During “Sacch” I was seated beside two middle-aged women who predicted multiple plot points within the film. No, they weren’t psychic. The film was just clichéd, poorly written, and poorly acted.
“Sacch” features the kind of plot that I wish would go away from filmmaking in general, not just Pakistani cinema. It’s the kind of story that you’d find in those forgettable cliched Bollywood films of the early 2000s; specifically, the ones that unsuccessful actors debuted in.
What is the plot? Two friends fall for the same girl. One friend struggles to sacrifice his own love for the sake of friendship. There are subplots dealing with parental abandonment as well. However, they don’t serve much of a purpose.
Right from the beginning, “Sacch” reeked of incompetence. There wasn’t much thought given to the main characters, much less the supporting cast. All of them were cookie-cutter roles that were fished out from the reject pile. The plot is first draft at best, and doesn’t make sense at all in some places. Characters are conveniently introduced to move the plot forward and plot points are tossed to the side without giving them much thought.
All of this is strange considering the talent behind the screen. The script was written by Kumud Chaudhry, a National Award-winning writer from India. The dialogues are also shallow and unimaginative; again surprising since they were written by celebrated drama writer Haseena Moin.
Ultimately all of this is made worse by the performances of the main leads.
Asad Zaman Khan, who made his debut in “Hijrat”, plays the male lead Ayyan. Asad lacks the charisma that was required for this role. Put anyone else in his place and you won’t feel the difference. The only thing he does throughout the movie is strut around in suits giving brooding looks to Elysee Sheikh’s character.
Elysee Sheikh in her debut role as the female lead is awful. She doesn’t seem to be the least bit invested in her character. She manages to pull off a pretty authentic Scottish accent befitting her character. However, when you realize that’s simply because she was born and bred in Scotland, that feat becomes much less impressive. Elysee Sheikh is currently pursuing a Masters’s degree at the University of St. Andrews in a STEM field. Her efforts would be better utilized in making the world a better place through her talents in science and technology rather than in films like “Sacch”.
Finally, Humayoun Ashraf, playing DJ Zen, is the only person on-screen with a little bit of flair and charisma. That’s not to say his performance isn’t horrible though. His job as a DJ is barely explored. He just moves around a bit while wearing headphones, behind a turntable. That’s the extent to which his character has been developed. Again; cookie-cutter character. The only redeemable thing about him is that his look is pretty convincing. When he is meant to be menacing, you believe it. You’ve seen guys like this. He looks the part. That’s about it though.
Last, but not least, Uzma Gillani and Jawed Sheikh are given throwaway roles that almost all seniors are being resigned to these days and we all are completely tired of it. None of them are treated like the screen veterans they are. They’re simply handed the role of the father or the grandmother like they’re good for nothing else. They deserve much better, since they’ve given us much better.
As for the technical aspects of the film, nothing really works here either. Sure, the film looks nice, but that’s because it was shot in beautiful locations around Scotland. Of course, a maple tree surrounded by lush grass near a lake is going to look great. That’s through no magic of the cinematographer or the director though.
All the songs in the film seem out of sync. Either the sound mixing of the film was terrible, or my theater’s sound system was broken. However, going by the experience I’ve had with films since the beginning of the new wave, I’m going with the former. This leads to the film’s dubbing as well. All the actors seem like they were dubbed. A lot of their dialogues are out of sync and don’t seem delivered on the spot. This is a gripe I’ve had with Pakistani films since the beginning of the new wave cinema and it’s still not gone away.
On the flip side, unnecessarily loud background music blares in almost every scene to overcompensate for a lack of story and performances. You know those old films we cringe at for playing corny music when a tragedy occurs? That’s what “Sacch” does over and over.
In a nutshell, “Sacch” is a forgettable film with paper-thin characters that are forced to work around an equally paper-thin plot. The only thing I can add is that the two women sitting next to me in the theater were constantly laughing throughout the movie. Normally I hate moviegoers like that who ruin the experience for the audience. But, not this time.
Movie Review Sacch
“Sacch” is filled with paper thin characters that are forced to work around an equally paper thin plot. ‘Forgettable’ is the perfect word for it.