For the first time in Pakistani cinema “revival”, I watched the trailer for a movie and got very excited to watch it as soon as it was released. The movie being Chalay Thay Saath , which was released this Friday, the 21st of April.
The very next day I came across a movie review posted on The Express Tribune which labled the film to be Beautifully Bad. I refrained from clicking on the article and decided to experience the movie for myself, without forming a biased opinion.
Sigh. It hurts my heart to admit that the article was indeed pretty spot on. The movie turned out to be a sore disappointment, pretty much like every other Pakistani movie that I have seen in the past 2 years.
So here is a list of random and ridiculous thoughts that I had during this oh-so-very-lengthy movie along with a small plot summary. Warning! Possible spoilers!
1- Opening shot: Legit haseen Pakistani scenery.
2- Introducing Resham (Syra Shehroz), a doctor living in Karachi with her friends Tanya (Mansha Pasha) and Zain (Osama Tahir), a troubled married couple, on the verge of divorce, because obviously they have no sense of privacy.
3- Behold, how Resham greets her father (Behroz Sabzwari) on the phone:
Dad: “Budha hoga tera baap!!”
Resham: “Baap se he tou baat ker rahi hoon.”
Yes, okay. Because that’s totally normal.
4- So Resham decides to go back home to her dad, which is situated in the mountains. (Sorry I forgot which ones. They literally all look the same. I’m guessing Hunza?)
5- Tanya, Zain and Faraz (Faris Khalid) aka the group’s 3rd wheel decide to tag along with Resham making it a farewell trip of sorts. Enter random aunty who they meet on their flight to Gilgit.
6- Aunty turns out to be a total badass aunty btw. After her disobedient children tick her off, she leaves them and her home behind and sets off on the trip to the mountains to chill. Aunty you are future goals, I swear.
7- So the group of 5 becomes 6 when they pick up Adam (Kent S Leung) from a graveyard in their adorable lime green Volkswagen. Instant spark between Resham and Adam of course, who cannot speak a word of English or Urdu. And communicates with everyone through his Google Translate app, throughout the movie. Because a little communication gap never stopped nobody. Pakistan boys, take notes!
8- Resham likes to write in a leather bound diary, which she drops by accident. The diary is picked up by Adam, who immediately shoves it inside his backpack. Because that’s how you win a girl, you steal her personal diary, duh!
9- The movie progresses as the group travels through the mountains, enjoying the breathtaking views. And the occasional Pepsi (product placement done oh-so-subtly) Tanya and Zain continue to stay curt to each other and we see Adam and Resham being adorably cute. A certain Star Wars and Harry Potter reference in the movie made me giddy with happiness. Geek in me approves.
10- In a scene, Adam sneezes and says “Alhumdulliah.” To which everyone reacts with a shocked expression, followed by a burst of laughter. Apparently, this was the director’s not-too-obvious attempt to tell us that Adam was a Muslim. So the people thinking haw haye yeh tou Chinese non-Muslim hai, can shut it.
11- The group ends up in some location, nearing Resham’s home, where they meet Zhalay Sarhadi. Who is a carpenter. Yep. With the hammer and wood planks and stuff. With the full faced make up and jhumkas and stuff. Because logic. Farhan instantly falls for her.
12- Meanwhile Adam gets random people to read out Resham’s diary into Google Translate to understand what she has written. Resham on the other hand has no clue that it’s day 4 and her diary is missing. Like come on. Am I the only one who keeps her journal closer than her kidney?
13- Zain and Farhan (who were brilliant actors btw) catch Adam with the diary red-handed and Farhan starts beating the poor thing up. Resham runs to the rescue. Big fight. Farhan leaves. And Resham sits down with Adam and explains to him how she has written about her deceased mother in the journal. Adam also opens up about the death of his father and how it strained his mother. They hold hands. Awwww.
14- The holding of hands was somehow a declaration of love and marriage plans being formed. Well alrighty then. Sure enough, Resham calls up her father and tells him that she’s bringing home the guy she wants to marry. Erm hello? DID ANYONE EVEN ASK ADAM IF HE WANTS TO GET MARRIED? Well they definitely cut that scene out then.
15- At this point, they part ways with aunty, who was totally irrelevant to the plot anyway. And Farhan stays back with Zhalay. Zain and Tanya decide to keep their differences aside in order to help Adam win Resham’s father’s approval. Cute scenes follow.
16- Somebody needs to explain to me how all the characters was wearing brand new outfits and shoes every single day of the week long trip? WHERE oh WHERE were they storing these? Everyone was only ever carrying a tiny suitcase.
17- So after a week of leaving Karachi, they reach Resham’s home. YUP. You read that right. Resham meets Adam, falls in love and decides to marry him in a span of a week. And we thought Disney was ridiculous.
18- At this point Adam’s phone gets messed up and without his translator, his first impression with future Dad turns to an epic fail. Dad refuses to let Adam pass through his doors and makes him stay in a tent outside. Saying that he would only let Adam pass when he proves his worth as a Bahu. Sorry, Damaad I mean. You shall not pass!! Such hospitality. Much wow.
19- Adam stays a night in the tent and gets a call the very next day, informing him that his mother was hurt. He packs and leaves a 2″ x 2″ piece of paper on Resham’s window explaining the situation. No tape or nothing. He just. Keeps it on the window. And sure enough, the piece of paper gets blown off the window as soon as Adam turns his back.
20- Resham gets upset when she realizes that Adam left. And her father promises there and then that he would find Adam and bring him back. Basically. THAT’S ALL IT TOOK? A FEW TEARS?
21- At this point, the movie takes a turn into real life events. A landslide in the nearby mountains causes the area to flood and Resham and her father lose their home and are forced to live in a refugee camp. Which is luxurious AF btw. Meanwhile Adam reaches his home in Beijing.
22- Here a random event turns the refugee camp into summer camp with singing and dancing and you’re just sitting there like, what the actual hell? Who knew people who’d just lost their homes could be so jolly.
23- Adam hears about the landslide on television and with his mother’s blessing, he travels back to Pakistan. A soldier at the Pak-China border informs Resham’s father that Adam is back in Pakistan. At this point you just give up asking questions like how did the guard even recognize Adam? Aren’t all Chinese men supposed to look the same? Pardon my stereotyping.
24- In a cheesy turns of events, Resham’s father starts preparations for welcoming Adam back. At this point, Adam steals a boat and gets to the camp. And is welcomed back with literal open arms of Resham’s dad. Resham is overjoyed to have Adam back. And then they get married in designer clothes and flawless makeup in a REFUGEE CAMP and you’re just sitting there like wut wut wut wut wut is this life.
The movies ends without revealing whether Adam abandoned his sick mother and became a ghar damaad. Or if Resham abandoned her old, homeless dad and moved to China. Either way, it would be horrible. So. Umm.
So there you have it. For a movie which began with such promise, it got worse and worse with every passing minute. The sad thing is that the movie was shot very well, the acting was good, the attempt to capture Pakistan’s beauty was a success. There were some nice, heartfelt jokes and a very cute Chinese guy. But despite all these things, the horrendous plot of the movie just killed it.
Hence I’m officially adding Chalay Thay Saath to my “Pakistani Cinema Revival Ha-Ha-Not-So-Much” List.
I would never advise anyone against watching it. Go watch it for yourself! You never know, you might end up liking it. After all there were people who loved Ho Mann Jahan. *coughs*
As for this review, I am in no way being judgmental and hating on the actors. I love all of them, especially Syra!! This is just my personal opinion.
With that note, until I review the next crappy Pakistani Movie,
P.S: All photos in this post have been taken from the official Facebook page of the movie. I own none of them.