Pakistani cinema is flourishing under all the love from sponsors (money! money!) and directors that are braving the experimental route to play around with cinematic possibilities. My faith in the industry is further restored after watching Oye Kuch Kar Guzar. Have you seen it yet? No, you won’t find it in cinemas near you. It’s an online, interactive movie, and you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_KLgunJw8I
The film, produced in collaboration with djuice and YouTube, is the first of its kind to be crafted and featured solely on YouTube. The film aims to inspire youth into self-discovery and self-belief, as well as strengthen the digital ecosystem and digital uptake in the country.
Oye Kuch Kar Guzar allows viewers to choose their own story by using annotations, cards and end screens. You can steer the story flow according to their own taste and preference. The film is split into mini episodes and at the end each episode, the viewer can navigate the story in their chosen direction, besides being able to skip ahead or see related videos throughout.
Ali Safina and Ushna Shah are in leading roles and have done a tremendous job. A project like this one drives wholly on the performance of its lead actors, and the duo has done justice to their roles. Safina hails from a middle class family, where his father runs a car repair shop and wants him to take over sooner than later; however, Safina wants a career in music. The storyline isn’t groundbreaking but endearing nonetheless.
Ushna is an upbeat city girl, who prefers Roman subtitles over Urdu, and is on her way to her brother’s wedding. She meets Safina and his sidekick, Uzair Jaswal, on the train to Karachi, and the trio is soon joined by Urdu aficionado, Mahjabeen Habib. I loved her character’s love for our language; it was nostalgic hearing Urdu that’s now only limited to novels and newspapers.
The movie is more of a digital experience than a cinematic one. It’s crisp, well edited, and an easy watch. I applaud the movie’s director, Haris Rasheed, for conquering a new territory and setting an alleviated benchmark for what’s possible when capacity meets creativity.
And to wrap it up, here are some of the pictures from Oye Kuch Kar Guzar’s launch event, courtesy Movie Shoovy.