The Jury Review: Balu Mahi

The eagerly awaited Balu Mahi released after a grand promotional tour and much hype on social media. Showcasing reigning talents, Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jaffri, in the lead roles, the film marks the big-screen debut of catwalk queen Sadaf Kanwal.

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What is most pronounced about the movie is its clichéd storyline. From the opening scene where Bilal (or, as he is rather unfortunately nicknamed, Balu) declares his love to the wrong dulhan, to Mahi’s dreamy yet fiercely independent personality, to her overbearing family with their kill-first-ask-questions-later attitude, to the hopelessly inevitable falling in love, the clichés will make you go “been there, done that” like little else.

But while the plot is average at best, the generous sprinkling of wit and humour makes this film highly watchable. Veteran actors Durdana Butt and Shafqat Cheema had the audience in stitches as they traded gibes and barbs with admirable gusto. Javed Sheikh’s cameo was absolutely hilarious and definitely one of the highlights of the movie.

Kanwal plays the gorgeous and seductive Sharmeen, who flirts up a storm with the hapless Balu, much to his chagrin and the audience’s delight. His politely feeble attempts at throwing off her attentions, consequently landing himself in some rather sticky situations, are the object of much hilarity in the latter part of the movie. I did feel that, other than a pretty face, Kanwal doesn’t add much depth to the movie.

Butt, too, failed to impress, which was rather a shocker. His expressions, his dialogue delivery, all seemed rather forced and mechanical. A few acting classes would do the trick there, I believe…

Mustafa Ali Khan was phenomenal as Hassan, Balu’s loyal sidekick, Hassan, an unflappable guy with the uncanny ability to outsmart a car full of goons and lead them on a merry wild goose chase across the country, all to help Balu and Mahi reunite.

The soundtrack is amazing, while the stunning depiction of the old city of Lahore and the breathtaking northern areas are sure to leave one awestruck. If you’ve been waiting for a film that delivers high entertainment value, look no further.

Balu Mahi offers two-and-a-half hours of light comedy, sappy romance and filmy dialogues. Do be sure to leave your thinking caps at home and gear up for some pure, adulterated fun and entertainment!

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