Movie review: PARCHI.
by Maryam Nadeem.
Back in September 2016, Armeena Khan – Bilal Ashraf starrer Janaan was released with the teaser of Parchi attached to it, and since then, a lot of hype has been witnessed, from the makers’ end i.e. Last Friday, after almost a year and a half, the movie finally released. In all honesty, the strategic dance number attached to it is probably only why many people know of the movie at all.
Directed by Azfar Jafri, Parchi’s wandering twists and turns revolve around the lives of Bash (Ali Rehman Khan), his brother Bilal (Usman Mukhtar) and their two sidekicks/friends, Saqlain (Ahmed Ali Akbar) and Bholu (Shafqat Khan), who have been issued a ‘parchi’ of 5 million rupees, to be repaid in 4 days to the antagonist Zodiac (Shafqat Cheema) . Their lives go from bad to worse when Eman (Hareem Farooq) – a Robin Hood type gangster – pledges to rescue them from the underworld don, Zodiac, and the story suspends into a rollercoaster ride from that point onwards.
When it comes to commenting on the movie at large, there are flashes of commendable performances but there is so much going on, that the director almost loses control over what he really wanted to show in the first place. Every scene in the film turns into a plot twist, making it so disproportionate that the story is difficult to understand, and the comedy antics are a bit too much on the senses at times. However, Parchi is a proper cinematic experience and the production value cannot be blamed at all.
Majority of the cast members are stellar in their roles. Ali Rehman Khan, who previously played Danial in Janaan, can act, dance and can insert comedy wherever needed, which kind of makes him the complete package. Hareem Farooq looks stunning in her turbulent gangster avatar, and is absolutely brilliant on the silver screen, and it was great to see her in a role totally different from her debut as a mature, single parent in Dobara Phir Se. Usman Mukhtar, though a comparatively unknown actor, fits the role of Bilal perfectly. The rest of the cast is equally entertaining with Bhola portraying his inner Javed Jafri from Dhamaal to perfection, and Mojiz Hasan being naturally hysterical.
The colorful sequences and the art direction make Parchi a treat for the eyes, and the music is impressive with Billo Hai continuing to be the USP of not only the movie, but also the soundtrack. Imagine by Mika Singh, and the title track have catchy and hummable tunes. The rendition of Billo Hai, an already hit number took the cake with its lollywood touch.
Overall, like all other recent releases, Parchi is not as groundbreaking a project as it was being projected to be. If the makers had not added one million twists to the story, and if the overall execution was done by putting in measurable thought and attention to detail, it could have been one of the best movies to start the year with.
Nevertheless, Parchi is a strong start for Pakistani cinema’s another year in movies, primarily because it wasn’t a mainstream masala entertainer, but a comparatively smaller film with fatter content, if it translated on screen or not is another story altogether. Still, the movie must be appreciated for its audacious effort to bring something new to the Pakistani cinema.