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Bol: Movie Review by Times of india

By Zaib Rehman

After tackling the global issue of terrorism in the most impartial, compelling and comprehensive manner in his last masterpiece Khuda Kay Liye , director Shoaib Mansoor shifts focus to discussing domestic concerns of our neighbouring countrymen, their community and, by large, the humankind in Bol .

The entire story unveils in the flashback mode as Zainab (Humaima Malick) narrates her life history to the media, minutes before being sentenced to death. Born in a conservative Muslim family, Zainab is the eldest amongst half a dozen daughters of Hakim saab (Manzar Zehbai). The father's quest for a male successor in his family is thwarted when a son is born but with effeminate traits. As the son Saifee (Amr Kashmiri) grows up amidst sisters, the father almost disregards his presence in the family.

Director Shoaib Mansoor uses this family as a paradigm to address almost every concern correlated with the community. The film primarily objects to the idea of reproducing human beings into this world (blinded by faith and self-centered intentions) without taking complete responsibility of their existence. Concurrently it also highlights the regressive attitude of a male-dominated society that offers no liberty to woman in choosing life-partner, refusing reproduction, gaining education or working independently. And the concerns are very much contemporary with the film set in modern-day Lahore. At the same time, the film never stereotypes the state or its citizens but attempts to represent the intellectual illiteracy of a vast majority who haven't upgraded with times.

Almost all the issues are brought to light by the conformist characterization of the father figure. And with the outlook of the film focused only on domestic issues, the director refrains from giving any political overtones to Hakim's characterization and attributes his extremism to his orthodox upbringing and bigoted beliefs. His fanatic philosophy makes him renounce his earnings from a plebeian pimp even in desperate times. You hate his chauvinistic attitude as much as you pity his penniless state. While he is the only breadwinner of an extended female-dominated family, his ancestral physician profession is losing charm and clientele in an era when medical science has much evolved. So while on one hand you detest the fact that he doesn't allow his daughters to find employment, you also sympathize with him for having to stoop to the panderer's demands.

At several instances, the narrative smartly underscores the irony of life. While we have often witnessed woman getting into the flesh trade for survival, here the male species falls prey of the situation. The fact that all his offspring were only girls, which had always been his biggest weakness, turns Hakim's strength when he gets money to impregnate a courtesan (Iman Ali) with a girl child. So while on one hand his second daughter gets secretly married to the boy-next-door (Atif Aslam), on the other hand the father surreptitiously ties the knot with the courtesan.

Like Khuda Kay Liye , Shoaib Mansoor's take on the subject is comprehensive and despite the long runtime, the narrative never gets tedious. The writing is riveting, and the dialogues in particular, are crisp, clear and caustic. Despite the serious demeanour of the film, the director infuses sporadic moments of unusual humour, like in the scene when the siblings are fighting over an India-Pakistan match and the father believes that the sincerity of their prayers would be solely responsible for their country's victory or defeat. Even when the sissy brother is physically abused, the film never gets into titillation mode and remains refined. There are portions in the narrative that the director never touches beyond a menial mention, like Zainab's failed marriage. But there is so much and more that the film explores that you never bother to learn about the omitted chunks.

{Via Times of india}

Category: Atif aslam Reviews | Added by: Danoo (2011-09-02)
Views: 38672 | Comments: 1 | Rating: 10.0/465
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