When Love Strikes

When Love Strikes
The final word on Balu Mahi? You expect Balu Mahi to score a century, but it settles down in the half-century range.

Ainy, the main lead, is a girl full of spark. She comes from a conservative family. She is surrounded by an overbearing brother, a strict father and a notorious grandfather. Yet she still chases her dreams of grandeur. She runs away from home in pursuit of her dreams of riding horses, and playing polo in the big leagues.

She disguises herself as a man to live her free-spirited life. She becomes part of a polo team, and no one can tell that she is a girl. This is a little hard to believe. She fails to pack the punch required to pull this character off. She is a visual delight but there is no depth to her character.

Osman Khalid Butt plays the role of a vulnerable, brokenhearted young man who is aimless in life until he meets Ainy. This leads to a series of adventures. Osman has a strong screen presence and plays his part well.

The film drags in the first half as unreal series of events unfold. The wedding scene, or the scene where Ainy’s family meets Osman’s comes out as quite unrealistic. The two songs- one by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and one shot in theatre are melodious and beautifully captured.

The film gains momentum in the second half. The dream sequence song bechainiyan is a breath of fresh air. We have what must be the first tastefully done rain song in a Pakistani film. An element of interest is added with Sadaf Kanwal’s entry. Her over-the-top character is played to perfection. She comes across as very relatable, and her comic timing is great.

Picture perfect cinematography combined with beautifully shot frames makes Balu Mahi the first Pakistani film, which actually looks like a film. Overall Balu Mahi is a commendable effort that must be watched to support our local industry.