Josh (Against the Grain) ~ A Movie Review

Josh

Call me a sentimental fool if you may, but I watched Josh with a huge smile on my face. When the movie ended I wanted to stand up and applaud, and actually would’ve if my husband handn’t been around. As it is throughout the movie he kept looking at my dopey grin wondering if I was losing my mind. By the time end credits rolled around I’m pretty sure he was convinced ke meri biwi bechari paagal ho gayi hai. “What was so great about this ke tum itni khush ho rahi ho” he finally asked. I looked at him, began to answer then thought better of it. “Forget it, you won’t get it.” Later when I did tell him he laughed, calling me a softie, a sap, a sucker.  Ghussa tau aaya, magar theek hai .. . softie tau softie hi sahi. No matter what he thought nothing was going to diminish the pride I felt while watching a Pakistani movie on Netflix. Watching a movie online (legally) is not a big deal if you are a Japanese, French, Korean, Iranian, or Indian, but for Pakistanis like me this is huge.

j4

Fed up of seeing us portrayed as terrorists and our country depicted as either an embattled landscape or a  staging ground for foreign forces to fight their wars, I am thrilled to have the option to recommend a feel-good, well-made, apni movie to my non-Pakistani friends. josh-9Not all of us live in areas where these films are typically screened or perhaps have schedules that prevent us for making it to the special screenings, and this is where this option of online viewing is fabulous. Hopefully Josh is just the first of many that will make their way to media streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, etc as well as become widely available for purchase. There are so many more movies – Waar, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi, Lamha (Seedlings)  – that I would love to watch and share. Revival of Pakistani cinema is not just a catchy slogan but also a pressing need. We can no longer afford to have others speak for us. We have a voice and its about time we reclaimed the narrative and made ourselves heard.

j7Coming to the movie itself, let me begin by saying that Josh is a feast for the eyes. Cinematographer Nausheen Dadabhoy succeeds in capturing the very essence of Karachi, conveying that imperceptible vitality which is hard to describe with words.  There is development alongside decay, ugly modern buildings standing next to those from the colonial era, thailey walas selling gola-ganda outside the posh cafes where the hip crowd hangs out. The starkness of the rural landscape is beautifully offset by the chaos and confusion of the metropolis and Nusrat Bi’s humble gaoon wala ghar is eloquently juxtaposed against the elegant interiors of Fatima’s luxurious house. Right from the get-go these visual contrasts set the tone for the ambitious reach of the film. J1Rather than focusing on one strata of Pakistani society, Iram Parveen Bilal’s Josh is a film that looks to straddle both sides of the socio- economic divide. There are students for whom history is about the past, something interesting they study in the comfortable environs of their English-medium school. These are the lucky ones. Living a few hours away are those for whom history is not a thing of the past. Studying under an open sky, their books trampled upon by goons bearing guns, these children are unwitting participants in the writing of history – alif se Allah, bey-se-banduk. 

j8Josh (Against the Grain) is inspired by true events that led to the founding of Khana Ghar, a small dhaba in Karachi where the hungry are fed a full meal for only 3 Rs. Here, in director and writer Iram Parveen Bilal’s version, Fatima, a young idealistic schoolteacher, joins hands with her slain housekeeper’s family to bring about a change in the feudal setup of Khuda ki Basti. History books tell us Pakistan came into being in August 1947, but for the peasants of Khuda ki Basti alif se azadi is a dream yet to materialize.

So far so good. The visuals are stunning, the story is powerful and most importantly rather than focusing on the tired narratives of terrorism, endemic poverty, haye becharey loag, corrupt politicians, Joshevils of the socio-economic divide, and debauched feudals, what we get is an evenhanded and empowering narrative. Not only do we see the problem but are presented with a solution as well – it is time to reclaim our voice. Rather than waiting on our leaders it is up to us to come together and become the agents of change. And it is precisely here where the strength as well as the problem of the film lies, the reason why my husband couldn’t get my enthusiasm. Josh is a beautiful movie and is all heart BUT it is all over the place and lacks a soul. I was moved by the thought of Josh, the feeling behind Josh touched me, but the movie itself did little for me. The pace lagged, the narrative lacked tension, and the flat story line had a sense of inevitability about it. More often than not the dialogues tended to get preachy. There is a subtext but the heavy-handedness of the text left me disenchanted. A little subtlety would have gone a long way in helping me relate to the going-ons in Khuda ki Basti. Many characters held interesting possibilities, several questions were raised, but all were left to dangle in the wind.

For a movie inspired by the story of Parveen Saeed, j9the driving force behind Khana Ghar, there was surprisingly no buildup to her character at all. Ahmed, Nusrat Bi’s brother, whose actions served as a takeoff point for the story, inexplicably faded away into oblivion. Khalid, the school master whose eyes told so many tales contributed nothing to the narrative. Uzair, the young politician, who appeared taken by Fatima, and Adil, Fatima’s frustrated artist suitor, seemed to be rivals for her affection but their track seemed to have been forgotten by the end. Fatima’s father had an absent presence in his daughter’s life. Khan, though appropriately menacing, was a composite of all the evil waderas we’ve seen over the years.

Josh3Of all the hodgepodge characters, the two who made their presence felt were Nusrat Bi, Fatima’s nanny, and Gulsher, the conflicted goon. The scene, where Gulsher warns off Nusrat Bi was simply fabulous. Gulsher offering fateha at the fresh grave was another memorable scene.  Tipu Adnan, Nyla Jaffri, Mohib Mirza, Saleem Mairaj, Parveen Akbar, Khalid Malik, Khalid Ahmad, Kaiser Khan Nizamani, Gul-e Rana, Qaiser Naqvi, Naveen Waqar, all are great actors and it was disappointing to see them in these half baked characters. Standing head and shoulders above all was Aamina AS2Sheikh as Fatima. Josh is Fatima’s story. She is the linchpin that holds the movie together and the reason why I could not walk away. Though Fatima is a naive do-gooder, as unidimensional as everybody else in the movie, there is a sincerity, a believability about the way Aamina plays her. Along with the cinematography, Aamina Sheikh is the reason you should watch the movie, if you haven’t done so already. Finally, lest I forget, the soundtrack is an absolute winner.

Overall, I would say Josh is a well-intentioned, well-made film. A lot of hard work went into the making of this film and it shows. Is it the best thing out there? No, it isn’t. There are problems with the script, the story needed a sharper focus, and it was about 30 minutes too long, but having said that I have no hesitation in owning and supporting this film.  The more films we make the better our filmmakers will get at telling their/our stories. Josh is a begining, here’s to looking forward to many more, bigger and better Pakistani films in the years to come.

For further information about Josh (Against the Grain) and details about its online availability check out their website or visit their  FB page

 Written by SZ~

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16 replies

  1. Netflix is being unfair with UK subscriber … Your review is making me more anxious to watch it jaldi say and it am sure my reaction would would be the same … Proud and Softie :)))) I am one of those Pakistani ‘s who turns the football in the front where it says ” made in Pakistan” ! My SIL is friend of Irium and she has been telling how she worked really hard to make this movie , my SIL helped the NY premier … So it’s an honest effort from a very talented young girl ..

    • @Sheema isn’t it!! so unfair!!! Ive been after Josh for ages and when I saw @SZ’s review I was so glad ke I could finally watch it.. but lo & behold neither itunes nor amazon are doing us any favours here in the Uk.. I hope they release it here soon!
      @SZ I felt that sense of pride with Waar.. Would love to hear ur views on that.. (and shahid fridi..lol.. ).. r they available on itunes/netfix/amazon etc in the US?

      • @FA: No, as far as I know Waar and MHSA are yet to be released widely here in the US. I am holding out for the “official” versions and refuse to watch the grainy YT links… Ab lets see when the ppl incharge get around to making their films available to a wider audience.

        • Aww..so true abt watching the legit stuff.. I hope they release Waar soon there..and thats def a movie for big screen… Will b waiting for ur review! Abb mill ke dua karte hain lol
          I wish they wouldnt test our patience like this…. Have to admit though, josh has managed to keep their print pretty nicely sealed.. Cant even find those grainy yt prints lol

  2. @Sheema and @FA: Sorry! Checked and saw that the online streaming was good only in North America 😦 Apparently Channel 4 has the UK rights so hopefully they’ll make it available there.as well.

  3. Beautifulll Review Sz… I just loved it..how awesomely you have put everything.. 🙂 though havent seen movie yet but ur review made me very much curious to admire the beauty of karachi captured by camera and amazing acting, and story too … 🙂

  4. “aaj ki sham mere dil ki salaami lay lo” .. (in this case aaj ki raat 😉
    yaa phir
    “ghareebon ki “raat” ameeron k naam
    isi baat per mera sub ko salaam”

    LOL ..preshaan na hon bilkul thik hoon bhai main nay socha movie hai tou hum bhi thora saa filmi shilmi ho jyn 😉 …zara maahol tou banay…aur aaj ki poori raat aap ki nazer ho gai aur kitni yaad-gaar rahi ye alfaaz main bayaan kerna mushkil hai ..mazaaqi cheezon ko bayaan kernay say yun bhi oon kaa luf jata rehta hai ..tou bus samajh jyn dil ki baat… 🙂
    Faaaantastic review..bohut acha likha kher ab ye kehna bhi routine ki baat ho gai lekin phir bhi hum kahein gay aur kehtay rahein gay k kamaal ker dia…

    Movie per kal baat karoon gi abhi just ek do batein
    sab say pehlay tou main bohut khush hoon k aap nay routine say hut ker kuch different cheez pesh ki yaad hai main nay aap say kaha tha k koi movie review kren ager is blog k format main shamil hai tou..kiunk sirf dramas dramas dramas..kabhi kabhi main bohut bore ho jati hoon kiunk wo hi actors phir same stories sub kuch same same..dil oob jata hai..is liay koi article ya koi aur cheez taza thundi hawa kaa jhonka lagti hai 😀 ..tou jitni bari smile k sath aap nay ye movie dekhi (main dekh sakti hoon oos manzer ko jo aap nay alfaaz k zeriay khencha hai) utni hi bari smile k sath main nay ye review perha ..akhir kaar main bhi ek softie hoon.. 😀 …nahi nahi aap ghalat soch rahi hain is maamlay main me aap ki behun nahi hoon…bulk “jurhwaan behun” hoon …LOL

    bus ab andaza ho gaya ho gaa meri khushi kaa…aur mere khayal say telefilms k ilawa ye aap kaa first movie review hai tou Mubarak baad wasool kren kiunk bohut umdagi k sath film ko cover kia…kiunk mere hisaa say movie aur drama do completely different medium hain is liay ek hi stylesay dono ko review nahi kia jaa sakta..ager kia jye tou pta chalta hai k reviewer ka inclination /expertise k baray main saaf pta chul jata hai is liay next time zara aur careful rahein waisay ye semi art movie hai tou bilkul perfect style tha aur umeed hai ye silsila chalta rahay gaa…

    acha ek baat jo aaj kal bannay wali paki movies ko dekh ker sochti hoon k hum bohut serious movies bana rahay hain chahay KKL bol Waar Chambeli Swarangi etc ..ye sub semi art movies hain bohut intense serious dark thoughtful even depressing subjects k sath..aap ko nahi lagta k abhi revival of cinema k zimen main humein aisi movies bannani chahiay jo “masses” k liay hon ..light entertaining fresh ideas wali…jo oon ko appeal kren aur oon k caliber k mutabiq hon jin ko wo understand bhi ker sakein..kiunk movie drama ya dosray tv pgms ki tra nahi hai k channel switch kertay kertay laa-muhala aap dekh hi lein gay bulk is k liay tou tayyari k sath time nikaal ker paisa khurch ker k gher say nikal ker cinema jana perhta hai tou eye catching appealing tou hon..bus patriotism k jazbay k tehut public kab tak niklay gi..akhir main tou entertainment hi chahiay

    dosray ager main ek out sider ki nazer say dekhoon tou aisay lagta hai ye movies bohut cultured developed educated audience yaa society k liay hain yaa aisa show ker rahi hain hum as a society itnay mature ho chukay hain k aisi movies ko understand ker saktay hain..dekhain dosray countries main unhon nay apni society ko itna educate kia hai through films k ab wo ready hain her qism k cinema k liay oon ki ek history hai..wahan different categories main movies banti hin ye sweet cinema hai ye art ye serious ye entertaining cinema hai lekin humaray yahan tou siray say cinema culture hi nahi hai in halaat main mujhay lagta hai k humaray movie makers bohut bari ghulti ker rahay hain..tragedy ye hai dramas filmi ho rahay hain with all the lutka jhutka mutkaas aur chichor panay ki hudon ko chootay hoay aur movies jahan in ki zaroorat hai aur movie k medium k hisaab say aap k paas azadi bhi hai k aap is qism ki cheezon ko dikha saktay hain mager wahan sanjeed-gi k daray hain..

    main disappoint hoi Bol dekh ker aur kitna be-zaar hoi bta nahi sati kiunk oos ki entertainment value zero thi lekin haan bohut thought provoking thi bulk zaroorat say ziada..kiunk ek point k baad tou main nay sochna bhi chor dia tha kiunk problems ek sailaab ki tra niklaay chalay aa rahay thay movie main say…tou shoaib sahib kaa trade mark entertainment with heavy msg jo sunehray din ABC main dekha wo missing laga..baqi terf bhi ye haal haal hai

    app kia kehti hain is baray main..kiunk ye wo back ground hai jis main me nay ye movie dekhi in khayalaat k sath ..movie per kal baat hoti hai 🙂

    • @RJ u raised a very interesting point here. it reminded me of what i heard recently aur yeh baat mere dil ko choo gai.. Its like Hollywood vs british cinema.. We see all kind of stuff, big and smaller projects coming out of Hollywood. Its massive and caters to a huge market. british cinema however generally works on much lower budgets but they generally have a distinct ‘art’ value..
      The masaledar stuff is already being produced in bollywood, and it will be very difficult to beat that..our cinema needed that distinction.. & after KKL and bol Pakistani cinema seems to have created that ‘hatke’ mark for themselves…
      now i feel ke we believe in bhair chaal and formulas.. after the success of the kkl and bol, our movie makers decided to work on this formula and and andhadhunn they started working on similar stuff.. there was one point in time when i saw promos of 5 movies and they all looked the same…
      having said that, Im glad ke we r getting thought-provoking, educating, different than typical stuff and not the same old same old. As for the audience, i think there is still plenty of masala, it just needs to be presented and integrated well..
      I had this sense of pride in me watching a pakistani movie on big screen in the UK. But as much as i back/own our local movies, our movies do have a long way to go.. esp when it comes to the narration. Ive watched 3 films recently, and i felt they all lacked substance. the concept was brilliant, the presentation was was lovely but it had adha kacha adha pakka feel on the inside..
      In these movies my biggest turn off factor was the typical lollywood filmy touch.. wohi old filmy chehre and almost theatrical performances.. my biggest disappointment was mein hoon shahid afridi.. the topic was really exciting but i thought the execution was such a disappointment.. an abrupt ending, the cast, and disjointed narrative, all lead to such a huge let down… Abb jaise aap ne kaha aisa halka phulka topic couldve done well but alas!!
      pata nahin kiya kiya likh diya.. i hope my ramble makes some sense..

      • @FA: Yaar, you need to give me lessons on how to get my point across succinctly and effectively .. ji bilkul we are on the same page! 🙂

        • @SZ abb itna mazaq!!! itna sharminda tou naa karo yaar!
          btw totally agree with ur analysis. These films are mainly to get a accreditation and make a mark. and hopefully that will bring in more commercial stuff.. fingers crossed!

    • @RJ: Thank you hosla afzai ka 🙂 Ji mujhe bilkul yaad hai aap ne kaha tha and blog ka format to is vrey elastic as long as I can justify that the movie/film/show etc is connected to Pakistan in some way shape or another I have no problems reviewing it. I’m no sure if I had replied to you then or not, but my issue with movies is ke first of all I am against watching pirated prints, and Pakistani films dont get released officially till long after, and basically nobody cares by then. Secondly, the movies that do release here in theaters tend to do so in cities with a large South Asian populations, NYC, Dallas, Houston San Fran, etc,, the other way to watch them is at special screenings in colleges, various film festivals, etc and those dont always coincide happily with my schedule so that’s another issue. This is precisely the reason why I was thrilled that we could watch this on Netflix which is an online streaming thing. Ab for instance, I have not yet seen MHSA, Waar, and all others that have released. I did see Total Siyappa recently and if anybody is interested I am happy to review that. So that’s the long and short of why I don’t review movies 😦

      The second part of your comment is one that has been talked abt quite a bit and I have frequently discussed with our media professionals as well, and your question touches upon a very crucial issue that impacts not only our films but TV dramas as well, i.e, who is the target audience. Lets begin with something we are all very familiar with on this blog, the issue of the mazloom aurat, formula plots, etc. The question we always ask is who decides what is aired and how do they come arrive at this decision. The answer I always get is that our audiences tell us what they want, audience ki demand, and we are catering to our audiences. Her they are talking ofcourseabout the TRPs and the local audiences. The diasporic audience is not a huge concern at this point, because channels earn money with ads shown in the local market. So the basic things we see here are target audience and profits earned.

      Ab consider the case of films, up to a couple of years ago our local industry had pretty much died out. Lollywood films, that were being made at the time, had been by and large rejected by the viewing audiences, affecting the profit margins. Wit the local films gone, the viewers got used to watching the more glitzy international films. Ab in this scenario for a local filmmaker to step in and make a commercial film required a huge budget and given that there were zero tech facilities these filmmakers had to not only account for regular costs associated with film making but also factor in costs for new sophisticated equipment, processing facilities etc, and then with the govt not offering any financial incentives there was no movt on the commercial front at all. Why should anybody bother. Audience who wanted to watch films were watching Bollywood, Hollywood and all other woods out there, why would they come out to watch mediocre poorly produced films? The few movies that did get made, showed a lack of technical sophistication and aesthetically they were a strange mish mash of Lollywood and TV serials. KKL, BOL were made with private efforts and some corporate sponsorship, but even then they had limited budgets and were made to cater to a niche audience. KKL had a clear agenda and a diasaporic audience in sight. BOL too was something that was not really catering to the masses. These were Shoaib Mansoor’s babies and he made them for a specific target audience. That they did well commercially was something of a surprise to everybody concerned. The good thing that came out of these movies was that they put “Pakistani cinema” on the avid movie watchers’ horizon. There was now a particular kind of cinema associated with Pakistan. The independent filmmakers who followed Shoaib Mansoor took their lead from him and we are seeing films like Josh, Lamhe, etc. Again, these films are not really aimed at the local market, but for international festivals etc.

      Coming to the latest batch of films that are being released, even though we lump them all together. they are actually quite different from each other. Josh, Lamhe (Seedlings) were never meant as commercial cinema. In terms of looking at these as art films, I have not seen Lamhe, but for Josh I have to say it was a first step. Made with mostly indiv supprt, much like Ramchand Pakistani, this was Iram Parveen Bilal’s first feature film. She has made documentaries before and that inexperience shows in her film. The actors too are coming from TV and that is pretty obvs as well. And this one again is not for local consumption. The story is too naive and simplistic to be appreciated by the local audience, even the niche one. It was good for audiences abroad, not to show how sophisticated our films are, but rather as a first step in what I call “reclaiming our voice,” to show we are not all bearded and burqa-ed and living in abject poverty and waving guns like crazy. So again a clear cut agenda. This one was not appreciated for its artsy-ness or its powerful story or the story telling technique rather the applause was for showing a positive side of Pakistan (this is borne out by the reviews and comments posted on their FB page). Where the film succeeded was in conveying its intended msg: Yes, we know our problems and once we get over our rich/poor urban./rural divide we can solve our problems without outside interference.

      Re: the jingoisim in Waar, again I havent seen it but i found it very interesting when Bilal Lashari explained the excessive use of English as being an important part of the film because they wanted to present another side of the story, we are not terrorists etc. What I think about that statement is a story for another day, but again the question of target audience, and that explains the nationalistic streak, it was a part and parcel of the movie. And in many ways, this topic was a safe bet, we are a jazbaati nation and we would always support a subject like this. The positives it brought about were that introduced fresh blood, a whole batch of young technicians, new equipment was brought in etc. This film also sat in the cans forever, till they could find backers etc. So money is a huge issue. With a subject like this they could attract foreign markets as well, Considering the amount of time and money that was spent it needed to do well outside as well. MHSA was a safe film as well, much more commercial, relatively small budget, but still testing the waters.And here, I’m not even going into the issue of weak scripts etc, because again scripting directing, etc, all these are things require practice to get it right.

      Ab with the success of these two films we know that the Pakistani films can make money. The commercial films you are talking about will come and are in the pipeline, I hear a major production house has over ten commercials films being worked on right now. but these will take time. The films we are going to see released during this year at least will be more of these smaller budgets, artsy if you may, films that were designed to cater to a niche audience but because of this renewed interest in films they will be released commercially. And there is a whole spate of them, An exception to this will be Sultanat, which like Ishq Khuda was in the cans forever, and is finally going to get released this Eid. Many parts were so dated that they had to be reshot and new stuff added etc.

      As to the question of “entertainment for the masses,” a small phrase but a totally loaded one. Just look at our TV dramas and morning shows and tell me if there is a broad consensus on what constitutes entertainment. These days we are a society which is so splintered ke its hard to talk abt what is considered “healthy” entertainment. We are also a society that is extremely hypocritical. What we throng to watch in Bollywood films is not what we are ready to accept in our films.Take a look at the trailer of Sultanat… I can hardly wait to hear feedback on that. These bigger questions aside, I would say that we need to give our industry time. Time to not only find its footing but also get a clear sense of “audience ki demand.” And this can only happen with time. The more money they make the more our filmmakers will be willing to experiment in terms of subjects. With success will also come n fresh blood. So far we have a clear cut division between the Lollywood style filmmakers. Syed Noor, Faisal Bukhari etc, or the independent filmmakers. Ab after Waar and MKSH the equation has started to alter so we will get newer directors, newer techniques of story telling, more risk-taking in subjects etc. Abhi tau we have directors who are moving from TV to films, Sarmad, Haissam, Mehreen, and actors who are moving from the smaller to bigger screen, so the transition will take time and it is only after a few years we will have an independent film industry that is distinct from the TV industry. Meanwhile all we can do is to not only support our industry but keep offering constructive criticism as well.

      Finally, on a related note, we as audiences have to mature as well. This is not to say we turn into snobs and say everything is below us, but rather to be realistic about our expectations and watch without blinders on. Not everybody who criticizes is anti-Pakistan and there is no need to talk down or bash non-Pakistani movies. Our films are good and interesting but far from being perfect, in fact to be bluntly honest they lack in almost every department. That said, like I wrote in my review, lets not miss the forest for the trees. Watching Josh, I was not blind to its faults, but that did not stop me from owning it and supporting it wholeheartedly.

      (FYI, this whole comment is not aimed at one particular person, rather I would like this to see this as a begining for an open discussion about what we think of Pakistani films today and where we hope to see them reach in the next five years).

      As for dramas becoming filmy … lets leave that for another day… yahan tau main ney poori kitaab hi likh daali.. ab if it is incoherent and rambling to please ignore, As they say: Ya paas kar ya bardasht kar! 😉

  5. Umm kahan say shuru karoon..chalo wahin say jahan say mera is movie say introduction hoa yani trailer..jb main nay trailer dekha main itni excited hoi pehla dialogue “alif say allah..bay say bandooq and then “azadi munao 2 rupee main” nay mujhay bohut impress lekin oos k baad “azadi ki itni barhi qeemat di hai ab mana-nay k bhi paisay denay paren gay ” nay mujhay completely mesmerize ker dia aur barhay josh say “josh” ki release ka intezaar ker k movie dekhi…lekin

    Ab pta nahi kia problem tha…lekin mujhay laga k ye movie “azadi” k issue ko address kray gi zara broder perspective main..jaisay balochistaan main jo agitation hai kuch freedom movements bhi ser utha rahi hain..swat /Kashmir side per jo ho raha hai aur jo hum sab k ander chul raha hai ..yaani inner conflicts say azadi..phir national aur international level per jo challenges hain in ko highlight kray gi most importantly jo humara past hai partition /independence /two nation theory/ sab kuch aaj k tanazer main aaj ki generation k POV say analyze kia jye gaa…because I thought k azadi hasil kernay k liay hi nahi qeemat di jati bulk is ko berqaraar rakhnay k liay bhi mustaqil struggle aur sacrifices ki zaroorat hoti hai…tou mera first impression tha k shayed ye movie in main say kuch issues per baat kray gi lekin ye kahin bhi nahi umeed thi k ye koi commercial film ho gi..

    Lekin is main azadi k concept ko bohut mehdood ker k ek “basti” aur oos k makeenon ki azadi tak ker dia gaya ..chalo wo mere andazay ki ghulti thi is main film kaa kia qasoor.. koi nai..ab sawal ye hai k jo aap dikhana chah rahay hain oos main aap kis hud tak successful rahay hain? lekin oos say bhi pehlay aap kia dekhana chahtay thay? kia topic tha?…..I think concept/idea jis per movie ki bunyaad thi jo aap nay bhi explain kia acha tha”change hamesha ander say ata hai..jab tak aap k ander kisi cheez say azadi ki khahish naa ho aap kuch nahi ker saktay sath hi kaam-yaabi k liay unity ki bhi zaroorat hai etc” lekin is concept ko pesh kernay k liay jo story likhi gai oos main kuch bhi naya pan nahi tha pta nahi kitni Bollywood/lollywood movies main ye story thoray bohut ferq k sath dekh chukay hain fresh ideas ki presentation main bhi kuch innovation kuch uniqueness honi chahiay ..her cheez be-hud predictable thi….

    phir concept k zimen bohut ziada issues ko ek limited time main pesh kernay ki koshish ki gai jo nakaam hoi..i mean class difference /feudalism / poverty /politics /empowerment of poor and needy /violence /rape pta nahi kia kia kuch daal dia jo humaray movie makers kaa bohut bara problem hai k bohut saray issues ek sath highlight kernay ki koshish kertay hain aur oos main buri tra nakaam hotay hain ..in main say her ek topic per ek alag movie ban sakti thi jis main detail k sath oos issue per baat hoti aur solution per bhi

    Suspense element kuch itna ziada tha k ek point per laga k “nusrat bi k sath kia hoa” bus ye hi kahani hai ..yaani is murder ki mystery ko solve kerna hi movie kaa maqsed hai jab ye ho gaa tou film khatam ho jye gi..bohut ziada screen time isi cheez per waste ker dia jab k total film time approximately one and a half hour tha …phir ager aap k paas itna limited time hai tou characters oos hisaab say dalein..mujhay length k hisaab say characters bhi ziada lagay baaz assay thay jin ki story main koi khaas contribution nahi thi….phir in ka koi past na history ek dum kahin say aye kahin ghaib ho gai..half shaped..black and white…static..aur kia kahoon

    ek aisi story jo kisi ki life say inspire ho ker likhi gai aur bohut son ko inspire kernay ki gherz say likhi gai oos main aisay characters jo movie k baad asaani say bhool janay walay hon kiunk oonk ko wo time/space.dee hi nahi gai k viewer per grow ker sakein oos k dil-o dimagh per koi gehra tasur chorh sakein ..

    Solution ki baat aap nay ki..bilkul is main wo raasta dikhaya gaya jis per chul ker oon problems say nijaat hasil ki ja sakti thi jis kaa shikaar basti k makeen thay..mager sirf raasta..solution kia tha khan k betay ki mout..oos k baad sub asan tha..at least main is ko aisay hi dekhoon gi kiunk oos say pehlay khan ki position bohut strong thi aur jo protest etc ho raha tha oos ka oos per koi aser nahi tha even media yaa mohib ki dhumkiyon ka bhi kuch notice nahi lia tha….mere liay ye practical solution nahi tha..ek aur problem jo hum akser dramas/movies main dekhtay hain k jab kisi character ko oos k anjaam tak pohun-chanay ki koi possible soorat nazer naa aye tou oos ko maar do..chalo ji qissa khutum..jo bhi tha oos bachay ki mout ki koi justification nahi thi

    ager ye makaa-faat-e amul bhi tha tou mujhay aisi kisi movie main is ki umeed nahi thi jo insaan ko motivate kernay apnay bul bootay per kuch kernay zulm k khilaaf awaz uthanay aur struggle kernay k strong msgs denay k liay bnai gai ho..phir itnay barhay problems chutky main solve ho gai..within 20 minutes movie khutam….bohut sawalon k jawab nahi milay..ager nahi milnay thay tou oon ko cherha kiunk..jaisay Fatima/adil track etc

    in main say ziada ter batein aap nay review main bhi kin hain..lekin main nay kafi khul ker tanqeed ki hai..dekhain main ek pk movie ko morally support kernay k ilawa ye ker sakti hoon k cinema main jaa ker dekhoon yaa oos kaa official dvd khareed ker..lekin is kaa matlab ye nahi k dekh ker bhi main sirf is liay apni ankhein bund rakhoon kiunk ye k pk film hai..revival of cinema..industry ko support karo etc etc…ye nahi ho gaa kiunk behtari isi soorat main aye gi ager hum apna honest feed back dein gay k kahan kia kuch ghalat hoa..ab ager aap ko mujh per ghussa aa raha hai tou sahi aa raha hai lekin main kia karoon aisa hi ghussa mujhay is movie per aya tha

    ab plus points kia thay..of course pk movie hai phir Urdu movie hai jo ek waqt main banna bund ho chuki thin..over all feel bohut achi ek dum fresh modern hai..camera work aur cinematography be-hud aala hai sab say bara plus point ye hi hai….kuch scenes bohut khoobsoorati say pesh kiay..bilkul visual delight hai ..BS jis ki aap nay bhi baat ki bohut munasib aur songs bhi film k style say match kertay thay
    Josh is all about amina skeikh…ager aaj say kuch saal baad is movie ko yaad rakha jye gaa tou tecqnical aspects k ilawa amina bhi ek important reason hon gi…mera khayal hai bohut ho gaya ab khutum karoon….aap k jawabaat kal doon gi

  6. I was so excited to find out Josh had been added, too! I adore Amina Sheikh and had been looking forward to Lamha and Josh ever since they started on the festival circuits, but these kinds of independent desi films are so hard to come by (more so, I think, if they are not Indian).

    Fab review – she was great, and technically excellent film, but it could have been so much more. But still a good effort, and even if it were not, an effort worth supporting.

    • I happened to catch Josh on ARY when they played it a few months back. But to see it made netflix is pretty awesome! I really hope they consider adding other pakistani films as well. Would love to check out Aamina Sheikh’s Seedlings.

  7. @SZ. Saw this film in 2015. (Christmas R & R). I liked it. Didn’t skip like I do a lot other films. Your review is spot on, SZ. I think some of the characters could have been better developed, Gulsher, the school Master, even the young politician…eh, well I’m not just saying this because MM is fun to look at! What I loved most about this film is that I got to see Karachi. I loved the markets and the foodways. It made the city alive for me, rather than just the glossy fronts I have seen in some dramas. I enjoyed it because this kind of visual treat is absent even in Bollywood with their expensive sets and foreign locations, we don’t get the feel of an Indian city or even India. AS was fabulous. And I liked the chemistry between her and MM.

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