Arth – The Destination is nostalgia of yesteryears

Positives

Excellent cinematography and locations

Negatives

Script and Editing

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Acting
Music
Direction
Bottom Line

Over all 'Arth - The Destination' will receive mixed reviews and might not appeal to all cadres of audiences

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December 22, 2017 – Toronto, Canada | For a long time, there had been a great hype relating to Arth – The Destination, for the fact that not only it’s a remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s Arth, but also a Romantic Musical that Pakistani audience has long been waiting for. The film was first announced in 2015 and finally, Arth – The Destination was released in Pakistan on December 21, whereas in Canada it was released in select theaters across the Greater Toronto Area on December 22.

The film includes a star studded cast that includes Shaan Shahid, Humaima Malick, Uzma Hassan and Mohib Mirza.  

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Before the release of this much awaited film, Humaima Malick and Shaan Shahid gave the eager audience an insight into Arth – The Destination.

“This film deals with the concept of ‘decisions’ and their powerful role in an individual’s life and, eventually, it is these decisions that determine the destination, hence the phrase: Decisions determine Destination.” said Shaan Shahid for whom this film is very close to his heart having directed and writing the script as well. With Shaan praising Humaima’s character build up in the movie she adds, “without the remarkable efforts put in the movie by Shaan Shahid and Hammad, I or other artists would have never been able to do justice to the characters, much less the movie itself.” 

Arth – The Destination also talks about those steps that lead an individual to his/her destination. In the film, and as a director, Shaan reveals the decisions or destination that the characters in the movie make or pursue, the movie exhibits life-changing moments in its characters’ lives – moments that determine the destination of these characters. 

Direction:

With great ambitions and high emotions, as a writer and director Shaan Shahid took the liberty of reshaping the theme of 80’s original Arth where Shabana Azmi was the core character of the film. In the remake, it is all about Ali (played by Shaan) the older, forgotten artist of yesteryears and his struggles as he returns to Pakistan after a gap of over 12 years. The opening scene of the film shows poor direction and characterization when Ali is signing his divorce papers, and how his ex-wife and their respective lawyers conduct or act out the proceedings. All throughout the first half of this film, the characterization and what happens between Mohib Mirza and his wife played by Uzma Hassan, or how Mohib and Humaima Malick fall for each other has been very rushed. The viewers are left to their own imagination how relationships evolve during the important first half of the film.

The film has a wonderful cameo by Ali Azmat, and he leaves his mark during the few minutes he’s given screen time. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan also makes an impressive appearance in of the key musical highlights. 

Cinematography:

No doubt, the choice of locations and cinematography are of excellent quality. London has been beautifully captured. Luke Rocheleau is known for his work on Waar (2013), 100 Degrees Below Zero (2013) and Bullet (2014).  

Music:

Film’s music is composed by Sahir Ali Bagga. Murshid Ji, Aadat and Sanwarde Khudaya were released before the film came out and added to the anxiety and anticipation as the film neared its release date. One of the film’s strength without any doubt is its music. Murshid Ji (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Sahir Ali Bagga) and Sanwarde Khudaya (Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) standout for not only being melodious but also how these songs have been weaved into the over all theme of the film.

Acting:

Had the script stayed in line with the original 80’s hit, the star cast would have had more freedom to elaborate on their acting skills. Humaima Malick was reduced to a glamorous showcase which was not what Smita Patel played in the original Arth. Uzma Hassan’s character seemed over the top, and while she was supposed to portray an ordinary girl, her performance did not match what was expected from her character. Mohib Mirza on the other hand tried his best to justify the character, however limited screen time complicated his onscreen presence. As for Shaan, since the film revolved around his character, he had enough opportunity to prove what his character was going through – Did he manage to pull the audience to his charm and charisma? That is something the audience will tell.

Canadian Perspectives:

The audience in Canada was wondering whether it is an Urdu film, or an English film with some Urdu dialogues? “Shaan could have done better”, were the few remarks we heard, and further comments like, “beautifully shot film, superb quality, but falls short in terms of script and direction”.

Verdict:

Watch Arth – The Destination if you are one of those viewers who like to build your own opinion about this medium of art form – The film has a great visual appeal, good songs, your favourite actors, and the film tries to relive nostalgia of yesteryears.

Reviewed by: Anjum

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