Karachi base crime thriller Laal Kabootar is directed by Kamal Khan who has previously directed music videos making this his debut. The film is a social comment on the urban life of Karachi where unlawful acts like target killing and land mafia are happening everyday and is affecting the lived of civilians.
The main lead of the film is Mansha Pasha while her husband is being played by Ali Kazmi. His presence in the film is more like a cameo than a supporting role, he only adds value to the film in just two to three films. His presence in the film has not been fully explored.
Mansah Pasha has also appeared in Chalay Thay Sath, however in Laal Kabootar her role isn’t that glamorous rather it is serious. She has performed very well. The other main lead of the film is Ahmed Ali Akbar (Adeel) who belongs to an underprivileged background. He lives in the slums and drives a cab. He aspires to go to Dubai however he does not have sufficient means to do so.
In order to turn his dreams into reality, he decides to take shortcuts and joins a criminal gang. He resorts to looting his own passengers as well. Some tragic event in Aliya’s life and Adeel’s dream to go to Dubai motivate them to help each out.
Ahmed Ali Akbar has also played his part excellently. his body language and Karachi dialect is on point. Another important character in the film is Rashid Farooqi who comes in the film and steals the show as a corrupt police officer, his character is multi layered in the sense that on one hand he is a strict police officer and on the other he is a caring father and loving husband.
The overall casting of the film is superb and all the characters in supporting roles are very believable and raw, who have played their avatars very well. Special mention to the cinematography of the film and it has been done by Mo Azmi, who has previously done films like O21, Cake and Jalebi.
The night life of Karachi has been sketched very beautifully by him. The grim, dark and gloomy essence required for a crime genre it has been captured beautifully.
As far as the music of the film is concerned, it has five songs in total, all composed by Taha Malik. The OST Jugaart is an upbeat song, however the placement of the songs in the narrative is very irrelevant and unnecessary at times. another drawback if the film was sound, that is supposed to emphasis the situation, however the film lagged that element.
Editing of the film also plays an important part in building up the narrative and mood. However after watching the film it seems that some scenes from the film were chopped off. These scenes might have added value and emotional hook to the narrative.
For example we never get to see Aliya mourn the death of her husband and therefore we fail to sympathize with the character. Film uses the surprise death element twice in the film to get the flavor of crime genre. However, surprise death needs to have some sort of build up either through dialogue or duration of the scene.
There are no punchy dialogues in the film either just casual boring conversations which fail to engage and hold the interest of audience. After the trailer of the film was release it had gained a lot of hype however after watching the film , one has to say that the film does not live up to expectations at all.
As far as direction is concerned ,he had stated that he is inspired by Anurag Kashyap and therefore we see him adopting a similar shooting style. Kamal Khan takes a realistic approach in order to show the raw violent chaos of Karachi city. Inspite of well executed scenes the director fails to knit a story that is praiseworthy.
The flaw lies in the screenplay that fails to explore the characters.The makers have failed to understand the importance of a well written screen play that narrates the story exceptionally.
Crime films have a specialty that they give the audience two desires either to enter the crime world or to walk away. Lack of emotional depth in the film and weak story telling, Laal Kabootar fails to persuade the audience in this regard.
Watch our film critic break it down in this video!