Depilex Vision’s Pehla Pehla Pyar is a misdirected attempt at film-making. Mubasher Luqman directs the flick and sadly joins Faheem Burney and Asif Ali Pota in the ever-growing list of directors who migrated from TV to film, but failed to impress in their first attempt. The film seems more like a play on a private TV channel than a feature film, based on the tried and tested and done-to-death love-triangle formula.
Zimmy (Ali Tabish) and Tina (Resham) belong to middle-class families, live and study in Dubai and fall in love after initial indecisiveness. Zimmy becomes a famous singer thanks to Tina who appears in his first music video as a friendly-cum-romantic gesture. Seth Tahir Dawood (Nadeem) in Bangkok catches a glimpse of Tina on TV and asks his personal secretary, played by Kanwal, to arrange his meeting with her.
The secretary is helped by Sweetie (Sajid Hasan), Tina’s brother – a drunkard and a gambler – who manages to convince her mother that the 40-something Seth is the perfect match for Tina. Zimmy returns from an outdoor shoot to learn of the marriage and heartbroken, vows never to get married. But unknown to him, he is admired by Haya (Zara Sheikh), the daughter of Seth Dawood and Tina’s step daughter.
The film moves at an amazingly rapid pace in the latter half, but sadly in no particular direction. People die as if they have some kind of death wish and the abrupt conclusion confirms that the director, for reasons better known to him, was in a rush to wrap things up.
The songs, except for Subha kay noor, Jagi Jagi and Yeh duniya ki rasmain, are ill-placed for reasons unknown. In a scene where Seth Dawood divorces Tina after the latter catches him red-handed with another, the qawwali Dil na kisi ka torr ve banday, Keh gaye Bullay Shah plays in the background for reasons unknown. Moreover, Yeh duniya ki rasmein wouldn’t have been possible had Nasir Hussain and Subhash Ghai not come up with Kya hua tera wada and Dard-i-dil dard-i-jigar in Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin and Karz, respectively. The scenario has been taken from the former song while the crowd disappearing act leaving only the romantic couple comes from the latter.
As for the cast, only seasoned campaigners Sajid Hasan and Nadeem stood out with the former excelling as the cunning and shrewd brother and Nadeem doing gracefully well as Seth Dawood. Ali Tabish, who looks handsome only in supari-sponsored music videos, remains wooden and expressionless, while the older-looking Resham fails to carry the burden of the female lead. She played Nadeem’s daughter in her debut film, Jeeva, a decade ago and playing his wife is certainly a relegation for her, rather than a promotion. Zara Sheikh, who showed promise initially, was a disappointment as she didn’t do much besides showing herself off and performing a romantic, rain-drenched number, Haye haye re (it seems no film is complete without it these days), Bipasha Basu-style. Navaid Rashid aka Tony did a better job as the tense bank manager in his few scenes unlike TV artiste Kanwal and model Ali Sher without whom the film would have been quite possible.
The film keeps you guessing as to when the story by Irfan A. Urfi would unfold. Although the camera work in some of the sequences was exemplary, film-making is not only about camerawork. Here, even the slightest of mistake becomes a blunder, unlike television where the worst of stuff goes unnoticed. Finally a word of advice: In order to stay alive, Depilex Vision should make better films in future or this just might be the end of it as we know it.
Like many Pakistani films, Pehla Pehla Pyar has its fair share of bloopers as well:
Zimmy and Tina were the pet names of Zameer and Tehmina instead of nicknames.
Zimmy, a singer, sings Yeh duniya ki rasmain for an audience comprising mostly of Thai locals who don’t understand a word of Urdu.
No one in Bangkok was able to recognize Zimmy although the locals attended his concert and he was a celebrity on the run.
Zimmy could not keep in touch with Tina in an era when you have mobile signals even in Tando Adam.
When Sweetie is shown hospitalized in Dubai, his mother calls the lady doctor `Dr Sahib’.
Seth Dawood was referred to as `Big Tycoon’ throughout the film. But he and his men were unable to catch up with the eloping couple out on the town most of the time, carrying empty-looking luggage.
Even Seth Dawood can’t explain why his secretary bid him good night when the sun was shining brightly outside.
When Tina is asked by Zimmy to work in his music video, she declines, saying she wouldn’t do anything objectionable. But that is exactly what she does in the sizzling video.
When Seth Dawood sees the music video on television, he switches off the set and calls his secretary. When he switches it on again, Tina is seen continuing exactly from where she left off earlier.
Whenever Seth Dawood runs down his wife, he gives her a blank cheque. Why so many when just one is enough to clean out his account?
During the entire length of the film, the currency in Dubai and Bangkok is referred to as Rupees. Dirhams or baht were not mentioned even once.
Cast and Production Credits
Year – 2006, Genre – Drama, Country – Pakistan, Language – Urdu, Producer – N/A, Director – Mubasher Luqman, Music Director – N/A, Cast – Resham, Ali Tabish, Zara Sheikh, Sajid Hassan, and Nadeem