Want To Watch Ho Mann Jahaan? Here's Why You Must
The new Mahira Khan film has a strong message at its core, says Sadiq Saleem
The Pakistani actress Sonya Jehan, while addressing the press in Dubai, had emphasised that watching Ho Mann Jahan would be time and money well spent. She was spot on. Having been released on January 1, the film is the perfect start to an otherwise promising year for Pakistani cinema.
Ho Mann Jahaan revolves around the bond of three friends whose passion for music keeps them afloat amidst several cracks. The plot revolves around the trio finding their foothold as they choose between music, friendship and love.
Direction: Asim Raza, who is well known for his contemporary ad campaigns, hits a sixer in his directorial debut. Only someone with a keen eye for detail could pay attention to fine points of this level. For instance, Mahira’s home does look like an artist’s house and Adeel’s residence does look like some big shot' residence. The film delicately delivers some strong messages, which most of today’s youth would relate to, like parental and peer pressure when it comes to choosing one’s career, circle of friends or a life partner. Where Khuda Ke Liye and Bol dealt with the sensitive topic of extremism, Asim subtly yet effectively touches the argument of permissibility of music in Islam. Take note of the scene when Mahira comes over to invite her father to her wedding and requests him to come to terms with the choices we all make according to what we feel is right; the carefully selected rendition of the verse from Surah Al-Kaafiroon in the background ‘To you be your religion, and to me my religion (109:6)’ aptly endorses her argument. Such detailing is Asim’s forte.
Performances: Mahira Khan is just two films old but her comfort level with the camera is evident. She shares a very strong resume of her abilities as a mainstream actress with this film. But the boys do not remain in the shadows; Sheheryar Munawar does full justice to his character that is frustrated, street smart and rough around the edges; but for me, it was Adeel Husain who shines the most amongst the trio. He displays incredible maturity and just the right amount of restraint throughout the film until he bursts out and confronts his parents. That scene is a pure testament to his talent. Sonya Jehan looks elegant and has good screen presence. She must do more films. Bushra Ansari is stupendous as an over-protective mother.
Music: Music is another strong point of the film. Though at one point it feels that there is a song after every 10 minutes but they have been knitted very smartly in the film. Zeb’s voice in Mann Ke Jahan is a breath of fresh air and the famous, Shakar Wandhan, which has taken the internet by storm, got everyone dancing to its tune.
Cameos: Asim has been in the ad business for the longest of time and his camaraderie is on full display in the film. Everyone from Fawad Khan to Strings came forward to support him. Asim throws in surprise cameos one after the other but it was Zohaib Hassan who received unstoppable applause. His unmatchable charisma is the reason why there hasn’t been an audio-legend as big as him in Pakistan in the last three decades.
Disappointment: Besides its long runtime and a predictable climax, I can’t think of anything else which disappointed me.
Verdict: Ho Mann Jahan delivers high on entertainment with a dose of glamour and great music. Rush for it.
Sadiq Saleem, is a UAE based entertainment journalist. He can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso.