Pakistani cinema is slowly and gradually coming of age, this Eid is a testament to it. With multiple films being released this year, Superstar stands out distinctively, not just because of our very own superstar Mahira Khan playing the protagonist, but because of many other factors.
Every good film has some upsides and downsides to it, so first let’s talk about 5 reasons why Superstar is a must watch this season:
1) Pure Pakistani Content
It is a simple story of a middle-class girl with big dreams, interwoven with challenges of life and tribulations of love. The characters are all we can easily identify with, around us or within us. The storytelling is simple yet effective, good clean content devoid of any vulgarity or senseless subplots. People have been complaining that Pakistani films look like extended TV dramas but Superstar is a breath of fresh air with its authentically Pakistani content presented in a crisp and aesthetic manner.
2) Mahira Khan
She has owned each frame she is in, be it a vulnerable moment or a strong confident one. This can easily be listed among Mahira’s top 3 performances right alongside Humsafar & Verna. She embodies the sweet innocent girl next door with big dreams and her transition from there to a struggling actor to a big superstar, each shade of the character has been beautifully portrayed and she looks effortlessly stunning while doing it. Actions speak louder than words and this was the best way to answer haters, by showing them her versatility as an actor and a dancer. This is her film, through & through.
3) Bilal Ashraf
If there is an example to be given for the fruits of hard work, Bilal Ashraf should be the poster boy for that! Not only has his acting improved by leaps & bounds from his last films, but he looks so incredibly handsome on the silver screen. I had the same observation while watching Rangreza, that his screen presence is magnificent and his face was made to be on the big screen, but he lacked the acting skills which he has now more than made up for. While there is much room for improvement, you can’t help but relish the moment watching him beat up the bad guys with his intense expressions. A star is born, with high potential to be a #Superstar.
4) Songs & Music
The music, the songs, the background score – this all collectively makes Superstar a complete entertainment package. The importance of great background score has largely been ignored by many Pakistani filmmakers and watching Superstar makes you realize just how effective it is to connect with the actor’s performance if the right emotional chord is struck with the music.
The songs are all melodiously composed and beautifully picturized, with the exception of the cringe-worthy Dharak Bharak, but even this was very aptly set into the narrative of the film. No song looks out of place, in fact, the songs actually help the narrative move along at a much quicker pace, keeping the audience engaged. Kudos to Azaan Sami Khan for a fantastic job with the music.
5) Performances by Supporting Cast
Superstar may not have been the shining star it is if it hadn’t been for the incredible supporting cast. Veteran stars such as Nadeem Baig, Javed Sheikh, Marina Khan, and Asma Abbas have all done a great job despite limited screen time, leaving you wanting more. It was a treat to watch Nadeem Baig & Javed Sheikh share the screen together for what was an extremely nostalgic moment for lovers of yesteryear Pakistani cinema. Marina Khan will leave you with goosebumps and teary eyes in an incredibly powerful scene with Javed Sheikh.
The younger generation of supporting actors was tremendous as well. Ali Kazmi was great in his role as the hero’s friend while Alizeh Shah wowed the audience with her effortless expressions and the quirky persona she brought to the character.
While a part of me wishes we could have gotten to see more of the star-studded supporting cast, the rest of me is very happy that the director had the wisdom to keep it all moving at a nice crisp pace without uselessly dragging the story.
Even the best of films have their strengths and weaknesses, and Superstar is no different. The story is nothing out of the box, but the presentation & performances make it worth a watch. Some scenes were slightly difficult to digest even while allowing a margin for cinematic liberty, such as some of the courtship scenes between Noor and Sameer. While the swiftly moving storyline is important, I also wish they had worked a little more to establish the mother-son bond between Marina Khan & Bilal Ashraf as that was paramount to some events which transpire towards the second half.
All in all, Superstar is a beautifully made film with all the right ingredients; a compelling storyline, an incredible cast which performed well, melodious music – what more can one ask for? This is a film Pakistani audience can be proud to own.
If you have seen Superstar, let me know what you thought of it, and if you haven’t then go watch it now because you will not regret it.
All Image credits: Google