“Geo Sar Utha Kay,” is a film with one message: it is important to take moral decisions rather than succumbing to expediency and compromising principles. This is especially true for Pakistan where terror, intimidation and corruption more often than not, are increasing their pernicious hold on society. The film tells the story of a bunch of police officers whose sense of duty, honor and loyalty leads them to overcome all odds. The narrative is adapted from the real life story of the capture of the Chotu Gang in Rajanpur by the Punjab police force.
Directed and produced by Nadeem Cheema, the movie can be called a mixed bag. The film begins with a police officer (Naeem Khan) traveling on a bus home, which is held up by the Chotu Gang. He chooses to stand up to the robbers, and ends up losing his life. His fellow officers (Sheheryar Cheema, Umar Cheema and Yasir Khan) insist on a transfer to the fictional ‘Rajnapur,’ to avenge their fallen brother and bring justice to Ghulam Rasool (Shafqat Cheema), the head of Chotu Gang. In contrast, the police chief of Rajnapur (Babar Ali) lives in fear of the gang and is on their payroll. The three police officers are unaware of this until the final showdown.
It was refreshing to watch a film based on a true episode in rural southern Punjab, and which reflects some of our daunting social issues. The cinematography was very good, with many interesting shots of the desert, the villages and the life around Lahore, Bahawalpur, Rajanpur and Rahim Yar Khan. The most endearing part of the plot was the friendship between the officers, which struck the right chord. Though they were the quintessential hyper-masculine characters, this did not get in the way of their loyalty and camaraderie, the strongest aspect of the film.
However, most of the acting was melodramatic. The drama quotient gets particularly high near the end, when the police chief has a ‘sudden’ and convenient change of heart, which is a little hard to believe. Moreover, the fighting scenes were quite dull; a disappointment considering it was an action film. The pretense punches did not come across as painful in the least. The blood in violent scenes was almost syrup-like, which lent a comical edge to the fights. The film ended by thanking the Pakistani police officers for their duties to the nation, stressing the patriotic element a little too much.
Coming to the plot, I appreciated the message, since the story revealed the officers to be consistently suffering, but not compromising their principles. However, the lead villain, Ghulam Rasool (aka Chotu) tended to inspire laughter. Clearly, a lot of effort had gone into making him intimidating, yet his signature fight move was to jiggle his bangles at his enemy, and then smack them across the face with it. Granted that the bangles were made of steel (an attempt to make them masculine), so the slaps probably hurt, it was still disconcerting when in a fury Ghulam Rasool’s arm would come forward and move as though he were about to burst into a dance number. The special effects contributed to the hilarity – whenever there was a close-up of Ghulam Rasool’s face, a lion would roar somewhere in the background, and I’m fairly certain that the lion clip used was from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) logo.
You might be wondering if there were any women in the film. Sadly, there isn’t much to be said about them. Women either appeared in random, highly sexualized dance numbers or as damsels in distress – held hostage by the enemy and used to blackmail the heroes. Thus, their roles remained insignificant, and their performances did not stand out.
Ultimately, ‘Geo Sar Utha Kay’ intended to impart a lesson that Pakistan audience could benefit from, but only if it were executed more professionally. It is just one of the spate of mediocre films being produced to cash in on the increasing demand by the cinema thirsty public.
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