The much-awaited Saqib Malik directorial Baaji is officially out in cinemas for the public to see and the bigger question whether anyone would want to watch it and whether it’s even worth it is on everyone’s mind.
Well…here’s our answer to it…
The film, which revolves around Shameera (Meera), an actress on the downward curve of her career, who through an exploration of friendships, love and betrayals finds herself in turmoil and trauma, has a ton of editing issues, and there are places where the film is downright absurd.
However, let’s be clear – it is NOT a flop from anywhere, and there are so many moments in the film which will make you love the old Lollywood glam.
What makes the film stand out, and what are its downers? Here’s the lowdown…
Now whether anyone wants to accept it or not, this film looks and feels like it’s almost Meera’s biopic. There are scenes in the movie which do take inspiration from her real life, and it seems thrilling and equally captivating on reel! Meera is a breath of fresh air, and she looks beautiful in every scene on the celluloid with her kaleidoscope of emotions. If this is anyone’s film, it’s Meera’s! Take a bow.
Who knew this queen of the runway had so much acting prowess in her? She’s the queen of her scene, and even though she is competing for screentime against someone as reliable as Meera, Amna holds her place in Baaji. Her rags to riches story set on a milieu of life-changing traumatic experiences look and breathes beautifully. She’s a name to watch out for.
The film is shot beautifully, let’s give it that. There are moments in the movie where the shots are done up aesthetically and look quite pleasing. A big kudos to the Director of Photography who made an effort to keep things looking like a film and not a glorified tv play.
We’ve said this before, and we’ll repeat it, the film has a great selection of music, and the songs are to die for! The humble nod to Lollywood by Saqib is not an afterthought, and each song fits the situation nicely. No random item songs, but music which looks pleasing where it is.
The reason why people thought the trailer looked terrific was clearly because of the way the sets in the film looked, and thus with the whole picture out, it’s no surprise that it was one of the good things in Baaji. The sets are done impeccably, the outdoor locations are scenic, and each item placed in the film looks well-thought of. Props to them for this.
The Bad & Ugly
In what was supposed to be an ode to old-school Lollywood narratives, we thought the film would have the right oomph if nothing else with the script. However, it’s a major letdown by Irfan Ahmed Urfi here. There are just too many loopholes and not enough answers. Without giving out too many spoilers, let’s say, the script is probably the weakest in this film in comparison to so many other films that have come out.
I have been critiquing films for a long time now, and editing is probably something our viewers and critics alike care the least about. However, you can bet your top dollar there was something wrong here for us to notice the shoddy editing. There were so many fade-in/outs in the film that it made our head dizzy! Also, the sound in the movie which includes background scoring and dialogues, are so echo-y it hurts.
Random Sponsorship Shots
Yes, a film needs its sponsors to guarantee enough money to get it to release, but, there are more ways than to push the brands onto our faces in so many shots. It’s cool if you want to believe ‘superstar Shameera’ loves eating McDonald’s all the time and wearing Khaadi, but hey, a bit easy on bringing that up so many times.
While the ending is exciting for so many, the last 15 minutes of the film is gruellingly long. They do no favour to the film and make it so utterly predictable that it breaks the buildup the film creates in its runtime. Again, an issue the writer could have fixed but chose to let go only to create a bad time for the audiences.
Although there’s a definite effort to cull down on the gaps as much as they could, Baaji is still a labyrinth of questions left unanswered, or of things which never should have made it to the final cut at all. Once again without getting too much into the storyline, for example, in the ending Ali Kazmi being at a particular place makes no sense and doesn’t even get explained or when Mohsin Abbas Haider is shown doing a certain thing but is never talked about or reprimanded for it.
*Special Mentions: Osman Khalid Butt, Nisho, Nayyar Ejaz, and Ali Kazmi – who all acted their socks off and made it look effortless.
DivaOnline Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars