After a lot of anticipation and a long wait, the screening for Verna finally began on 17th November. Like most of the Pakistani audiences, I was quick to grab tickets for me and my friends, with my hopes soaring high. However, 10 minutes into the movie I realized that the movie was not going to entertain me any further.
Verna depicts how corrupt administration and zero sense of humanity is corroding the Pakistani society. Sara (Mahira Khan) is abducted by a government servant’s son following a petty scuffle. The abduction takes place due to Sara standing against a government protocol blocking their way. Little did Sara know that standing for her right would land her up in a situation which shreds her self-esteem as she returns to her family three days later, broken and raped.
Unwilling to give up, Sara stands up for justice and decides to take her abductors to court. After a lot of resentment and rejection from her family, Sara gains the support of Aami (Haroon Rashid- who plays Sara’s husband) and ensues the war for justice against the perpetrator and son of the governor: Sultan (Zarrar Khan).
All their hopes crash and burn when Sultan, with the help of his father, is judged innocent. Sara and Aami return to their lives, humiliated and hopeless. However, Aami soon finds a ray of hope, and the two once again try to get justice for Sara, but through different means. Whether Sara and Aami will be able to get justice for themselves? You will have to watch the movie to find out.
In the meantime, here are the positives and negatives of the movie.
- Mahira and Haroon have given the move their best. With stellar performances, the movie comes to life, and the love and hate between the couple can be felt in all its essence.
- Effective and powerful characterization has been done. Aami, as the physically imperfect and complexed husband, is the most realistic character in the entire movie.
- The script is exceptionally potent, and the raw dialogues add more depth and life to the characters and the scenes.
- The movie has a catchy music content. The songs and the background scores are well aligned with the scenes and the movie. The song Sambhal Sambhal Kay was a pure treat to watch and listen to, with it beautifully trodden lyrics and the melodious vocals of Zeb Bangash and Haroon Shahid.
The movie had some major lags, which were very obvious and should have been not been there.
- The most prominent plot lag was Sultan being let off easily when he himself agrees to have used his position to manipulate agencies to support his personal cause and tamper with evidence being used in a court case.
- The direction was choppy and incomprehensible. A lot of the times scenes would just randomly cut to the next, without any smooth transitions.
- A revenge thriller movie with such editing and direction is bound to lose the interest of the audiences. Every time a twist would take place, and the audience would get excited, the scene and the environment would lose its impact due to sloppy transitions.
- Zarrar Khan appears as a dull and dry opponent. His character has no charm and no depth. Mind you, Sultan not only lacks soul but lacks expressions and the ability to deliver dialogues convincingly.
- Shoaib Mansoor failed to bring his cinematic magic to life in this one. No one can deny the fact that the way Shoaib Mansoor showed the U.S in Khuda Kay lie, with beautiful picturisation, or the old settlements in Lahore in Bol seemed like work of art. However, Verna has only “one” such similar scene, that too, at the end.
- The movie is wayyyy too long and appears to be an unnecessary drag at many areas. Verna lasted for a solid 150-170 minutes. The interval was hardly 5 minutes long, so I am fully aware of what I am saying.
- Why does everyone in this movie have a pushtoon accent? What was the need?
Shoaib Mansoor has, once again, tried to bring to light a serious matter which is present in our society. With a strong plot and good direction, the movie could have had a different impact.
Verna fails to mesmerize us, and it just lacks substance and depth. The lags in the movie are from the direction and production end, as the actors have undoubtedly given their best.
We would rate the movie 3 out of 5 stars.
Seen the movie? Do let us know what you think?
Feature image via verna movie poster (Hum films)