When was the last time you felt that Bilal Ashraf should be preheated a bit before every movie to undo some of the stiffness? Probably around 20 months ago with Rangreza.
When was the last time you silently questioned yourself that despite all the hype and stardom surrounding her, Mahira Khan’s acting abilities might be a tad overrated? Probably around 14 months ago with 7 Din Mohabbat In.
When was the last time you saw a move about the film industry where the female lead appeared as though she was playing herself in some form? Probably around two months ago with Baaji.
There you go, that’s your review for Superstar, in a nutshell. The film doesn’t add anything new to those affiliated with it, and definitely won’t add anything new to your lifetime experiences.
Of course, that’s not the worst description you’ve read for a Pakistani movie in this space, or anywhere else. What makes it more disappointing in this particular case is the hype surrounding the project and its stars, that’s all come crashing down – without a whimper.
Of all the Eid releases the past week, Superstar came with the highest billing. The filmmakers went all out in its promotions.
Directed by veteran actor Mohammed Ehteshamuddin, Superstar is a love story that comes with a massive twist – one with the storyline, the other perhaps with your neck – considering the frequency with which you will move it to check what time it is.
The movie starts with Noor (Mahira Khan), a girl from a humble background, acting with conviction in a theater. Noor, who loves acting, wants to be an actor – not a heroine – and make a name for herself. She does low-budget advertisements and stage plays, but keeps dreaming big, despite the financial handicaps.
Her grandfather, Salim Malim (Nadeem Baig), was a famous director of days gone by. He fully supports Noor, which plays its part in making her a strong and independent woman. Eventually, her luck and hard work pays off and she gets in as a last-minute replacement for an advertisement.
And when you’re in luck, it comes in abundance. The ad turns out to be opposite the biggest star of the film industry, Sameer Khan (Bilal Ashraf).
Sameer is your quintessential star of stars. And he knows it fully well, which makes him arrogant. Owing to his disapproving father (Javed Sheikh), Sameer has always had to strive for more.
Noor and Sameer, from contrasting worlds, meet, and eventually fall in love with each other. The love grows stronger after a new talented director Shan (Ali Kazmi) decides to cast both of them together. And then comes the abovementioned two-pronged twist.
The writing by Azaan Sami Khan falls apart after showing the occasional glimmers. The cinematography and direction is run of the mill. Editing ranks up there with the worst of what Superstar has to offer, resulting in a rushed, chopped and incoherent final product.
The music is a relative highlight, which provides Azaan Sami Khan the opportunity to make some amends for the film and prove himself as a songwriter and music composer. The soundtrack might make it easier for you to pass the time here. Noori, In Dinon and Bekaraan are decently composed and produced.
Even so, perhaps the biggest letdown is the presence of the superstars in Superstar. Bilal Ashraf still can’t act to save his life and Mahira Khan appears largely clueless about the direction her own career is taking. Perhaps like Noor in the film she, too, is waiting for a big break despite being considered one of the biggest superstars in the country.
The question that we want to pose is: why don’t our superstars put their foot down and expect more from the writers and filmmakers of the projects that they sign up for? And while we’re on that, there is a multitude of superstar cameos in Superstar ranging from Fawad Khan to Hania Amir to Usman Butt – and they keep on coming.
So, dear Superstars, when are you all planning to make some decent use of your superstardom and give us films that can be classified as half-decent on a more consistent basis?