By now, you are probably well schooled in the terms ‘fourth generation warfare’ and ‘hybrid warfare’ given the alarmingly high frequency with which they are being used in global affairs. They have also been making rounds of news reels and talk shows in the country in recent years, and for the unacquainted involve some combination of conventional and irregular battlefield strategies. Offering a fertile canvas for cinematic treatment when incorporated into a spy thriller, narratives around hybrid/irregular warfare can also serve good box office fodder. Chances are, the makers of ‘Dhai Chaal’ probably know that.
The movie was in the news early last year for its unconventional plot, said to revolve around the Kulbashan Jadhav episode in Balochistan. Having frequently witnessed projects that sound super exciting on paper ending up with tepid promotional material, I was not expecting much from Dhai Chaal’s minute and a half long teaser. However, the preview comes across as a pleasant surprise and packs quite a punch.
The visuals are provocative right away. A monologue about the dark truths of warfare plays against shots of covert operatives going about their business and demonstrations about missing persons, all in the backdrop of Balochistan’s starkly rugged landscape. We move on to quick glimpses of what will be plenty of action sequences in the film, showcasing their fair share of explosions, gunfire and hand to hand combat. The movie also seems to involve some kind of intrigue around Baloch tribal politics, and another particularly interesting bit is Ayesha Omar’s monologue, which makes it seem like her part is more than just a journalist.
The visuals and production value looks quite decent and the three main actors i.e. Shamoon Abbasi, Humayun Ashraf and Ayesha Omar seem to fit the requirements of the narrative quite nicely. Spy thrillers are still a relatively new genre for local filmmakers to explore, and it remains to be seen to what extent Dhai Chaal delivers. However, one thing that the teaser makes clear is that this is no cerebral rumination on espionage, warfare and geopolitics (think Operation 021) but is instead set to be a straight-up, in-your-face action thriller with a story to tell. Stay tuned to PakistaniCinema.net for the latest on the film!