SHAH – A Lost Battle

Pakistan is the land of talent and gifted people. With no proper infrastructure, citizens of Pakistan have outdone themselves and brought pride and prosperity to their motherland. SHAH is a movie which is based on one such individual who rose from the streets of Layari, Karachi, Pakistan. From scratch to pride of Pakistan and from pride of Pakistan to a lost name in the history; SHAH is about what happened to a national hero of Pakistan. This Independence Day “SHAH” has released to give tribute to Pakistan’s National Pride. The ideology and concept behind SHAH is amazing and worth applause; let’s dissect the movie as a whole.


SHAH starts with a girl inquiring about Syed Hussain Shah the boxer who once used to win Gold and Bronze medals for his country named Pakistan by participating in international Boxing matches. He even won Bronze Medal in Olympics Boxing in 1988. She encounters a person who shares the entire story of Hussain Shah with her. The story is engaging and based on true life events of Hussain Shah.

Performance wise the movie SHAH depends upon Adnan Sarwar (who has also directed  the movie and is also the writer). The accent and dialect he has carried out through the film is impressive. Some scenes are clap worthy, like when he wins his first boxing fight in Calcutta and Indians tease him with “Jootay Do Shah Ko” (Give shoes to SHAH) – that scene with Pakistan’s National Anthem in background is amazing. Similarly, when SHAH wins his London’s fight is superb. The other actor who leaves a mark is veteran Gulaab Chandio. He portrays his character with complete gusto. It’s a delight to watch him. The other actors in the movie are not very impressive and have very limited screen presence.


In terms of giving message and paying tribute to Pakistan’s national pride and heroes, SHAH is very impressive and leaves a strong mark but unfortunately the film lacks quality and aesthetics on other grounds. For instance, the editing by Tahir Ali is the weakest part of the movie. Cinematography by Omar Daraz and Hassan Zaidi is not something to look forward for. Dialogues which are in language other than Urdu needed to be showcased with subtitles for majority of the viewers to understand; but they aren’t.

Film Still 23 - Distribution

There are a few dialogues in the movie which are close to life and those who suffered from the same situation which Hussain Shah had to go through would definitely relate to those.

I would rate SHAH a 2.5/5 keeping the entire package in mind. The message is very strong but the treatment made it a lost battle. If you want to support the revival of Pakistani Cinema then go watch SHAH – as it’s a good gesture that should be appreciated by masses.

  • Performance
  • Direction
  • Editing
  • Treatment

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