Chain Aye Na Isn’t As Bad As Reviews Suggest!

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Syed Noor’s comeback film Chain Aye Na opened to mixed response – for some, it was an OK film and for some, it was one of the worst ever made in the country. Sadly, most of the people who belong to the latter category have no idea that Pakistan has a rich film history that existed before Waar (2013), Bol (2011) or Khuda Kay Liye (2006).

For those who feature in the former category, it is exactly the kind of film they expected from Syed Noor, the man responsible for the 90s revival and someone who has been in the industry for 47 years!

So is Chain Aye Na so bad that you will not recommend it to your worst enemy – no!

There have been worse films in Pakistan that have done irreparable damage to the industry and this flick is not even in the Top 10 of those films.

Yes, it is dated and old fashioned but that doesn’t mean that it is so bad that it’s horrid. Drinking wine is shown to be a rich-man’s thing that could have been replaced with drugs. No one sleeps with a bathrobe on nowadays as we have PJs for that; no one takes a letter of reference to a person in another city, keeps an autograph book and absolutely no one calls a friend for a number (we have Facebook for that).

Even if Syed Noor explained that the blood falling on a character’s face is real blood, it turns out into something else and that’s why the public made fun of that shot.

In addition, it is not the most dangerous of Pakistani films ever because when you talk about ever; you talk of films released since 1948.

There have been films in which good people have murdered bad guys (Sultan Rahi in Maula Jutt), saved the honour of a sister (again Sultan Rahi in the 80s) and kept the head high of their mother (Sultan Rahi did that in Sadak that was released in the 90s); that’s how films have been produced in Pakistan. That didn’t mean that Aslam Pervez was targeted whenever he was on the road or Munawwar Saeed refused to leave his house since it was he who looked at the heroine with lusty eyes, only to be ousted by the hero.

#Repost @waqaraliee (@get_repost) ・・・ First tribute poster of •Chain Aye Na• Movie & It's dedicate to •M. Ashraf Sir & Waris Baig Sir• from the movie side. @shahrozsabzwari bhai you look super cute… guru chahgae tey thaa kar k ?? •Chain Aye Na• ?? Directed by: Syed Noor Sir. We are super excited to hear "Waris Baig" in playback after a long time… He was Finest playback singer in 90's and has a number of Hit songs on his credit. #pakistanimovie #firstposter #featurefilm #f4f #followgram #followforfollow #followtrain #instagram #instagood #instalike #instadaily #instashot #hash #hashtag #hashtagforlikes #hashtagforfollow #hashtagforhashtag #tags #tagsta #tagstagram #tagsforlikes #galaxylollywood #hellopakistan #gtmagzine

A post shared by Chain Aye Na (@chainayena) on

In fact, in Maa Beta, Mulaqat, Dekha Jayega and many other films of the 60s and the 70s, the leading men followed the villains to rescue their lady love and trust me, that didn’t inspire people to abduct girls and run away.

Films should be taken as films and Chain Aye Na didn’t promote anything except how to tell a story and frame a film.

However, the story was old fashioned and the film had some blurred and out of focus shots that could have been avoided.

As for the acting, Nadeem Baig and Adil Murad were the most entertaining of all actors in the film. Nadeem Baig did comedy after a long time while Adil delivered his dialogues the way they should have been. He reminded me of his father Waheed Murad when he was drinking on the boat and talking to two people at the same time. In fact, when he said Jab Se Dekha Hai Tumhein in reply to a question by Sarish (the heroine), my mind went back in the early 60s since it was the name of Waheed’s first film as a producer.

Mustafa Qureshi, Behroze Sabzwari and Atiqa Odho carry themselves according to their role while Danish Nawaz makes the audience laugh in his handful of scenes. Shahroz Sabzwari does impress in most of the film but he looks too young to be a hero and needs to work on that. May be its heredity because his father Behroze hasn’t aged much, despite being in the industry for over 4 decades. As for Sarish, all she needs to excel in the industry is a better make up guy, as her beauty didn’t translate on screen, as it should have. She has the height of a successful model and a legacy to carry forward but when you look different in each frame, that doesn’t help.

Yes, the coincidences in the film were too good to be true and so were the songs that popped out time and again. The songs do grow on you but that doesn’t mean Waris Baig should continue to sing!

This was Syed Noor’s first Urdu film since Jhoomar that was released 10 years back and he should be asked to take it slowly – things have changed in last 10 years for directors, not writers. He still can pen a script in no time and help others to make a film on those stories – he has done that a lot in the past.

Remember Dehleez which was probably the first time a film based on Wuthering Heights became a hit in either Pakistan or India; Bobby in the same year had a similar plot but the protagonist was a woman who comes back to take revenge. Both were written by Syed Noor and directed by different people and if he had done that then, he could do it now too. Thank God both the films weren’t released in the modern era, otherwise they would have been labeled as films promoting slavery, although they were a mixture of Cinderella, Revenge Sagas and English Literature.

Thank God both the films weren’t released in the modern era, otherwise, they would have been labeled as films promoting slavery, although they were a mixture of Cinderella, Revenge Sagas and English Literature.

Omair Alavi is a senior entertainment journalist who tweets at omair78