KARACHI : It’s not a review it’s an outburst. A sudden release of emotions that took place after something expectedly horrible deceived me into being a little less of a disappointment eventually ended up exceeding my expectations in foolishness. Raasta begins with a bruised and battered Sahir Lodhi taking us back into the lives of other characters through a narration. Sultan, (Aijaz Aslam) an accomplished Police Officer is a brother to a qualified yet unemployed Sameer (Sahir Lodhi). Sultan keeps on getting transferred for his tiffs with leading gangsters whereas his wife (Sana) leaves no stone unturned to be his and Sameer’s support system. The film is well shot and well performed until Sameer falls in love and a highly overrated Naveed Raza as Sherry, proves to be his nemesis and a stumbling block in Sultan’s fight for justice. What unfolds from hereon is neither worth sharing nor watching.
Sahir Lodhi’s golden streaked strands may leave you numb, but still, emotions manage to leak out of every inch of every frame, as if the film was taking place inside Lodhi’s hypothalamus. It was indeed conceived somewhere in there and he was generous enough to open it for public exhibition and scrutiny. Unsurprisingly, there wasn’t much to scrutinise inside, it seemed like a place eons away from new age; an unexplored piece of land where 90s Bollywood proceeded the dark ages with no hope of renaissance at all. As people from the modern world you’d have no choice but to deny and pretend like it never happened. Ha… only if you could!
The film stays with you like a shadow and no amount of light, caramel popcorn or self-assurances can eclipse it. The concept that is Sahir Lodhi – seamlessly diffuses into your head and multiplies like there’s no tomorrow, but unfortunately there is. You will have to drive back home, take your kids for the weekend outing, bear with the tantrums of your better halves and Raasta leaves no room for it.
It’s like the third pill that was never offered to Neo in the Matrix. Once you’re in it, there is no coming out of the half-hearted actions sequences, flat dialogue deliveries and the confusing cathartic experience that Sahir Lodhi directorial tries to offer. It’s a lesson for everyone that you require a lot more than a certain ‘feel’ to your personality to connect with the cinema going audience. Unlike radio listeners, cine goers relate with what you do on screen not what you say you can do.
Lodhi’s potential as a performer cannot be undermined and the fact that he has managed to create his own subculture over a relatively short period of time speaks volumes about his influence as an artist. He knows the pulse of what is popularly known as the lowest common denominator better than your leading heroes but in the end of the day, he doesn’t fit the archetype of what comprises a hero on the big screen.
You need to have some sort of an X factor to rule the big screen. If you’re not a Fawad Khan per se then be noted for your skill set like Fahad Mustafa and work towards your weaknesses. Be as talented as so many Napa (National Academy of Performing Arts) actors who are playing small but very significant roles in mainstream Pakistani films. You can’t just wrap yourself in a skin-fitted leather jacket and make the pistol in your hand account for your gangster attitude; that’s a disgrace to the craft and to so many quality actors. If you think people who pay Rs600 to come to cinema are going to buy that attitude – then that’s sheer stupidity, not confidence.
Verdict: People will judge you for watching this film
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