Films | Movie Reviews | Bol – Movie Review

Bol – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on September 3, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Geo films and Shoman Productions
DIRECTOR – Shoaib Mansoor
WRITER – Shoaib Mansoor
CAST – Humaima Malick, Manzar Sehbai, Iman Ali, Mahirah Khan, Atif Aslam, Shafqat Cheema,
MUSIC – Baqir Abbas, (original score music), Sajjad Ali, Atif Aslam

Faith and gender empowerment are tricky terrains to tread. Not only there is the danger of stirring fundamentalist sentiments there is also the danger of the message itself being sentimentalised. Shoiab Mansoor smoothly navigates this terrain in “Bol”, with the right decibel and emotional emphasis.

“Bol” is the story of a family in Lahore told from the eyes of Zainab (Humaima Malick), the gutsy eldest daughter of a traditionalist Hakim Saab (Manzar Sehbai), with seven daughters and a hermaphrodite son. The son grows up with his father’s hatred and the confusing dilemmas of his own urges. He falls prey to exploitation, ultimately to be killed by his own father. This drives the family into a downward spiral bringing them in touch with a nautch community. Circumstances force Hakim Saab to provide his seed to bring a female offspring to Meena (Iman Ali), the star nautch girl of Chowdhury (Shafqat Cheema).

The film begins with Humaima’s appeal to the President of Pakistan for release from capital punishment. As it unfolds we come to know the crime she has committed. But is she guilty? And if not who is the real culprit?

The film is not a thriller but a social drama. The culprit is misguided social mores that do not allow women her individuality. It is told with a strong rooted-ness with Islamic culture and lifestyles, especially of the down-trodden and peripheral. It is progressive in its thought and balanced in its approach. So rooted it is in its reality it is reminiscent of Tehmina Durrani’s works that detail her life experiences in a similar exploitative society.

Gender exploitation is not looked at from a singular perspective. There is the nautch community who exploit women for money and the objectification of women is complete.
Even as it portrays the progressive thought in Mustafa (Atif Aslam) and his family, it brings to light a bureaucracy-ridden system that does not give an ear to Humaima’s appeal. There are sharp fingers pointed to every level of society while exploring the ills that plague it.

Wonderfully supported by its entire cast “Bol” speaks loud and clear. After all it is meant for the ears that have shut themselves to all reason.

FATEMA KAGALWALA

 

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