A Cultural Journal

    Film Review: Jalaibee

    Written by: Dr Dushka H Saiyid - Posted on: March 21, 2015 | Post your comment here Comments

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    Review of New Pakistani Film Jalaibee

    Sajid Hassan as the 'Don' in film 'Jalaibee'

    Jalaibee opened to packed audiences on March 20, to capitalize on the long weekend in Pakistan. It is another offering by the nascent but vibrant indie cinema of Pakistan. Yasir Jaswal has made his directorial debut with this neo noir film. Yasir used to play in an Islamabad band formed in 2001 called Irtaash, now long disbanded, went on to direct widely acclaimed videos for his musician brother Uzair, who also has a role in the film.

    Two storylines run parallel in the film, and how they get intertwined is what makes the film convoluted like a jalaibee. Two young kids escape the orphanage and take to crime to survive in the rough world. Danish Taimoor plays the role of Billu, the dominating and controlling partner of the duo, and Ali Safina, the relatively gentler and conflicted Bugga. The movie begins with the two escaping in a car after committing a robbery on behalf of the mafia Don, but the car catches fire and the money is lost. The rest of the movie is about the duo trying to raise the money through more crime, in order to pay back the Don. However, there is a parallel story about two brothers, Wiqar Ali Khan as Ali, and Uzair Jaswal as his younger brother Jimmy, who have promised their mother that they will avenge the killing of their father by the Don. Sajid Hassan’s portrayal of the suave but diabolical Don turned politician, is brilliant, while Adnan Jaffar, as the Don’s fixer, has a forbiddingly grim presence.

    Movie Jalaibee official trailer

    The two ladies in the film give a decent performance: Zhalay Sarhadi as Bunno, a nightclub dancer, and Sabeeka Imam as Eman, the do-gooder daughter of the Don who has an NGO, ironically enough, for orphans. The ladies are slick like the film, clad in their skinny jeans, and break the stereotype of the damsels in distress, with one taking to an automatic to bump off many people, and the other having conspired to bring about the denouement that will send all the bad guys to hell. The Bollywood style number that is inserted into the movie seems a little contrived, as Zhalay is no Malaika Arora.

    Most of this crime caper is shot in Islamabad, and leaves the audience guessing about the next twist in the story. This trigger happy, black comedy seems to have been influenced by Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 success, Pulp Fiction. The music score by Qayas, Uzair Jaswal and Humaira Arshad adds to the charm of this fun film.

    The hype about this film has been now going on for over a year, and it was originally supposed to be released towards the end of last year. ARY Films are its distributors, and in another twist to the story, Malik Riaz has joined ARY digital to help revive Pakistani cinema and has bought 10,000 tickets to the film. In the murky world of money and politics, for which the film is a metaphor, we now have property tycoons entering the entertainment industry; in Pakistan, fiction and reality sometime get blurred.

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