Janaan means “beloved” in Pushto and the movie itself can be termed as a sweet film which will be loved by many. The movie is a tale of a boisterous family from Swat and is filled with all sorts of emotions that will leave you experiencing all range of emotions from fits of laughter to being teary eyed at the end. Janaan has a very distinctive charm and identity which cannot be equated with any sort of Bollywood movie. Something a lot of Pakistani movies have tried lately.
The story follows the path of Meena (Armeena) who is returning back home to Swat after living abroad. There she meets her cousins, Asfandyar (Bilal Ashraf) and Danial (Ali Rehman), both of whom are smitten by her. The question remains. Will anyone end up with her.
The pacing of the first half is swift. Unlike many other Pakistani flicks of the recent past, there aren’t many unnecessary plot details thankfully.
A lot of humor takes place in the first half. Ali Rehman specially stands out here as Danial, the eccentric wannabe guy who is trying to impress Meena. The whole family element appears relatable too. The aunts, the uncle and the typical family predicaments. Everything appears in sync and the whole family bonding thing looked beautiful.
Though not at the peak of his powers yet, Bilal Ashraf looked intense as Asfandyar. One can easily see why he is labeled as the next big thing in Pakistani Cinema after seeing Janaan. Armeena looked graceful and charming. She has improved leaps since Bin Roye and is decent in Janaan. Veterans of the film industry, Ajab Gul and Nayyar Ejaz brought their A Game to the film too. Newer additions like Usman Mukhtar and Saad Zia Abbasi looked promising in their brief roles while Hania Amir looked too cute and adorable as Palwasha.
Every movie has few negatives. In Janaan, the romance between Meena and Asfandyar moves back and forth and at times feels a bit forced at times. The movie kinda has a rather tedious start to the second half but recovers well from then on wards.
Janaan also tackles a much neglected social issue in a classy way and finally somebody has managed to break the stereotype and portray Pushtoons in a very normal and objective way.
Osman Khalid Butt has managed to come up with an impressive and a unique story which is expressed in a brilliant manner by the Director, Azfar Jafri. Everything about the movie looked spectacular. The lighting, sound and cinematography were amazing. Everything looked so much better than the recent debacles in the film industry. Kudos to all the team including the producers, Imran Raza Kazmi and Hareem Farooq.
Janaan is surely a breath of fresh air! A vibrant cast and team has made an admirable effort. The film reflects the advancement in contemporary Pakistani Cinema. The audiences will laugh at some jokes and get all misty eyed at some reveals but it feels different than the others. Janaan is all set to bring joy this Eid.