The Pakistani sci-fi film is one rare breed. The last one to make a mark at the box-office was 1989’s Shaani, which while decent production-wise (for its era), lacked the impressive visuals requisite of the genre. Following a 30 year hiatus (excluding some forgettable fare in the 90s), the genre is back with a bang! Project Ghazi’s trailer was quietly dropped without much fanfare yesterday, and left its fans cheering.
Starring top-billed actors Humayun Saeed, Shehryar Munawar and Syra Shahroz as leads, Project Ghazi went through an extensive post-production phase over the last year and a half. And the results are there to see in the two-minute long trailer.
The trailer grips you instantly with its initial shots showing a group of men, possibly soldiers, straddling through rough alpine terrain. In the background, the dialogue between Saeed and Munawar hints that these are shots of a backstory involving the latter’s father, who passed away in the mission while saving Saeed’s life. Speaking like a true soldier, Munawar urges Saeed to sign him up for the next important mission. “Whatever it is that you are afraid of, it is not stronger than my will,” he says.
And Saeed does introduce him to the all-important mission at the heart of the film. A dark entity called Qatan has nefarious designs on Karachi and the country. Adnan Jaffar, who plays Qatan, looks perfectly evil wearing his 3-D rendered mask, outlining plans to spread his destructive wrath like the true malevolent force in a super-hero movie.
However, Shehryar being the superhero will have none of this. With the super-smart Syra Shahroz on his side, he faces off Qatan and gets in his way. Here onwards, the impressive visuals take over, and Shehryar is shown fighting Transformer-esque robots, riding super-fast bikes and beating up the baddies the way only a super hero can.
The strong visual component of the film almost overwhelms the trailer’s other aspects. There are numerous shots of Aamir Qureishi testing and playing around with some very futuristic machines, all impeccably rendered. Moreover, the entire setting of the film, from the labs where Syra is shown working to the outdoor setting for encounters with the villainous forces lives up to the sci-fi billing.
Shehryar and Humayun’s acting and dialogues may come across as somewhat wooden, but it has to be noted that the two are playing army soldiers, hence the monotonic delivery and stoic expressions are pretty much par for the course. Saeed does bring his A-game to the film, and looks quite suave in his super-soldier avatar. Shehryar Munawar is not too far behind, and looks every bit the next generation soldier sporting his futuristic military gear and weaponry.
While the visuals of the trailer impress, the writing at times appears to be lacking depth. However, we will have to watch the film to be in a better position to judge.
For the time being, be sure to catch this trailer, and share your views in the comments. Project Ghazi is scheduled to release on March 22 at theaters across the country. It will be distributed by IMGC Global Entertainment.