High mountains, river valleys and lush greenery with winding roads, you could be watching a scene in the Alps but wrong. The location is Swat valley, one of the beautiful regions of north Pakistan bordering India. The film opens with clash of ‘enemy’ aircrafts entering Pakistan air space and how the Pakistan Air force immediately commissions two of their brave Pilots to scramble with their F16s who follow and oust them, congratulated by their colleagues upon their return. This is a signal by the director of the bravado, loyalty and principles with which the PAF pilots live and work.
We, at ESHADOOT, were invited to The Mayfair Hotel in London for the media preview of Parwaaz Hai Junoon a modern film from Lollywood produced by Momina Duraid who is a producer director famous for creating some of the best drama serials winning many awards. Her message to the young Pakistanis watching this film was to enjoy it as true face of the country. For an original Bollywood follower the screening was a pleasant surprise. The film is made in association with Pakistan Air Force produced by HUM films, directed by Haseeb Hasan in a directorial debut.
Hania Amir at the premier
The actors were fresh faced along with veterans like Hamza Ali Abbasi and Hania Amir who were present for the preview, adored by invited guests. The story revolves around this young Pakistani girl Sania (Hania Amir) falling in love with PAF fighter pilot Hamza (Hamza Ali Abbasi) who she met at a wedding. The daily lives, jokes, emotional struggles and patriotism among the pilots is show cased in the most humble and family viewing way. The story takes turn when in an encounter Hamza dies and Sania takes on the mantle of becoming air force pilot in his memory. Her progress at the PAF Academy in Rislapur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is filmed in detail and Hania Amir Carries it well bearing mind the ground breaking storyline demolishes the stereotype of a girl competing in the macho world of men. Some scenes when the fresh cadets arrive are reminiscent of the famous Richard Gere film An Officer and A Gentleman and plush English is used sparingly.
Momina Duraid with the cast of the film
The wedding shot showed a very short clip of the girls playing what looks like Garba, famous Guajarati folk dance as well as dance routine frequented by Bollywood choreographers. But the film is very different as it has clear a message, bringing equality of sexes, showing courting scenes between young couple in a conservative country and spreading inspired message to Pakistan’s youth. It is also good that the storyline is detached from religious fundamentalism and other uncomfortable political matters. Cinema goers have to decide whether the story is more akin to a few privileged and liberal middle class.
Any young man or woman watching the film will have good vibes as it touches on many taboo subjects at all levels- relationship between an authoritative father and son, a grieving widow and her daughter having lost her pilot husband in crash fighting for the country, camaraderie among the cadets and of course breath taking landscape.
The pace and connectivity of characters is well crafted so at no stage one can ignore what is happening which is the key to watching a good film which definitely this is