The teaser of ‘Chikkar’, a new film by Zaheer Uddin was released yesterday with no fanfare at all. It starts with Faryal Mehmood dancing defiantly between a crowd of men. The rest of the teaser is interspersed with images of government buildings, long hallways, dimly lit rooms, and open fields, almost always with characters intently walking across.
A lot of familiar faces are present including Adnan Shah Tipu, Ushna Shah, Saleem Meiraj, and Usman Mukhtar. Also present is Usama Javaid Haider, who gave a terrific performance in the horror short “Gulabo Rani”, earlier this year.
Dareechey Films, the production company, describes ‘Chikkar’ as “those who raise their voices, those who suppress them, and those who are silent”. The word “Chikkar” itself is from Punjabi language for mud or “Keechar” (in Urdu). It’s an obvious signal towards the mud that we all come from and return to in death. And it’s also a nod to those of us who are crushed beneath society’s weight, just like mud.
While the teaser is almost entirely without dialogue, there are a few hints about its subject matter. A video of a woman playing with her child is shown on a policewoman’s laptop. Usman Mukhtar’s character, an SSP named Sarmad Zaman, is shown exiting an office labeled “Ladies Sector”. The bloodied corpse of a girl lies in an ambulance, covered by a sheet. In the last shot of the film, a man weeps, sitting at a desk and implores “Mujhay Bacha Lo Sahab!” (Save me sir!).
There is no specific reference to what events the film is based on. Then again, there are so many events of violence against people in Pakistan every day, that this need not matter. And what are the “8 Days”, in the film’s title? You’ll have to go to the theater to find out.
Chikkar will hit theaters on 22nd December, 2023.
You can watch the teaser here: