With a trailer and songs that boasted grandeur, glitz and glamour, we were expecting “Parey Hut Love” to be a wedding fest with huge sets, aesthetic frames, a good-looking cast and some beautiful songs. Now that film is out, we can confirm, it is that, but quite a lot more.
There is a scene between lead characters Sheheryar, played by Sheheryar Munawar and Saniya, played by Maya Ali, where the former wishfully claims that one day all the film producers and directors will line up outside his house and all he need is that “one good role”. That dialogue stays true for Sheheryar Munawar as well since this is the character his acting career spanning over seven years has been leading to.
Sheheryar plays a struggling actor who is extremely passionate. However, after repeated failures he’s so frustrated that at one point, he agrees to play the part of a corpse covered in white for several episodes of a TV serial. How his frustration due to a failed acting career affects his relationships, why Saniya gets engaged to someone else and when does Mahira Khan enter into this story? You have to watch the film to find out.
The story of “Parey Hut Love” is based on the plot of a British film “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. The plot is simple with some twists here and there. The screenplay is disjointed at times but overall it appears smooth. Dialogues by Imran Aslam are contemporary yet there is that ‘filminess’ about them that would remind you of the good old days of Pakistani cinema. The emotions throughout the film are overwhelming but the dialogues never get too cheesy. Similarly, the humour element added through the characters of Ahmed Ali Butt, Zara Noor Abbas and Hina Dilpazeer, though clearly appears forced to make the film commercially viable for a wider audience, never gets too loud like most of our comedy films. Hence, the characters are loud, but the comedy isn’t.
The film offers everything that it promised. The grandeur, the beautifully detailed sets, colourful costumes and everything that makes it look rich. But this is not all. Despite so much attention given to making this film look spectacular, the film never compromises on its soul and emotional core. It’s like watching an Imtiaz Ali’s film which is very Pakistani at its core. You connect effortlessly with the beautiful yet flawed characters. Characters who have fears, ambitions and who are vulnerable. Once the connection with these characters is established, every event and twist that then comes their way affects you.
The music by Azaan Sami Khan is another strong point in this film. From “Haaye Dil” to “Morey Saiyan” and “Ik Pal”, the songs have already been appreciated for their beautiful tunes and perfect picturization. But what wasn’t a favourite from the album prior to film’s release, worked most effectively in the film, i.e. “Zihaal-e-Miskeen” by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The kalam, penned by Amir Khusrow and originally set to music by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, will have many shed a tear. The background score is also very effective, apart from being very well composed. Swelling at the right instances, it gives scenes the right emotional weight they require.
On acting front, Sheheryar and Maya Ali have given memorable performances of their career. They’re convincing to an extent that it feels like the characters have been tailored by keeping these actors in mind. Ans that isn’t true as we all know that Maya was roped in for this role at eleventh hour. Nadeem Baig brings a much-needed maturity, and Zara Noor, Ahmed Ali Butt and Hina Dilpazeer do very well of what they were asked for, i.e., provide comic relief. Also Rachel Viccaji and Faheem Azam as a Parsi couple are simply adorable.
With so many plusses, the one major minus is the lack of attention given to the development of the supporting characters. Hina Dilpazeer’s mannerism and styling is very much inspired by 70’s film actresses, particularly Shabnam, but the film never explains why she is behaving this way. Similarly, the character of Mahira Khan is a very interesting one, (no spoilers) but the details for her character and her family background are too vague for an average movie goer to understand. Also, we never get to know much about the journey of Shehryar from his own TV production to a renowned film star. And also placing “Morey Saiyan” right after the heavy in emotions, “Zihal e Miskeen” was definitely not a good idea.
All in all, despite a few flaws “Parey Hut Love” is an audio-visual cinematic extravaganza that has its heart and soul in the right place and it certainly has repeat value which is very rare to find in films these days.
Despite its flaws, “Parey Hut Love” is an audio-visual cinematic extravaganza that has its heart and soul in the right place and it certainly has repeat value which is very rare to find in films these days.