A childhood friend of mine loves Bar b Que Tonight. Karachites would know that it’s a ‘safe’ bet but not a lot more. It’s a well-known brand that offers a decent meal, without exciting or disappointing you. Even if you have been going there every week of your life, like my friend has.
Paarwaz Hai Junoon, is a bit like Bar b Que Tonight. It is promoting a big brand, with household names as leads. It is something you have seen many times before but considering it is about our country, it may move you. But you can have chicken tikka or mutton kharie thousands of time yet want more; art and film intake requires more novelty which this films fails to offer.
Director Haseeb Hasan opts for two parallel plot. One that plays in the past. Hamza Ali Abbasi plays Hamza and Shaz Khan is Nadir, playing fighter jet pilots and best friends. From the start, Hamza is the one screaming zindabad at the top of his voice, plays ‘stunts with the plane at the expense of being admonished by his senior, and has little regard for his own safety. He is our hero in no uncertain terms. This part focuses on the dangers of being a fighter jet pilot and how their jobs impacts their families. To emphasize on this angle, we see Nadir getting married to Fiza (Kubra Khan). In what looked like a mendhi event, Hamza sees and falls in love with Sania (Hania Amir), who was certainly waiting for her prince charming.
In the present, Sania has enrolled to become a fighter pilot herself. That entails all its hardships. To make life worse there is an overtly obnoxious Saad (Ahad Raza Mir). This part showcases the difficulty of cadet’s life (most of it is shown as a joke). It highlights a sense of jealously amongst friends, and how the desire to be the best can derail the most talented ones. We get a mountain mission in freezing temperature as well, which further emphasised the difficulties. The two narratives converge, conflicts arise, some organic and others manufactured. We get to the climax, where the audience has been taken through to an emotional yet a rather convenient ride.
As far as the performances go, Hania Amir is decent with her sincere portrayal of a chirpy girl in love and a cadet being bullied. Hamza Ali Abbasi, is sloganeering and boasting about himself. Ahad Raza Mir has an under-written role but he gives it all. Senior Mir is playing Hamza’s father in a similarly boastful character. It is a difficult one to pull off but he makes it look believable. Shaz and Kubra Khan, adequate in their small roles. I suspect, Ms Khan will be getting a lot more film offers after impressing in two films this Eid.
Cinematography is remarkable. If you are interested in fighter jets and seeing the beauty of Pakistan this film is for you. Music is equally moving. If you feel depressed, watch the Atif Aslam song and you shall feel better (if the feeling persists contact a mental health professional).
The director of the film set out and achieved to show case the sacrifices of those who serve us in the battle fields. But aside of that, as a film PHJ has little novelty to offer. The recipe has been over been oversold. The changing the sides didn’t much of a difference.
It’s a story we have heard before, wanting us to shed tears we have shed before!