Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia deserve a fair bit of credit for trying something different. Gumm, competes with the re-releasing Jackpot & KGF. The ideas behind these two film may be different but both to tap into a pre-existing segment. While, with Gumm the film makers try to offer a new kind of cinema, especially in Pakistan. The film slowly peels of the layers to reveal the story, so I try refrain from giving away any spoilers. The film does however look like it's inspired from a couple of Western films.
We start in the jungle. Asad (Sami Khan) is in agony due to injuries as he groans sitting in this damaged car trying to recall how he ended up here. The initial setup is engaging. The hand held camera technique serves well in displaying the horror Asad is facing. The audiences are hooked, trying to understand the hows and the whys. Shamoon Abbasi as Haider Chura, adds a layer to the complexity. The conflict between Asad and Haider Chura is organic and you understand the reasoning as well. The swagger of the dagger master is embodied by Shamoon. Like Sami Khan, in the jungle sequence, Shamoon only gets a few lines but makes an impression with his expressions and body language. Apart from the quite unrealistic climax fight sequence, things look real. The background score is also done by Ammar Lasani and Kanza Zia adds to the sense of doom. In places, however editing leaves a bit to be desired. All in all, in this section of the film you are at the edge of your seat, waiting for things to happen as two individual fight it out for survival. Haider, has a reputation to maintain, in his own eyes, while Asad’s physical and emotional survival is dependent on getting out of here alive.
But the film falters in its flashbacks segments. The backstory of Asad is typical, and disjointed. The setup is done quite well, but the reveal segments are ensure that the film loses its touch. They are mostly sudden. The love story between the lead pair Dua & Asad, (Shameen Khan and Sami Khan) is just needless. Sami Khan’s half-hearted attempt at being a ‘Gunda’ just doesn’t sell. He struggles desperately to make you laugh with his unfunny jokes. The songs further take you away from the jungle experience. Shameen Khan as the wide eyed beauty, for whom Asad falls in a minute has been given nothing to work with. Her make up team has done disservice to her. The bright and shiny frames are a world apart from the reality. Asad’s actions in the jungle are dictated by his primal instincts
In its survival mode, Gumm is gripping and intrigues you at least initially. However, in the flashback mode the film derails, completely. One is involved in the survival mode but the reveal segment losses you. That is the pitfall for Gumm. Nevertheless, it is a worthy attempt in expanding the landscape for Pakistani cinema and one you could enjoy in parts.