Sad Shayari in Hindi, a first film in the decade of Pakistan’s ruling PML party, is notable not only for its star studded cast but also for its timely subject, a story about a young girl’s quest to find her birth mother. The movie, which was directed by Saleh Bokhara, had its world premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. It won seven awards at the festival, including best film, best actress (Saya Khan), best director (P.S. Bokhara), best choreographer (Rizwanath Choudhury), best cinematography (Arman Atta), and best director (Raheel Ahmed). The film made a lasting impression on both local and international audiences.
The title character of the movie is Saleh Bokhara, a talented and well known actress with both Hindi and Pakistani roots. Bokhara was born in a family of artists and writers in Karachi. After school, he joined a popular cinema house, where he acted in several movies, including one as an anti-hero in ‘Business tycoon’ that went on to become very successful. However, his luck was ruined when the producers forgot to cast him in the lead role of the film and instead chose Saira Khan. Despite this, Saleh managed to bag three additional acting awards for his performance in ‘Arafat’ and ‘Mankatha’.
The plot of the movie is that Saleh Bokhara returns home to Pakistan after enjoying his last few years in Los Angeles. He becomes a celebrity quickly, thanks to his amazing physique – and is touted as a ‘complete package’ by his friends. But this only fuels his passion for searching for his birth mother, Sharifulah Saleh Bokhara.
The movie progresses chronologically through the life of Bokhara from his childhood until the present. We see him growing up, studying, getting a job and finally realizing that he wants to pursue a degree that will help him land a good job in telecommunication. It is then that Bokhara’s life goes haywire. He falls in love with a 16 year old girl who calls him ‘baka baka’, or rather, ‘boy’ in Urdu, and later goes out with him and his friend to spend their free time. Shortly thereafter, things go sour, and Bokhara is arrested along with the girl’s friend for having sex in public.
The film then cuts to the present, where Bokhara is living in a small rural village, unsure of how to live his life since he was thrown out of a college, and forced to work in the fields for his friends. This experience leads him to form a close friendship with a boy called Shakeel Aabir, whom Bokhara later marry. However, things don’t go well, and Bokhara later gets captured by the terrorists of the Mullahs in revenge for the death of his best friend, Sharifulah.
We then cut to the happy end, where Bokhara is happily married to a beautiful woman, to the delight of his friends and family, while Shakeel is captured and killed by the Mullahs. So far so good. However, things don’t go all smooth again, as his new wife starts cheating on him, and he then kills his best friend to get back at his wife. Finally, with enough time on his hands, he decides to go to Pakistan and find out the reason for the murder of his friend. The movie ends with Bokhara travelling to Afghanistan and getting involved in fighting against the Mullahs.
So what is the main theme of this film? Is it about a boy from rural Pakistan who becomes a superstar? Or is it about a girl from a small Indian town who finds love and happiness only in an alien world? Or is it about the difference between real life and dreams? The happy end to both films depends entirely on the viewer. While many people may enjoy both films, I feel that Happy End has more twists and turns than Happy End, and the storyline develops far better and stays interesting throughout.
Both films have excellent cinematography and some really weird scenes. However, Happy End is undoubtedly better, thanks to Om Puri and Parth Shah’s fantastic performances. Both films are definitely a must see when in India. And just in case you haven’t seen either, what are you waiting for? Go see either one now!