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Jinn there, done that: Daghabaaz Dil fizzles out

Wajahat Rauf's latest Eid release struggles with an uneven narrative, underwhelming performances and forgettable music

By Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui |
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PUBLISHED April 22, 2024

There are film directors who select a niche and then start their journey. Wajahat Rauf seems to be one of those, but what if instead of memorable, adventurous and exciting, the journey becomes monotonous?

In 2015, he made his filmmaking debuted with a comedy Karachi Se Lahore. Luckily, for him, the story and plot was refreshing and the film was liked by the audience.

In 2016, he released Lahore Se Aagey, Chhalawa in 2019 and Parde Mein Rehne Do in 2022 — all these films were comic and as per some, family entertainers. His latest film, released on Eid ul Fitr this year, is Daghabaaz Dil. It stars Ali Rehman Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Momin Saqib as main leads, whereas veteran actors such as Babar Ali, Saleem Sheikh, Beo Raana Zafar and Laila Wasti are included in the supporting cast. The movie is a mix of romance, comedy and horror; at least that’s what the trailer of the movie emphasised on.

Horror comedies are a difficult genre. Not many can satisfy audiences because a film belonging to this genre needs to have a strong execution, a screenplay that is nail biting and storyline that glues them to their seats. Several Pakistani filmmakers have tried their luck with horror comedies in the past, but none succeeded in impressing the audience to a fraction. Let’s look at what the film has in store for its viewers.

The story of Daghabaaz Dil revolves around Zoya and Faris. Their grandmother wants them to get married since she wants to see her sons to make peace over a rift between them. Being an obedient and good at heart boy, Faris, willfully obeys his grandmother’s decision but Zoya, being a headstrong, confident and self-reliant girl cannot digest the idea of marrying someone on such a short and abrupt notice. Faris tries to make Zoya understand their grandmothers’ point and asks her to take the first step of being friends with one another.

Things move from one point to another, while some misunderstandings take place between Zoya and Faris that lead to their break up. What might have happened is for the viewers the find out. The story also revolves around a supernatural being i.e. a jinn, who falls in love with Zoya. Will he be able to win her heart?

There are plenty of other characters in the film as well as some actors of calibre such as Babar Ali, Saleem Sheikh, Beo Raana Zafar etc. but none of them succeed in making a mark. Babar Ali’s character is very stern and his scope to perform to his best is limited.

Saleem Sheikh is really good at comedies, for those who have watched his dramas and films would vouch for that, but in this film he doesn’t get any meat to grab with his teeth. Beo Raana Zafar is typical; she does the same that she has been doing in her previous three ventures.

Daghabaaz Dil ventures into the realm of storytelling with promising potential but unfortunately falls short of expectations, leaving audiences disenchanted and perplexed. Initially presenting itself as a simple love story, the film swiftly veers into a labyrinth of genres, losing its footing in the process. The transition from romance to horror comedy is jarring, lacking the finesse needed to maintain a clear narrative thread.

Despite a commendable ensemble cast featuring the likes of Mehwish Hayat, Momin Saqib, and Ali Rehman Khan, their performances are eclipsed by a tangled web of subplots and underdeveloped characters. The central conflict, centred around family inheritance and debt, feels contrived and fails to resonate with viewers on an emotional level.

The introduction of supernatural elements, including the revelation of Moon as a 'jinn,' further muddles an already convoluted storyline. This sudden deviation into the realm of paranormal activity feels forced and poorly executed, detracting from the film's overall coherence.

In addition, the film's attempts at humour often misses the mark, relying on tired clichés and exaggerated accents that do little to enhance the viewing experience. Instead of eliciting genuine laughter, these comedic moments come across as contrived and artificial, leaving audiences questioning the creative direction of the film.

Daghabaaz Dil suffers from a lack of a cohesive point of view, hindering its ability to engage viewers on a deeper level. A narrative told through the perspective of the jinn’s character could have added layers of complexity to the story, offering insight into his motivations and struggles. However, the film's aimless meandering leaves audiences feeling disconnected and disillusioned.

The film's tonal inconsistencies exacerbate its narrative shortcomings, resulting in a disjointed viewing experience. Without a unified perspective to anchor the storytelling, Daghabaaz Dil feels like a haphazard collection of scenes rather than a consistent cinematic journey.

For any film, performances matter a lot. Audiences feel engaged and entertained if they watch good performances and scenes that they can connect with. In this film, besides having some decent actors the performances are not as per the expectations. For instance, Mehwish Hayat, as Zoya, doesn’t bring anything new to the movie. Her character reminds one of her films such as Chhalawa and London Nahi Jaunga. There are a few confrontational scenes where audiences cannot help but think of Chhalawa, which was also directed by Wajahat Rauf. Daghabaaz Dil should have had some uniqueness that could have been add to Hayat’s scenes and their execution. She is an amazing actor who never fails to impress her fans and audiences, but this time she must have been in another zone; or perhaps the script was weak as even the dialogues don’t offer recall value.

Ali Rehman Khan is a versatile actor from the TV industry but films are totally a different ball game. As Faris, he is just about okay and doesn’t has much to offer. He plays the character of a conventional fellow, and the vibe is vanilla. Apart from a few scenes, he couldn’t impress his audience. It felt as though he was not invested in his character.

Momin Saqib, as Moon (the Jinn), suffers from a poor writing. His dialogues are not impressive and don’t offer much depth to his character. In a way, he is not utilised to his potential, one could feel him enacting himself, the TikToker playing the jinn. In a few scenes he could have stood out, but his character is shown to be quite shallow.

There are many songs in the film, yet none have any recall. Once you exit the theatre, you cannot remember any song of the movie. For an Eid release, having not a single good song sound pretty dull.

In retrospection, it appears that in the past few years on Eid, the audience is served with storylines that revolve around a basic theme of two, poles apart, families coming together for a big fat wedding where some unusual and eccentric characters are loaded, a few elderly figures who are loud, and totally get on your nerves. Another potential candidate who is there to allure the girl, shifting her focus from the main lead. There are some misunderstandings, some jokes are cracked here and there, and some family tussles. This is exactly what Daghabaaz Dil is also about. The only difference here is the character of a jinn. But even this character is not very impactful because of multiple reasons.

Moon, the jinn, is a childhood friend of Faris who grew up with him, playing with or rescuing him. Moon has no background story, but he is present in the story to appear just when he is needed, and the scenes are joined abruptly. If this character had a little depth, and the film had better treatment, Daghabaaz Dil could have been quite entertaining and engaging.

Those who want to spend their Eidis on a film that offers nothing more than a simple story, similar to any Eid drama on TV or if you are a fan of Mehwish Hayat, then go and watch Daghabaaz Dil. There is nothing in particular that can be pointed out as an outstanding element of the film that can entertain the audience. Yes, there are a few comedy scenes in this romcom which may tickle you but those come much later in the film or in the climax, to be precise.

I rate Daghabaaz Dil 2 out of 5 stars because of below-average performances, unentertaining treatment and execution and forgetful music.


Shafiq Ul Hasan Siddiqui is an avid movie buff, and film and drama critic and a digital inbound marketer. He tweets @shafiqulhasan81

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