Almost there, but not quite: Parwaaz Hai Junoon could not soar as high as it expected to
Haseeb Hassan’s Parwaaz Hai Junoon has been in the limelight for quite a while now. Ever since the trailer was released, the obvious patriotism of the film moved even the hardest of souls, but that was not all. The younger star cast, comprising of Hania Aamir, Ahad Raza Mir, Shafaat Ali and Shaz Khan, definitely made it more appealing. Add to that the social media sensation and forever Pyare Afzal in our hearts – Hamza Ali Abbasi – and you have a film the entire country could not wait to watch.
The film, centred on the Pakistan Air Force, comes across as an experimental attempt to rejuvenate love for the country, which is why it revolves on the theme of youth, romance and patriotism.
The plot switches between two timelines. The first highlights Saad (Ahad), Sania (Hania) and Zaid (Shafaat), a group of young recruits struggling to become fighter pilots. The second shows how Hamza (Abbasi), an Air Force pilot falls in love with Sania at his friend Nadir’s (Shaz) wedding, and inspires her to join the Air Force as well. How these two timelines intersect is perhaps where Parwaaz Hai Junoon falters.
Performance wise, Hania comes out looking natural, enthusiastic and very believable as a woman who aspires to serve her country.
Say what you will about Hamza, but he is a first-rate actor. He somehow manages to look younger, and perhaps did not need to work too hard to come across as a patriot willing to die for his country, for he excels in the scenes where his patriotism is out on display and succeeds in making the audience emotional.
Shaz, also a great performer, plays his role of an Air Force pilot and Hamza’s friend with utmost conviction.
Ahad’s character is a bit confusing, which is perhaps why, despite his best efforts to offer a decent performance, he simply does not resonate with the viewers. Those who have seen Ahad act in dramas can easily tell he can do much better than this. Asif Raza Mir, like his son, unfortunately misses the mark. He was given a good character to work with, but there was something half-cooked in his performance.
Shafaat, on the other hand, comes across as the surprise, adding much-needed light and fun moments to the film. He’s clearly a good addition to the Pakistani film industry and should do more films.
Like most films, Parwaaz Hai Junoon has its plus points and shortcomings. For instance, it shows some great aerial combat scenes, and keeping in mind this is a Pakistani film, credit should be given to the cinematographers. The dialogues were aptly written by Farhat Ishtiaq, and do justice to both, the patriotic and romantic aspects of the film. The character development too is on point, with proper space given to every character to make the audience relate and connect with them.
However, the shortcomings outweigh the plus points. The biggest issue in the film is how weak it is on the technical front. There is poor camera work, and then there is camera work so bad that certain shots are out-of-focus. Funnily enough, those scenes don’t even feel like they belong in the film in the first place, making one wonder why the filmmakers went to the extent of keeping them in, despite how poorly they reflect upon an otherwise good film.
Moreover, the overall plot drags as it tries to balance between the two timelines, and certain scenes are kept in despite contributing nothing to the film itself. Leaving these on the cutting room floor could easily have taken 15 minutes out of the film, making it crispier.
Moreover, for a film like Parwaaz Hai Junoon, which revolved around patriotism and romance, the music could have played an instrumental role in making the audience love the movie even more and remember it for years to come. Unfortunately, most of the songs in the film feel unnecessary and do not really add anything when it comes to the sentimentality or the memorability of the film.
Ultimately, the art of storytelling is the only selling point for Parwaaz Hai Junoon – for a patriotic film, the narrative and the characters connect with the audience and viewers remain engaged in the film. One has to acknowledge this is a decent effort by the filmmakers and brings yet another new facet to the Pakistani film industry.
Parwaaz Hai Junoon is thus a good film but a one-time watch, and might have performed better had it been released either on August 14th (Independence Day) or September 6th (Defence Day), given the patriotic feel the movie leaves you with.
All photos: Screenshots
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