Film review: Love Mein Ghum - coming back to life

Published: September 20, 2011
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One wishes that more of an effort had been made with the scriptwriting and directing.

One wishes that more of an effort had been made with the scriptwriting and directing.

Though I reached the theatre mere minutes before the evening show of Reema’s latest offering, Love Mein Ghum, contrary to all expectations, more than half the cinema was available for booking. Reema’s sophomore directorial venture features a star-studded cast: Muammar Rana, Javed Sheikh, Jia Ali, Nadeem Baig, Nabeel Khan, Ali Saleem, Johny Lever, Afzal Khan (Rambo), and, of course, Reema herself in the lead role. But this adaptation of Paulo Coelho’s novel Veronica Decides to Die barely passes as a decent piece of film-making. In fact, only fifteen people stayed till the end of the film, a testimony to the quality of entertainment on offer.

Reema plays a library assistant at a Malaysian university, whose name is Maria Joseph but who, for some odd reason is called ‘Zindagi’. Zindagi is disappointed in love with Wilson (Nabeel Khan), a student at the university, who, despite coming from an English-speaking origin, speaks with a heavy Pakistani. Side by side, Ali (Muammar Rana) is a man whose father (Javed Sheikh) ignores him, choosing instead to shower attention on his wife (a smouldering Jia Ali). After a failed suicide attempt, Ali and Zindagi end up falling in love at a rehabilitation centre where Dr Kanwal (Nadeem) comes to their rescue. The story might seem predictable right now, but to find out how hilariously pointless it is, one actually has to watch the movie. Towards the end, the director raises false hopes of an unexpected twist but that attempt soon peters out.

The film as a whole is under-directed and underperformed with some of the legends of Pakistani cinema being wasted in their roles. There are a couple of perfect long takes in the movie which signify the command Nadeem Baig and Javed Sheikh have over acting; one wishes there was more for them to deliver. Rana no longer has the gandasa and looks good without a huge moustache while the best that can be said about Reema’s performance is that at least she is not dancing around in the fields of Punjab. It seems that while the actors’ attires have undergone transformation, their dialogue delivery and expressions have not moved on. Johnny Lever fails to fake a Sindhi accent, Rambo does a good job of being Rambo and Ali Saleem gives ‘Begum Nawazish’ a film appearance, nothing more than that. The attempted comedy of errors by the three of them doesn’t make sense.

A decent script can be the saving grace of any film; but Love Mein Ghum is replete with bad one-liners accompanied by excessive dialogue where visuals could have easily done the job. The repeated use of the word ‘Zindagi’ with the character’s name does not have the effect intended. The film hits a real low when Zindagi, waking up after her attempted suicide, asks the doctor: “Kia yeh jannat hai?” The music here is as good as bad 80s Bollywood music, although Reema got all the renowned playback singers from Bollywood to sing for this film.

Reema does take Pakistani cinema forward by a baby step with Luv Mein Gum. The film is well-shot and edited, the supporting dancers are beautiful and Reema looks stunning most of the time. But that’s as far as it goes. One wishes that more of an effort had been made with the scriptwriting and directing – then perhaps we would have a truly groundbreaking Pakistani film.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, September 18th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Rabail
    Sep 20, 2011 - 12:30PM

    I would take this review with a grain of salt. I remember how Express Tribune panned Bol but a few months later when it was released in India it was very well received by professional and respected film critics there! Now of course Love Main Ghum is hardly at par with Bol but the point is that while Bol surprisingly flopped in India, all the cinemas are still packed in Pakistan with people raving about how awesome Bodyguard is, a movie which the Times of India gave just 2.5 stars. Well if people can stand mediocrity and the average Bolly flick then Love Main Ghum is hardly worse. Some of it might not have been intentional but the movie comes across as funny and entertaining without resorting to cheap vulgarity that has of late sadly become a hallmark of many a movie in South Asia.

    Recommend

  • Karim
    Sep 20, 2011 - 2:46PM

    Two weeks through and we finally have he review. Sigh.

    Recommend

  • saad
    Sep 20, 2011 - 2:48PM

    as long as a certain class without aesthetic sense and of course good enough educational background will be a part of the dying film making in the country this is what will be produced, and like to add shoaib mansoor is not different.

    Recommend

  • imran haroon
    Sep 20, 2011 - 3:28PM

    very stupid movie
    all movie is boring & senslessRecommend

  • Nasreen Ahmed
    Sep 21, 2011 - 3:52AM

    I think the Express Tribune has a history of giving bad reviews to any film that does not come under it media banner, considering the trash that Lollywood had put out in the past anything is better.”Bol” won praises in India and now in America and an American friend asked me is it a Pakistani trait to downplay the achievements of its Pakistani colleagues, and I was embarrassed as my friend was point on! and i think @mran haroon falls in that catergory>

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  • Rizwan
    Sep 21, 2011 - 10:50AM

    Its an intresting movie far better then many indian movies .We should encourage such movies and ventures.Reem has done her part to take the Pakistani movie industry forward.

    Recommend

  • salman
    Sep 23, 2011 - 1:30AM

    At a time where local scene is entirely dominated by Indian movies, this movie should have been given due importance. Lack of will on account of cinema owners can be judged from the fact that no main theatre was allocated. Murder2 was repeated at leading cinema owing to its adult factor. Love main gum shared screen space with Bhai log in atrium. At least we should be patriotic enough not money making machines. Should have been given a fair chance atleast in terms of cinema screening. overall the movie can be given grace marks keeping in mind the effort and the package it has to offer for the ailing industry. good work reema.

    Recommend

  • Lateef Khan
    Sep 23, 2011 - 7:08AM

    very poor review. Film is not a classic but it deserves better review!

    Recommend

  • Rafia
    Sep 23, 2011 - 11:37AM

    what i dont undrestand why or how our film critics and certain percentage of the general public can sit through a crappy indian flick with stupid jokes containing bad abusive language chest baring heros and women dancing to trashy lyrics of muni badnam and sheila ki jawani. But when it comes to a pakistani film they have excuses like its not a family movie its like a tv drama its like an 80s bolloywood flick. Ive seen people flocking to cenimas to watch crappy indian commercial films with their kids. nowadays these indian flicks have kissing scenes bikni clad women gay men bad language (and the list goes on ). Now these are ok to watch with families but films like BOL , Khuda kay liya , Love mein ghum are considered bad the first two because they tackle social issues and love mein ghum becoz it doesnt have the bollywood masala…

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