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Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God (Film Review): The Best Animated Feature from Pakistan

There are certain frames in ‘Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God’ (AY100FOG) which truly are a treat to behold. An iridescent forest with a sparkling waterfall; a sprawling mechanized city with dancing robots, and a giant robot army against a fortified ruin all show how the team behind the film have been working hard for years. Their labour has birthed an animated film that Pakistan can be proud of.

The Plot

Image 1: Allahyar finds himself in a mechanized city in the film

Like the first Allahyar, this one is about loving the environment because of what it gives us. It’s just set in a much bigger world than before. Allahyar and his friend Hero, the Chakor, find themselves in a huge, mechanized city on a dystopian world.

Here, the forests are gone and there are no more animals. While the world is never named, it resembles many dystopian deserts that we’ve seen in sci-fi films before like Dune and Mad Max: Fury Road. Interspersed with ruins, rocky terrain, and the remains of robots, this world has used up all its resources. It’s run totally by machines, though it was once home to some species resembling humans. Now, they’re only remembered as “gosht ke thailay” (meat bags).

Image 2: Ruins of the robot world

The robots of this world are stealing trees from Allahyar’s home and burning them to produce power. On top of that, they’ve kidnapped Allahyar’s father because he tried to stop them.

Along the way, Allahyar meets “Ira”, a robot leading a rebellion against the robots that control the mechanized city. They’ve instituted a class system which only allows robots with enough money to charge themselves. Those without are doomed to become scrap metal.

Image 3: L-R: Ira the Robot played by Iqra Aziz and Allahyar played by Anum Zaidi

The Visuals

‘Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God’ looks absolutely beautiful. The forests, the ruins, the robot city, and all the characters are well animated and colourful. There are unfortunately one or two frame drops in the film, but they’re sparse enough for you to ignore for the final product.

Allahyar, his friend Hero the Chakor, Ira the robot played by Iqra Aziz, and the leader of the robots played by Ali Zafar are all fully realized characters with different personalities. There is even a giant engine that runs the robot city in the shape of a baby called “Munchkins” which has been animated brilliantly.

There is also a baby robot named Azlan who is cute enough to give BB-8 and R2-D2 a run for their money.

Image 4: Azlan the Baby Robot

The fight sequences, chase scenes, and sweeping shots all lend great strength to the film. I was quite surprised at the weight of some of the punches and kicks that landed. You could feel them vibrate through the theater.

Image 5: Fight sequence in Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God

However, there are certain problems here that need to be addressed. There are one too many cuts in the film to push the story forward. Either these sequences are on the editing floor, or the team didn’t have the budget to animate them. When it happened once, twice, and then all over the film, it got too noticeable to ignore.

Also, the frame rate drops, where they do happen, take away from the film.

While movement of both the camera and characters is great during the action sequences, the characters often seem too stiff and robotic when they’re speaking or interacting with each other.

Image 6: Ali Zafar plays the leader of the robot world (background)

Finally, the film really didn’t need to be in 3D. Though there are a few sequences in which floating petals, sand particles and the huge landscape catch your eye, the 3D in the film is not very noticeable. My advice would be to not focus on the 3D as much next time. It’s not necessary.

Hopefully the team at 3rd World Studios can do better in their next features.

The Final Verdict

‘Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God’ is a wholesome family film with a great environmental message. You can take your children and comfortably spend an evening while they’re enthralled. It’s only 90 minutes too so the time will fly by.

The team of 3rd World studios has worked hard on this animated feature. If they can do this with a limited budget, they can do wonders if they’re given the resources.



Written by Yousuf Mehmood


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