Posts tagged “Movie Review

Movie Review: ‘Cake’ is a believable drama film executed to perfection

The family drama film Cake premiered in Pakistan yesterday and it was one delicious treat, I must say. Starring Aamina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik in the lead roles, Cake is a film about a dysfunctional family that unites under grave circumstances. Directed by Asim Abbasi, the movie is multidimensional in its approach to bringing a rejuvenating experience to the viewers. It was really a dream come true to capture the long dead essence of Pakistani cinema with this film. Cake was put together phenomenally; the acting was stellar especially of Aamina Sheikh who stood out. Her command on acting is brilliant and she manages to execute her roles brilliantly in almost every project. But her performance was one of a kind in this film alone.

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Sheikh amalgamated Zarine’s character really well and made it look believable on screen. Although the character has her occasional mood swings and outbursts but that is what makes her personality special. Without a doubt, Cake is what an ideal Pakistani film should be; less theatrics and thorough consistency in view of direction, visuals and acting. In my opinion, Cake is probably the first mainstream Pakistani film that has not compromised on content and quality unlike many haphazard movies created in the recent past. It has a fixed identity and a progressive storyline which are essential components in every film.

It is mostly impulsive scriptwriting and poor direction that have done Pakistan’s cinema more harm than good. Perhaps filmmakers should take their time in making a movie to achieve an intense impact. Director Asim Abbasi has created a masterpiece that almost every educated Pakistani can relate to but more importantly, reminisce in the long run; what corroborates the success of a film are memories that people take with them and Cake manages to achieve that feat. For those who do not know, Asim Abbasi is also the recipient of Best Director for Cake at the recent UK Asian Film Festival. The accolade is an evidence of hard work and commitment.

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What I would say to an average Pakistani is, book your seats and watch Cake while you can. It is perhaps the only Pakistani film I have come across that is not stereotypical. As far as the movie goes, I will not spoil the plot for the readers and moviegoers because I want them to experience the drive of the film, and enjoy it as they would a delicious, multi layered cake! Most mainstream films are known for their box office earnings but movies that really matter are recognized for their content and brilliance. I commend the filmmaker and actors for investing in this film and making it a rare cinematic experience.

Rating 4.5/5

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‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ (REVIEW) – Tom Cruise Shines In This Action-Packed Thriller | By Haider Rifaat

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is one of those rare action films that any avid fan could watch twice on an opening weekend. To begin with, Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner were both great in the film and worked well as a team; not to forget the stellar performance delivered by Rebecca Ferguson who was spot on in every scene. But before I proceed, I’d also like to mention that Cruise still has a long way to go in his career. He just never seems to age!

‘Rogue Nation’ is the fifth installment in the ‘Mission Impossible’ film series that centers on Ethan Hunt and his quest to unravel the existence of Syndicate, an organization gone rogue that poses a threat to IMF. This action packed thriller is perhaps the best film in the ‘Mission Impossible’ film franchise. It was fun, entertaining and thrilling all at the same time. As always Tom Cruise owned his character in the film. Since this was Ferguson’s first film with Cruise and I hadn’t seen any of her movies prior to watching this, I found her bracing presence in the movie quite refreshing. She is a great actress in my humble opinion.

Jeremy Renner’s rather insignificant role was worthy of praise given his unique acting talent. His gentleman-like character was well conceived by the writer(s). The film’s plot, from the start till the end was thought provoking. Although the story was a bit muddled during the first half hour, it picked up right after Syndicate (an organization working to take down IMF) was introduced.
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The action was perhaps, the most enticing aspect of the film. The fighting scenes were spot on and the acting was brilliant. Overall, the movie was well directed and written. Although ‘Rogue Nation’ had its ups and downs alike every other movie, one cannot expect too much from any film.

Speaking of which, ‘Rogue Nation’ has performed exceedingly well overseas especially in the U.S. where it collected $56 million dollars on its opening weekend. Additionally, the film was lauded by many critics who praised Cruise’s performance in particular.

Christopher Orr of The Atlantic commented, “You overcome the impossible through the application of sheer, unvarnished willpower, a quality that Cruise has always possessed in abundance.”

While Ty Burr of the Boston Globe called ‘Rogue Nation’ ‘preposterously enjoyable.’

There were, however, a few elements that seemed slightly out of place. Aside from the roaring action, ‘Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’ depicted stunts that no one could experience in the real world. That, for me was the only turn off. All in all, if you’re looking to spend good two hours on a film, give ‘Rogue Nation’ a shot!


The Air I Breathe (Movie Review) | Haider Rifaat

The Air I Breathe is a directorial film produced by Darlene Caamano, which was released in 2008. Despite it’s release confined to a few cities, most of the people who had viewed it applauded the movie and gave a tremendous response. The film cast consists of Kevin Bacon, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Forest Whitaker, Brendan Fraser, Julie Delpy, Andy Garcia and Emile Hirsch. The film had its fair share of critics, but Sarah Michelle Gellar’s performance was praised on all fronts. The movie managed to top the box office charts. The story of this film is unique and different which helps viewers to relate the story to their lives. The movie has four main characters, Pleasure (Brendan Fraser), Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Love (Kevin Bacon And Julie Delpy) and Happiness (Forest Whitaker).

The Air I Breathe is based on an ancient Chinese proverb which breaks life down into four main human emotions. The story sheds light on the concept that no human emotion can be replaced with any other emotion. Another lead actor, “Fingers” (Played By Andy Garcia) controls all of these human emotions and connects them with one another. Sorrow, Pleasure, Love and Happiness are the puppets of Fingers. He can do anything to them and with them. Happiness, one of the emotions happens to be a bank employee who overhears a sure bet at a horse race and bets $50,000 from the bookies. Once he loses the bet “Fingers” threatens him to return his money back and hence fails to get them. He then robs a bank to get the money but when two helicopters envelope him, he decides to throw the bulky bag far from everyone’s reach.

Furthermore, the story of Pleasure focuses on his ability to foresee the future. He joins the group of “Fingers” and witnesses a horrific past of his brother being tortured by two teenagers. He later on connects with Sorrow (Sarah Michelle Gellar) who becomes the next protagonist. Sorrow plays a pop star and dancer named “Trista.” She works under a manager who is indebted to “Fingers.” Therefore, the manager uses all of Trista’s money and hands it to “Fingers” assigning her to work under him. Trista escapes and meets Pleasure. He saves her life and after a while they become lovers. “Fingers” finds out where Trista is and kills Pleasure for betraying him and saving Trista. Trista also has a special blood group which immediately connects Love with Sorrow.

Love is the last part of the movie, where Kevin Bacon’s love (Julie Delpy) gets bitten by a venomous snake. Therefore, the doctors require a special blood group that only Trista has. Kevin (Love) finds out in an interview that Trista has that blood group that is required to save Gina. Love finds sorrow and Trista is found in a hospital. At the same time, Fingers reveals to Trista that she is pregnant and threatens her to abort the baby she is carrying. Trista tries to commit suicide by jumping off the roof but Love saves her. In the end, Sorrow donates her blood and saves Gina’s life. She escapes in a car and the same scene is repeated from the beginning of the movie where Happiness escapes with robbed money but as he throws his bag full of money it drops on to the roof of Trista’s car and she escapes from the airport, beginning a new chapter of her life.