By Omair Alavi
One look at the trailer of Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna is enough to tell the audience that something huge is coming. ‘Shoman’ has never done anything that is being done or had been done by anyone else and Verna keeps up with that tradition; Mahira Khan makes her return to films with the role of her life, giving expressions that her fans didn’t know she had. Let’s analyze the trailer and how it will help in taking Pakistani films forward.
WHAT I MAKE OF THE PLOT
One Happily Married Couple.
One Horrific Incident with the Wife.
Everyone including the husband avoiding her.
She takes the matter into her own hands.
Takes revenge despite everyone’s objection.
Hell breaks loose!
The best thing about Shoaib Mansoor is his ability to write the best dialogues and then shoot them in a way he wants; he is by far the most superior director in Pakistan, right up there with the very best. The explosive dialogues add tension to the well-edited trailer, enabling the audience to understand the difference between a TV drama and a feature film. We all know that the leading lady Mahira has evolved in the last few years but newcomers (to film) Haroon Shahid and Zarrar Khan are also not far behind. They deliver their expressions perfectly, making you sympathize with one and hate the other. Veteran actor Rasheed Naz reunites with Shoman a decade after terrorizing the audience as a Taliban leader; the rest of the cast impresses in their capacity.
The word bad may be common in our dictionaries but not in Shoaib Mansoor’s who works on each line for days; the absence of songs in the power-packed trailer can be termed as a put-off, considering the soundtrack of last two films is what made the trailer interesting. We all know that this is a revenge saga but from the trailer, it doesn’t look like one with hardly one shot featuring a blow to something (or someone) in the sink.
I was not expecting such a powerful performance from Mahira Khan, to be honest. Yes, she is a very talented, beautiful and expressive actor but what she has done in Verna is way ahead of others. Not many actors in Pakistani films (except for Mehwish Hayat in Punjab Nahi Jaungi) have delivered such a powerful performance that gives you goosebumps. The minimal makeup, the explosive dialogues, the scenic locations and the amazing performances is what will make Verna the third blockbuster of the year.
VERDICT – 4/5
Mahira Khan has fans all across the world and Verna will be a treat for all those waiting to watch her on the big screen, especially after the Raees snub in Pakistan. Haroon Shahid reminds you of the young Junaid Jamshed who acted in a couple of TV plays (count Geetar 93 as a performance). This film is Shoaib Mansoor’s third flick – first after Bol in 2011 – and his fans are anxiously waiting for the release date so that they can have an experience that others try to provide, while Shoman delivers.