Skip dessert if it means having this Jalaibee
What happens when you create a lot of hype for a certain product, pose it as the best of the best, and when it is aired, the end result is not only disappointing but abhorrently low in terms of quality and value?
Jalaibee is the perfect example of such a product.
The much talked about and marketed crime caper, Jalaibee, has too many angles to be focused upon. After all, it is about the continual revival of Pakistani cinema and seeing what role Jalaibee plays in it is of key importance.
Let’s dissect Jalaibee and focus on what it is all about.
Jalaibee, in simple words, is a complicated and twisted tale of two childhood friends Billu, played by Danish Taimoor and Bugga, played by Ali Safina, who first met in an orphanage and struck a lifelong friendship ever since.
As the story continues, these two protagonists find themselves in a tight spot, where they have to pay back a hefty amount of money to the local mafia. The movie focuses on how they cope with this situation and try to wriggle their way out of it.
Except for this storyline, which has perhaps been explored for the umpteenth times, there is nothing more that Jalaibee has to offer.
Add a revenge saga plot, some political twists, an assassination plan and a 1973 Ford Mustang driving through narrow alleys and you find yourself in the midst of a cinematic disaster.
Performance and acting wise, only Dara, played by Adnan Jaffar, stands out amongst the star-studded cast. He plays the role of an antagonist and his acting promises a comeback for Pakistani cinema in terms of good performances. Sajid Hasan has also managed to deliver a decent performance. His scenes with Dara and Eman, played by Sabeeka Imam, are very well-executed.
As for Danish Taimoor, it seems like he had only one expression glued to his face throughout the film. His acting lacked creativity. Previously, we had Akshay Khanna to mock for his signature (read: monotonous) expressions but Taimoor has come about as a strong contender now.
Ali Safina, on the other hand, had his good scenes, where he performed quite ably. However, these scenes were few and far in between. On multiple occasions, Safina seemed like he was standing at the wrong place, at the wrong time, completely out of sync.
Zhalay Sarhadi, who played the character of Banno, should have improved her acting skills before signing the movie. The “I Love You” sequence is an eye-opener for those who had the slightest doubt that she can act. She completely misses the sensuality and sharpness that a bar dancer has in her dialect.
She clearly did not do her homework.
Wiqar Ali Khan, who plays the role of Ali, provides on-screen eye candy and little else. He dashing looks do not save his meagre acting.
He falls short in his performance and he fails terribly at dealing with emotional scenes.
Sabeeka Imam is average, at best. She seemed out-of-place throughout the movie, which was evident through her dialogues.
Uzair Jaswal plays a small part as a side kick, and fails to add any vibrancy to the movie.
The script lacks power, substance and dialogues which would engage the audience. At times, the characters seem to try too hard to make you laugh but all you experience is uneasiness.
The hyped up item number by Zhalay is nothing but a total fail. Calling it an item number is definitely an insult to the genre. Even Lux Style Awards’ stage performances are better than the item number “Jawaani”.
Perhaps the only thing that supports Jalaibee is its direction. The movie offers stylised dressing and sets in abundance.
If you watch Jalaibee as Pakistan’s effort to revive cinema, it can pass as a feeble attempt. But if you want to watch an entertainer that is high on content, performance, music and dialogues, then you better skip this one.
Jalaibee is akin to a home-cooked dessert lacking taste and sweetness; all you see is too much effort and too less talent.
I would rate Jalaibee a strict 1.5/5.
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