Parchi – A Mass, Not Class Entertainer
The year 2018 has just started and Pakistani cinema is all geared up with its releases; good to see Pakistani filmmakers trying their best (in the best capacity, which they can) to produce films and release them on timely manner. Parchi is known for multiple reasons which include Hareem Farooq’s bad-ass looks, Ali Rehman’s swag, Usman Mukhtar’s witty lines and Ahmed Ali Akbar’s spontaneity. Azfar Jafri started with Siyaah and impressed all in Janaan, will his third venture be impressive enough and admired by the cine-goers? Will Shafqat Khan, as a writer be able to become the wittiest writer of the Pakistani fil industry? Let’s find out what Parchi has to offer to its viewers.
Parchi is based on the commonly known Parchi-system (Karachi-walas can easily relate to it) and has two main antagonists Zodiac (Shafqat Cheema) and Kunna. Bash (Ali Rehman Khan), a low-key hoodlum, screws up big time and is asked to arrange 50 lacs within 5 days. Bash shares this with Saqqi (Ahmed Ali Akbar) and Saqqi’s brother (Shafqat Khan), which is later disclosed upon Bash’s brother, Bilal (Usman Mukhtar), who is a simple, 9-5’er. One mess gives birth to another and they end up meeting Eman (Hareem Farooq) the Wonder Woman of the town, with the help of Biscuit (Faizan Sheikh). What happens next is a series of comic situations, stupid turnaround involving Zombies and mindless outcomes. To know more you need to watch Parchi.
Hareem Faooq looks amazing; she genuinely looks gorgeous and badass at the same time. Although in a few scenes she acts too loud and a little out of her character but that’s probably what directed wanted her to portray. Those who think Ali Rehman Khan is Pakistan’s version of Ranveer Singh, they need to get a life; this guy is totally different. Ali acts well, looks good and dances decently. Some of his scenes are very good. Usman Mukhtar is okay, in some scenes he excels and girls will find him “cute” and “adorable” but as a performer he needs to improve. Ahmed Ali Akbar is in complete form, he is a bankable actor, impresses in comic and high-voltage drama scenes.
Mahenur Haider (as Natasha) looks hot, sexy and very bubbly. Shafqat Khan constantly reminded me of Javed Jaffrey’s famous character. Shafqat Cheema is like always fabulous and in his best form. Faizan Shaikh is brilliant. Fayza Saleem is good but goes overboard in a few scenes.
The music of Parchi is very good, thanks to Mika Singh, Nindy Kaur and Sahara for some amazing tracks like Imagine and Billo. Although Billo Hai is a reprised version of 2015’s popular track with same name (source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKUHnx2gjC8). Music wise Parchi is very strong.
It looks like that Pakistani filmmakers are big time inspired from Bollywood, which is the reason why within 2 months’ time first Arth released (openly inspired from Mahesh Bhatt’s classic), then came Chupan Chupai (an unofficial scene to scene copy of Soodhu Kavvum) and now we have Parchi in the same list. But Parchi is a little different; it’s not the blatant copy or a remake of any film, but the writer and director played very smartly. How? They borrowed characters and scenes from multiple films and upgraded them with their intellect. First they borrowed 4 main characters from Bollywood films to make Parchi a sure-shot masala; these include
- Manav (dumb character played by Javed Jaffrey in Dhamaal) and Shafqat Khan played it himself.
- Then came Choocha (Varun Sharma) from Fukrey, where a simpleton falls in love for the bad-ass Bholi-Panjaban (Richa Chadda), in this very case Usman Mukhtar and Hareem Farooq, although there are no similarities between the story of Fukrey and Parchi but the character plotting is definitely inspired
- Now that they have a few main characters adopted from cross-border grossing mega-entertainers, they needed a comical character to add entertainment for front-benchers, so they hijacked Archana Puransingh’s character from Masti, a mother in law who was obsessed with wrestling and was shown as a fan of Undertaker, here in Parchi, it’s Fayza Saleem who is obsessed with Horror films and a Zombie admirer.
- After getting on-board these characters in one script, filmmakers decided to adopt a scene from Masti where protagonists try to loot a home where they face the biggest terror of their lives that’s mother in law of a character.
Now that they have all these above mentioned characters, incidents and inspiration in one place, they shuffle them well, tried to fit them as per Pakistani audiences’ taste – Parchi is finally ready!
Parchi offers fresh content, some good scenes and a slightly different genre for Pakistani audience. Masses will definitely like it, although it, at times, gets difficult to glue to your seats but Parchi has its fair share of ups.
- Script / Story