It’s very important for films this Eid to perform well at the Pakistani box office. Not only is the Pakistani box office coming back from a deadly pandemic, but the films we make are also few and far between. Dum Mastam is among the few films releasing this Eid al Fitr. In the UAE the film has already been released and continues to show in various cinemas. Starring Imran Ashraf, Amar Khan, Momin Saqib, Sohail Ahmed, Uzma Beg, and Saleem Mairaj (among others), the film is written by Amar Khan and directed by Mohammad Ehteshamuddin (Superstar). The feature is produced by Adnan Siddiqui and Akhtar Hasnain.
The story charts the emotional journey of Aaliya and Baoo (played by Amar Khan and Imran Ashraf respectively) as they spar against each other because Aaliya wants to be a big star and Baoo is just a lovelorn useless admirer of hers. A twist of fate occurs and Baoo and Aaliya’s paths are conjoined forever and drama continues to ensue.
Various authentic and charming supporting actors appear. The most entertaining appearance, without a doubt, is of Sohail Ahmed, whose powerful comedic zingers will definitely make you laugh. Uzma Beg as the hapless mother, Momin Saqib as the mad singer, Saleem Mairaj as the sleazy, opportunist manager all have distinct and individual flavors and each of them is wonderful in their own right. They provide much of the film’s Punjabi, androon Lahore flavor.
The music and choreography impress, considering Pakistani standards, especially Larki Achari and Beqarar Dil. Guest appearances by Adnan Siddiqui, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, and Kiran Malik are a nice touch, as are the cameo appearances by various social media influencers such as Omair Alavi, Arslan Naseer, Moroo, and Wajahat Rauf among others are also a nice touch.
The story falters in its screenplay towards the climax and perhaps it could have done well with slicker editing in the first half. Aaliya and Baoo’s conflict is established from the very first scene so the subsequent patches seem repetitive. In the second half, the climax seems to be mostly dialogs with a few punches thrown in for good measure.
The real winners in this show are Imran Ashraf and Amar Khan who are completely at ease and it really doesn’t seem like their big-screen debut. Imran shows various shades in his performance and as his character goes darker towards the end, you wish you’d have seen that angry Baoo much earlier rather than just in the last few minutes.
Amar Khan’s dressed-down performances are perhaps her high points, though she dances and glams up quite nice. It kinda makes you wish that we’d see such great actors in less high-powered stories and more toned-down, mellow features that told slice-of-life stories. Imran Ashraf proves that he’s not meant for just the small screen. He’s got an endearing quality to him that makes him incredibly likeable and relatable.
Verdict? Watch Dum Mastam for the stellar performances and some great music. You’ll find some of the scenes and plotlines a bit haphazard here and there but the whole feature defintely gets an A for effort!
Watch my review here