and looks the part but the role itself offers nothing significant. It’s a role that actresses today would be wary of doing because it doesn’t give any margin to shine. Yasir Hussain’s comic timing is good but then how many times are you going to spend to watch him stutter? Also his punch lines make his performance extremely monotonous. I’m not sure why Atiqa Odho wasted herself in a role like Shama Begum, a ‘madam’ in a tastelessly designed set of a brothel. One performance that stands out and manages to stay above the infantile romp is Abdullah Farhatullah. The ease with which he spreads laughter in the hall, makes you watch out for this actor in better times when our cinema has better scripts to offer. There are numerous cameos in the film and they prove to be the caches that keep the audience interested, if at all.
The music of the film is extremely passable. Unfortunately there is also a song and dance set piece at every turn in the film, which makes it quite a boring affair. Watching LSA here in Dubai, one could sense the unease, boredom and fidgeting from people eager to leave the hall. ‘Kalabaz Dil’ is a beautiful number with Saba Qamar looking beautiful but the situation in which that song was dragged into the film makes one cringe. No, actually what will make you cringe is the another song/dance situation where Tara and Moti get caught by a jungle-tribe (yes you read it correctly) and Moti has to compete in a dance-off with tribal dancer Hassan Rizvi. This has to be one of the worst sequences in cinema history.
Making a sequel is more than taking the tone and setting from the first film and resetting it in a different place. Producers that set their eyes on the bottom line find sequels an easy way to call in swag-bags of hard-cash. But I am not sure if Lahore Se Aagay will be able to do any good for the producers. Besides some interesting cameos by Ali Zafar, Ali Haider, Frieha Altaf and Munib Nawaz and some witty remarks and digs at fellow industry members, the rest of the film is utterly insipid. The only thing that might work in its favour is the time of release when Indian content and films are completely banned and masses at the moment are entertainment hungry. But let me warn you, this will leave you craving for good cinema even more.
The film is mediocre till the bitter end and it leaves us waiting for Dobara Phir Se even more. Watch it with your valet on standby!
Sadiq Saleem is a Dubai based entertainment journalist. He is also an SH correspondent and can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso