Following a brief sabbatical, director Nadeem Cheema of Geo Sar Utha Kay fame is back with his latest offering, 36 Garh that promises some old school charm infused into what is looking to be an unabashedly masala-action production. The film’s roughly minute and a half long teaser, launched recently, offers a peak into its world of grandiloquent dialogues, raw, intense action set-pieces and some rustic item numbers. As someone who is viewing the trailer of a Pakistani film project after quite a while, the director’s rather hot blooded treatment of the subject material at hand catches one by surprise – so much so that one almost misses the fact that the film marks the return of star Moammar Rana after 2018’s lukewarm Azaadi.
“Darr se mera wasta nahin, mein wahan qadam rakhta hu jahaan rasta nahi,” proclaims the Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa star, sporting a badass grimace, as he prowls towards the camera, corpses of his on-screen arch-nemeses piled up around him, as he launches the fireworks. Brace for the seatbelt, for you are taken through a rough ride of some hardcore boss face-offs soaked in blood, vengeance and that uniquely Lahore industry filmi glamor – right in the middle of the Pakistani hinterlands, in a setting that is meant to evoke dread, fear and of course, your desire to sample more of this out-and-out commercial film.
For what it intends to do, the teaser of 36 Garh works – the many wide-angle action shots are interspersed with quite a few adrenaline fueled chase sequences and shots of numerous glamorous women (Sana Fakhar and quite a few others) as the preview showcases what this “Jurm ki zameen par, mohabbat ki dastaan” has to offer. Sounds epic? Well, that is what one understands is the intention — the treatment in places seems to rekindle memories of some classic far-eastern action westerns. And in another nod to that genre of cinema, we also seem to have some Asian characters tossed in, making one all the more curious about its plotline. The clip ends with a brooding Rana looking over what might just be another set-piece to bulldoze through, as the sun sets on the stark, foreboding landscape.
Along with Moammar Rana, the film stars industry veteran Shafqat Cheema and also marks the return of writer M Kamal Pasha, the force behind numerous Lahore industry films. The filmmakers seems to have made a conscious decision this time around to up the intensity level and the edginess factor from the Geo Sar Utha Kay days, and from we saw in the teaser, the cinematography and styling department too has witnessed an upgrade.
There is definitely an audience out there for the kind of cinema that Cheema makes, and given the Covid-induced entertainment industry drought, 36 Garh will most likely work in capturing the imagination of this target niche, who will possibly be looking forward to welcome the return of their screen heroes and the action packed vendetta that they promise.
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