Film review: Bin Roye is a love story that will give a boost to Pakistan’s film industry
Bin Roye Directors: Shahzad Kashmiri and Momina Duraid
Starring: Humayun Saeed, Mahira Khan, Armeena Rana Khan, Javed Sheikh, Zeba Bakhtiar
Bin Roye marks the film directing debut of television producer and director Momina Duraid, who has lent it the distinct feel of a Pakistani small-screen serial.
With the exception of perhaps a dozen films in the past decade credited as contributing to “the revival of Pakistani cinema”, Pakistani films have not been much to write home about.
Pakistani TV serials, on the other hand, have been ruling the roost since the 1970s and are followed with devotion not just by Pakistanis, but other South Asians across the globe.
The story is based on the book Bin Roye Aansoo (Tears Without Crying) by Farhat Ishtiaq and is a complex love triangle between Saba, her sister Saman, and their cousin Irtiza. Ishtiaq’s novel Humsafar was also made into a 2011 TV serial which became a super hit under the same title.
According to Duraid, the film “is all about emotions and the fact that any emotion, especially love, is not simple. This film explores how love and hate can go side by side”.
Saba, portrayed by Mahira Khan (who appeared in Humsafar), is definitely the highlight of the movie. As a naive young girl hopelessly in love, a jilted lover, and then a reluctant wife, the evolution of Saba breathes life into each character.
Khan is known for her brilliant depiction of emotional distress and gets enough opportunities to display her talents here. The film’s male lead, the actor/director Humayun Saeed, feels there are two scenes in the film that are highlights of Khan’s career. By watching the movie, it’s not hard to figure out these scenes. Khan’s performance is complemented well by the seasoned actors Saeed, Javed Sheikh and Zeba Bakhtiar. Technically and aesthetically speaking, the film is superb. Beautiful locations, lavish sets, stunning costumes and overall remarkable art direction make Bin Roye not only a true visual treat, but also a perfect Eid surprise.
The film, billed as a “music-driven” project, brings together a host of famous names for its soundtrack. The token wedding song Balle Balle deserves special mention for its exquisite visuals and beautiful choreography. The story is emotional and heartbreaking, as one would expect from a novel by Ishtiaq, albeit a little far-fetched.
Perhaps it is a shortcoming of the screen adaptation, but in some places, one can’t help but feel that what is happening is downright unbelievable for a film that claims to be rooted in reality. At times, the pace also leaves something to be desired: some parts are excruciatingly slow, while others go by in a flash.
Overall, this film was a pleasure to watch. It’s a complex love story, and one that does not pretend to be anything else.