Movie review: Rangreza.
by Maryam Nadeem & Valeed Shahid.
Directed by Aamir Mohiuddin, Rangreza is a story about how two totally different backgrounds/classes come together. The story revolves around Reshmi (Urwa Hocane), Ali Zain (Bilal Ashraf) and Waseem Wallay (Gohar Rasheed). Reshmi belongs to a Qawwal Gharana (a family that earns their living from singing) and is engaged to Waseem Wallay, a dholak player and comes from a family with music background too.
On the other hand, Ali Zain is a successful musician/rockstar, son of a rich politician, having a life that is entirely different from that of Reshmi. The plot thickens when Ali falls in love with Reshmi and even goes on to name his new album as ‘Resham’.
Most of you would agree that the Pakistani movie industry is brimming with some great talent right now, not only in terms of actors, but also filmmakers such as Mohiuddin. Celebrating the richness of Pakistan’s culture and beauty in the first couple of shots, the maker was successful in having the audience’s interest developed. Mohiuddin has managed to effectively and beautifully tell a story in the backdrop of music and undying love. He attempted to send across the beautiful message of what it means to love and to forgive through the story, forcing us viewers to think more about our own actions.
After his impressive portrayal of Asfandyar in Janaan, Bilal Ashraf’s role in Rangreza had many of us curious. His character of Ali is amazing and succeeds at winning hearts instantly. Gohar Rasheed, on the other hand plays his negative role very neatly as usual, which keeps the viewers on the edge of their seats, despite everything being super predictable. Urwa, like always, is very pleasant and instantly likeable in her role. Reshmi is presumably the most sincere of the characters in this film, and the audiences seemed to be totally fascinated by her, mainly because she was probably easy to relate to. The three actors made an amazing on-screen trio and the chemistry between each one of them was powerful and inspiring in one way or the other.
When it comes to music, the title track was an ideal introduction to the film and Ashraf’s character, adding an energetic vibe to the rest of the soundtrack. All the songs including ‘Balamwa’ and ‘Janasheen’ are beautifully picturized and bring a romantic and soulful feel to the film. Another song filmed on Hocane, adds a different genre of music to the film’s entire soundtrack. But in all honestly, even the music is not anything to write home about, except of course Abida Parveen’s song that had already succeeded at winning millions of hearts when it was released a few months ago.
However, at certain points, the performances did fall flat. The most disappointing aspect of the film is that the leading pair is hardly seen in a romantic setting, which naturally made it hard for people to accept them as lovers in the first place. Rangreza has the most questionable cinematography and generally an artificial feel to it, which served as a reason for the audiences to feel totally detached from the major events in the film as the story unfolds.
Also, two singers, with an entirely different genre and sensibility of music, does remind one of what was happening between Urwa Hocane and Farhan Saeed in the television serial, Udaari. We don’t quite understand the recent obsession of the Pakistani movie industry with making films that have a musician as the protagonist. Did Aashiqui 2 did this to all of us? We wonder…
On the whole, like many other Pakistani movies in the past, Rangreza did have the potential to be one of the finest films, as the trailer really was suggesting so, but for some reason, a lot was found jumbled up on the screen, in the pursuit of making a visually beautiful film. While it could’ve worked on the small screen, Rangreza is sure not something that will pull audiences to theatres, mainly because a lot was lost in translation, and the characters, despite great acting, felt totally perplexed and hard to understand.
A trick that our filmmakers are missing out on, is that what they might think, a scene, is suggestive of something, but that unfortunately is not always understandable for a general movie goer. If the filmmakers want for their stories or scenes to be suggestive of something, then they should also take care of the duty that comes with it, good execution. Enough of half cooked films. Period.