Gone are the days when people used to watch films just because of a successful leading pair; Superstar throws Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf into the ring, and let their chemistry do the wonders. The two had never even acted together in a TVC let alone films but by portraying Noori and Sameer Khan, they can easily make you forget the Fawad Khan – Mahira Khan Chemistry. Add some brilliant performances from veteran actors, some intelligently penned dialogues and an up-to-date take on A Star Is Born, and you have a film that will be remembered for a long time.
What does Superstar mean for Mahira Khan?
Superstar couldn’t have been better timed; it came at a time when every Tom, Dick, and Harry was criticizing her for her looks, her acting, and everything. Just imagine, Nadia Khan who can’t act to save her life was one of those who criticized her in a talk show. With this film, Mahira Khan not only raised the bar but also told her critics that she isn’t going anywhere. In fact, with The Legend of Maula Jatt all set to release soon, her detractors might be in for another shut up call. As for her performance, she looks gorgeous be it as Noor or Noori, before becoming a Superstar and afterward, and outdoes herself in every avatar. The film might go onto become her highest-grossing project and if that doesn’t shut up many, I don’t know what will.
Superstar is Bilal Ashraf, Bilal Ashraf is Superstar!
When you are a director’s actor and don’t get a good director, then you are labeled as a bad actor. That’s exactly what happened with Bilal Ashraf who after Azfar Jafri’s Janaan didn’t deliver a hit despite being cast in prominent roles. Until Superstar where he has removed that label with the help of director Ehteshamuddin and theatre director Sunil Shanker. Not only did he spent his time training as a theatre actor but also did everything that was asked by the Captain of the Ship, thus impressing all with his dialogue delivery, dances and above all, his expressions that weren’t there in Rangreza and Yalghaar. Yes, the Dharak Bharak song looked awkward but it was meant to look like that, and that’s what makes its placement in the film interesting.
There’s something about Azaan!
How many 25-year-olds do you know who can write screenplays, produce a film, and compose background score and songs in Pakistan? I know none and neither do you because Azaan Sami Khan belongs to that category of filmmakers who are multitalented and know that too. Here he outdoes his previous work mainly because a) he wrote the story, b) he knew where the songs would appear in the screenplay and c) what the song will be about since he was composing it. That way, he joined the league of Khwaja Khurshid Anwar and Shoaib Mansoor who wrote screenplay and songs of their films, which did well because they knew what they were doing. The son of Zeba Bakhtiar and Adnan Sami Khan has a bright future in Pakistan and it would be great if he continues to make his parents and all Pakistanis proud by going on.
And when you have Mustafa – Ehtesham together, nothing can go wrong!
No two writer-director in Pakistan are more in sync than Mustafa Afridi and Ehteshamuddin; the two have been working together for a long time and their collaboration does wonders in Superstar. While Mustafa is the man who wrote the dialogues in Azaan Sami Khan’s screenplay, it’s Ehteshamuddin who does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and giving them the power to deliver those dialogues. Every frame captured by cinematographer Khizer Idrees, every dialogue delivered by the actors, every arc explored in the film is due to this duo who have done a great job. Not once would you say that there is an age difference between Azaan Sami Khan and Ehteshamuddin because Azaan’s story seems mature and Ehtesham’s direction, full of youth, complimenting both without deviating from the plot. Add to it the presence of Nadeem Baig and Jawed Sheikh and you get a mixture of old and young that can make people watch the film in the cinema.
Except for a few issues that many had with the film!
And like every Pakistani film, there are some things that could have been done or not done to make it more pleasing to the eyes. There was a scene where another young actor was used as Nadeem Baig’s young version at the start of the film and had it been in my hand, I would have walked out because that wasn’t a testament to the great actor but an insult. Same goes for the unexplained arc featuring Nadeem Baig, Marina Khan, and Jawed Sheikh; although it was explained in the end as to what happened between them, it would have been great to see them all three in a frame together, bringing the best from the 60s till the 90s to the screen. Had that been done, it would have taken Superstar to new heights, but still, it does better than many.