Parchi: A Comedy Movie that Actually Looks Fun

#EmanAndBash

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Screen-grab from Parchi's official trailer
Screen-grab from Parchi's official trailer

Before anybody decides to call me out on this; yes, I know I’m late with this trailer review. But I had two essays and a bucket load of assignments due, so blogging had to take a back seat. But I did watch the trailer for this little beast. And I absolutely loved it! This may sound hypocritical when my diatribe about local comedy movies was published not two weeks ago. But yes. Shortly after I lamented about the state of local comedy; they released the trailer for the one film that actually looks good.

But as I mentioned in said blog post; the problem is monotony. And if anything, the trailer for Parchi proves that originality is possible. So, without further ado, here is why I am looking forward to this film.

                                    

A Fabulous Entrance

Now, slight confession; I really didn’t have much hope for this film based on the teaser. I may even have called it “try-hard”. But re-watch the teaser, there was genuine cause for concern. I mean I love Hareem Farooq, but it did very little for her.

The trailer however is a completely different story, and her intro shot is probably the best I’ve seen in a long time.

From Parchi’s official trailer

Literally oozing the kind of screen-presence her contemporaries can only wish for, she truly is a queen.

 

Hey Look; Jokes that Actually Work

A common mistake made by local comedies is confusing brashness with brilliance. Just because it is loud and below the belt, that doesn’t make it funny. So, imagine how pleased I was to discover that a comedy movie is actually going to rely on humour that is funny.

From Parchi’s official trailer

This isn’t ground-breaking or envelope-pushing humour. But it is funny, and really that’s enough for a comedic film.

From Parchi’s official trailer

 

Stakes that are Actually High

Now, as I have mentioned before, Pakistani comedies like meshing humour with drama. Often, they also inject politics into the mix. I mean, this is Pakistan, so why not? But far too often, the dramatic side of the film doesn’t evoke any kind of response.

Here, that isn’t the case. Shafqat Cheema is a sufficiently villainous villain.

In fact, he’s terrifying. Barely thirty seconds into the trailer, he delivers a rather forceful punch-line AND shoots a man in the head.

I am sold. This man is not a joke. Our protagonists are neck-deep in the worst kind of bad, the stakes are high and I’m invested.

 

Some Chemistry

Another recurring trope in Pakistani comedy movies (in fact Pakistani movies in general) is the breeding pair. The trite case of love at first sight, that we as an audience are supposed to root for. But very rarely do we actually care about these touted ‘leads’.

I mean, think about Karachi Se Lahore for a minute. Who did you care about? The two lacklustre leads or the stuttering national treasure?

Surprisingly, this film has a genuinely compelling pair. I can’t decide why, but I like these two.

It’s probably because both Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq are captivating performers. It could also be because their characters are both interesting in their own right. At any rate, when this happened;

From Parch’s official trailer

Part of me was genuinely upset. #EmanAndBash I ship this. I really, really do.

 

A Genuinely Loveable Band of Misfits  

I don’t even have to elaborate on how many allegedly “loveable” ensemble casts have been pushed down our throats. Literally every Humayun Saeed comedy is an excuse for him to get together and have fun with his friends.

Some of them work; as I have said before Jawani Phir Nahi Ani was actually quite good. But many of them have been wasted opportunities.

But, this time I have hope. And yes, I agree, you shouldn’t judge a film by its trailer. But the fact that every character gets a moment in the trailer is proof that the film will give them their space.

Also, special little shout out to Ahmed Ali, who continues to cement himself as a versatile talent.

From Parch’s official trailer

Expect a post about him really soon.

 

A Dance Number That Works

My dislike for item numbers has been well documented, and I stand by it. They are vulgar, outdated wastes of a film’s runtime.

But all dance numbers don’t have to be. And no, all dance sequences are not item numbers.

When I saw this little snippet in Parchi’s trailer, it just reminded me how much fun filmy dance sequences can be.

From Parchi’s official trailer

 

Some Filmmaking Talent

Finally, since I made a big deal about all Pakistani comedy movies looking the same, I do have to appreciate one that stands out.

The creative choices are clearly tailored to the subject matter. This is meant to be a fun romp with some jagged edges. And everything, from the lighting, to the camera work, conveys that. I like that it isn’t bleached out to a near-sickly brightness.

The look of the film reminds me of Jalaibee, which stylistically is still one of the best local films to be released recently. Like Jalaibee this one also is leaning towards the Quentin Tarantino school of film, and honestly I’m glad. We have seen way too many films that all look and do the same thing. Time for some originality.

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