Bhag Amina Bhag ~ Telefilm Review

Bhag Amina Bhag is a telefilm based on the life of Naseem Hamid, the Pakistani athlete who won the 100 meter race in the 11th South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Dhaka in 2010. A proud moment for the nation, along with the gold medal this win also earned Naseem the title of fastest woman in South Asia that year.

But, before came this moment of glory there were hurdles galore.

Written by Farah Usman (script supervised by Noor ul Huda Shah), directed by Yasir Nawaz and produced by Sameena Humayun Saeed and Shahzad Naseeb, Bhag Amina Bhag is the beautifully handled retelling of Naseem’s inspirational journey – from her humble beginnings in the bylanes of Korangi to the international stadium in Dhaka.

There was nothing extra-ordinary about Amina’s early life, in fact much is depressingly familiar. An abusive father, victimized mother, socially conditioned bias towards sons, societal disapproval, familial pressure to conform and fit into an acceptable box – Amina’s story is sadly unremarkable in how commonplace it is. But.

What makes Amina’s story different is her refusal to let others dicate her life. Her journey is challenging and unglamorous, but with constant encouragement from a childhood friend, Haris, and gradually increasing support from her mother, this film is a tribute to a young girl’s grit and determination to carve out a different path for herself. Yes, this is a story of patriarchy, domestic abuse, unequal treatment of women, corruption, but it is also a story of aspiration, ambition, resilience, and most importantly self- empowerment.

Biopics by definition have a teleological trajectory; we know what happened but how it happened is where the art of story telling comes into play. Bhag Amina Bhag is a standout in how the story unfolds. There are a lot of hot-button issues but not once are we hit on the head with “messages” about “social issues.” Rather than dwelling on its darker tones, the narrative is refreshingly upbeat and surprisingly humorous as the story tellers subtly hone in on the motivational aspects of the story, leaving it to the viewers to connect the dots. Most importantly, the telefilm never loses focus of the fact that this is a story about Amina’s journey hence we are spared the preachy lectures and the rah rah chest thumping jingoism.

For a story like this to work it is essential that we connect to the protaognist Amina, and thanks to Aamina Sheikh we do. Aamina is brilliant. You have to watch this to see her commitment to the character and how she transforms into this seedhi saadhi larki from a kaccha pakka makaan near the train tracks. There is not a single false note here. Shahroz Sabzwari is very good here as Haris; his acting here makes me question how and why his skills have stagnated over time. Lubna Aslam, Rashid Farooqi are very good as Amina’s parents. A young Paras Masroor (we all know him now from Sange-e Mar Mar) is effective as her brother.

Allowing the real and raw performances to stand out is the world inhabited by these characters. The railway colony setting is real and unaffected and as much a character here. There is no glamor and no attempt to prettify the picture but then neither is it a glorification of poverty.  Director Yasir Nawaz walks this fine line carefully and is mindful to not meander into the doom and gloom zone but then does not go all OTT pretty and colorful either. Watching this telefilm reminded me of why I used to look out for Yasir Nawaz’s projects once upon a time. Hopefully his Mehrunnisa We Lub U phase is not a forever one.

There are many reasons why this telefilm continues to stay with me: An empowered heroine who is an agent of change; the subject – there is absolutely nothing about sports on TV (not counting off-screen dramas) let alone anything about women in sports; Aamina Sheikh. There are only a few among the present lot (as in not from the PTV era) who commit to a character like Aamina does. Aamina, I’ve missed you – waapis aajayen!

Bottomline, if you are looking for something hatke then this one is for you. Watch and let me know what you thought!

Written by SZ~

Bhag Amina Bhag ~ Telefilm

 

Advertisements

7 replies

  1. You brought back so many good memories.. i have watched this tf before too but after reading your review.. saw it again.. and its indeed so so good.. everything kept simple n just to point..70 mins long tf but worth every min.. i liked how aamina n her mother were makeup less thought out.. and how amazing is Aamina sheikh.. i couldnt help recalling her JH.. as Salma and our first celebrity here at Drnr to be interviewed.. n Shehroz was really good.. this tf n also his TNS as Altamish..he was superb there….

    I really love how Aamina takes her character putting her v.much effort. Her act in video song directed by Adnan Malik . (Something with Punjab) whatever stunts she did were all real..

    Thanku for Amazing review n recalling the great times.

    Like

    • @ Rehmat: Spot on! 7o mins pass by so quick ke you dont even realize. No OTT rona dhona and no mirch masala… when writing this I kept thinking of Baaghi and Sammi and now Mujhay Jeenay Do, and how each of these was like a bara masaley ki chaat and ppl dressed up like they were going to a fancy dress party..
      I so wish media ppl watch this and understand what is it we mean and want when we criticize these new dramas ..

      Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Like

  2. Thank you for recommending this. That was a really fun (and short!) watch. I really liked the straightforward structure and the general lack of melodrama. All the acting was pretty great too, even from Shehroz Sabzwari. I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t recognize Paras Masroor at first though, lol.

    I don’t know how she did it, but Aamina Sheikh was perfectly credible as a school girl and as a young woman. I wish she would be in more things. Is she deliberately working less now?

    Like

    • @RK: Thanks for checking this out on my rec. Im so glad you enjoyed it.
      Haha! Paras does look very young, doesnt he! But then this is almost 6 years ago.
      Aamina is absolutely fab in how she gets in the skin of her characters. Idk if you have watched Mora Piya, but that is a big fave of mine, sadly another one of those serials that coudnt get traction.

      For this particular character I remember she actually trained so that it could all look real. I dont presume to speak for Aamina, but she has said that she would come back when there was something worthwhile, also she had a baby so she took time off for that. Pakeeza was her last serial on TV, with Alyy Khan, but it shaped up really badly. Her new film “Cake” with Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik is slated for a Dec release.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s