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Laal Kabootar Review



3.5 stars out of 5.0

Pakistani film ‘Laal Kabootar’ is an extremely good film when compared to several recent films being showcased in cinema. Amid the drought of desi content for our cinemas following the self-enforced ban on Bollywood, the deserted cinema may be able to find some sigh of relief which Laal Kabootar has the capability to provide.

The film revolves around several characters who are living entirely different lives from each other, yet destiny pulls them where their paths crossed and what happens next is what this story is all about.

The story of Laal Kabootar is very relatable to everyday life of Karachi, from mobile phone snatching to target killing etc. crimes that are very much part of this city’s identity now. For Karachites, after ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ this film has something that they witness every now and then. However, unlike ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ the director choses to keep it organic and rough and with no item number to glamorize the movie.

Without giving away too many spoilers, ‘Laal Kabootar’ story revolves around multiple characters, we have Aliya Malik (Mansha Pasha) who is desperately looking for her husband’s killer, there is a cab driver who wants to run away from his chaotic life to his dream destination Dubai, there is an inspector Ibrahim (Rashid Farooqi) who is just like a common policeman corrupt but a pure family man and then there is Saleem Mairaj, who comes in the later part of the story but leave the audience mesmerized with his powerful performance.

Director Kamal Khan who makes his debut with ‘Laal Kabootar’ makes sure that he focuses on character development. He didn’t try to push any one unnecessarily in to the frame nor tried to pull anything out. He stayed away from adding masala in the name of dance numbers and usual romantic relationships, which makes this movie much more interesting.

The duration of this film is just 94 minutes so it has to run without interval. Therefore,  the movie cannot be divided in to parts, which is actually helpful for the story.  Since it starts very slowly and takes time in gaining momentum and puts the audience in to the 4th gear towards the conclusion.

Saleem Mairaj in his role as a hired hitman, played it with utmost brutality. He doesnt allows the audience to take a breath when he is on screen. Although, his entry in the film is towards the very end and yet he manages to hijack the best performance out of it.

Rashid Farooqi as the inspector Ibrahim, showed another impeccable performance. A typical policeman who pays more attention to financial gains rather than serving the public, he is rude to people and uses stereotypical police techniques for his investigations. On the other hand, he is a family man, he loves his wife and daughter. His goal is to secure enough money to have a nice apartment for his family.

Adeel (Ahmed Ali Akbar) as a cab driver performs a bad boy character smoothly. He doesn’t try to be a hero, he remains limited to his character, uses the same street language like any other and keeps it simple.

Aaliya Malik (Mansha Pasha) is a surprise package. This is her second movie, a first in lead role. As wife of a slain journalist, she portrays her character very well. She mostly remains calm but shows enough character to show a storm brewing inside her mind. A strong woman who doesn’t want to runaway from her problems, as she told her mother who was leaving for USA. Her enthusiasm to get to her husband’s killer and for the purpose dealing with a cabbie is remarkable. I think this performance will certainly open doors for her in the film industry.

The look and feel of the characters were very well crafted. The wardrobe, looks and style were all complementing to the story thanks to Mariam Azmi the audience will not experience never see any over the top scene.

This movie is not flawless, it does have few loopholes in storyline. however,  keeping in view the budget constraints, duration and inexperience, the film has to be applauded for bringing real world to the silver screen.

Hania Chima and Kamil Chima the producer duo of the film needs to be appreciated for crafting a low budget yet remarkable cinema for content starved screens of Pakistan.


Transforming Mind and Body



Losing weight can seem like an enormous task, so how does on begin this journey to transform their mind and body? We sat face to face with blogger Hadiyya Aazer and asked her what motivated to take on the task to transform her lifestyle.

Working out at Evolution Fitness

Whats inspired you to begin this transformation journey? 

I have been overweight my entire life. When I turned 30 last year, it hit me that if I dont control it now, my health issues could become a serious problem. What can I say, I decided to change my habits and put my hundred percent into evolving my lifestyle.

Where have you been training?

My personal trainer is Haseeb Mirza at Evolution fitness. He is amazing and has a certain rhythm in the gym. He has been a great supporter and motivator through all of this.

Before and After

What does your usual workout routine look like?

It is a mix of weight training, cardio and Abs, which is necessary for me. It is essential to work according to your bodies needs and stamina and create a tailor made workout to assure its effectiveness.

What kind of a diet do you follow?

 My diet is eating in small portions after every 2 hours. All in all 5 controlled meals over the day.

What is your goal ? 

I am aiming to reach 65kgs soon!

March 2018 v March 2019

What advice would you give to someone struggling with weight issues? 

Don’t give up! Will power is key and once you’ve decided to take the necessary steps, nothing can stop you. Take it step by step, but eat healthy and work out. Ive lost almost 40 kg in a years time, slow and steady wins the race!

March 2019

How does it feel losing so many dress sizes?

One can only imagine fantastic! I have never imagined myself wearing jeans and dresses. It feels so good to wear clothes that I’d never imagined I could.

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Pakistani entertainment industry has a special league of actors, who are not only got fame because of their beauty but also with their brain. Hareem Farooq is one of them, who besides having a flourishing acting career is also a producer of box office success Janaan and Parchi. A bachelors in Sociology and journalism from Quid-e-Azan University, Hareem started her acting career in 2012 from a theatre play of veteran Anwar Maqsood Pawnay 14 August by playing the role of Fatima Jinnah. The following year, she made her big screen debut with a leading role in a horror thriller film Siyaah and came to television in Hum TV serial Mausam in 2014. Then there was no stopping. Now at this young age, Hareem has many popular dramas as Diyar-e-Dil and films like Parchi at her credit. She went on to become a first female actor-producer of Pakistan, by producing Janaan and Parchi under the banner of IRK Films. Last year, Hreem formed a global entertainment company, IHA, which soon entered into an agreement with top entertainment in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the first distribution firm.

Apart from acting and production, Hareem has been proudly become the official Spokesperson for Loreal Professional, Pakistan since 2017.

Last month she was in Paris to represent Pakistan at L’Oreal on its 110th anniversary. She was extremely excited and responsible at the same time to be a part of those celebrations. We talked to this young, beautiful and talented lady about her visit to the Paris and of course her upcoming feature film Heer Maan Ja supposed to be released on Eid Ul Aza.

How was the excitement to be in Paris for L’Oreal?

It was a great opportunity for me to represent Pakistan among lot of people, coming from different countries at L’Oreal 110th anniversary in Paris. I was the only Pakistani who represented my country there and felt very proud and honoured for this. I hope I lived up to the expectations.

 What were your activities there?

It was a multiple-event celebrations spreading on almost a week. It was their 110th anniversary so they made it huge. In these types of events, you get to mingle with lot of people from different countries, where you show them the positive and lighter side of your country. I did the same.

What and who did wear in those eventful celebrations?

I wore Pakistani designers in all events, including Sania Maskatiya, Munib Nawaz, Rici Melion, Mahgul, Zuria Dor. As far as what I wore, I must tell you that we have to follow a certain dress codes when on these type of international events. We need to show the world that we can compete on international level when we have to, but we made sure that our Pakistani designers should also be promoted there. Again it was a matter for me to represent Pakistan there. If I had to decide, I would wear shalwar kameez, as I love my national dress. 

How did you find Paris?

It was so exciting to be there. They are very rich in art, architecture, and weather. People all are also very nice and welcoming. I am glad that finally L’Oreal is tapping into the Pakistan market. There are very few people from Pakistan who are invited by L’Oreal from Pakistan and it’s a pride for me that I am one of them. They were very surprised to see Pakistan there.

Have you ever been to Paris before?

It was my first visit to Paris. But I am sure it will not be the last. 

Did you learn any French there?

Very little. Only few words like bonjour, mercy, beaucoup. I am trying to learn the language.

What did you observe in Paris while with L’Oreal?

It was a great exposure. They are very skilled people. I came to know that where and how L’Oreal actually works. How they cope up with new techniques and innovations all over the world. There was somewhere around five to six thousand people from various countries of the world.

Are you eying to participate in Cannes as well?

Why not? It is just a start. I believe when you are sincere with your work, anything is achievable. 

You met with Pakistani ambassador (Moin Ul Haq) in Paris? What was discussed in the meeting regarding Pakistani entertainment industry?

It was a great surprise. I was very glad and honoured that they had me come there and invited me to the embassy. The ambassador is very progressive He wants to promote a softer image if Pakistan in world. And Pakistan really needs this at the moment. His ideas and vision, which we are aiming to implement, I am sure will be productive for Pakistan. Whatever we have discussed, it will be executed soon and people will know about it.

This year is also important for you as your film Heer Maan Ja is coming on Eid-Ul- Azha. Shed some light on your role in the film?

I like experimenting with my characters as I believe that audience should get something new every time. It is a little journey from Iman of Parchi to Heer of Heer Maan Ja. They are poles apart. Iman is a very strong woman who stands up for everything while on the other hand Heer is a very next door desi girl. She is sweet pretty and innocent, for which most Pakistani girls are known for. It was a lot fun playing that character.

By Kaukab Jahan from Pakistan and Ashfaque Chaudhry from Paris

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Discovering Africa with Hajra Tariq



Hajra Tariq is a full time Graphic Designer and Photographer (IG: ). She is also an aspiring traveler.  Having lived in different countries around the world, she realized how important art and design was and how different cultures have helped evolve her. 

“My goal in life isn’t to travel the world, to not regret not doing something my heart has longed to do. My latest travel expedition took me to the heart of East Africa, Kenya. I’ve always imagined myself on an African safari and my dream finally came true! We’ve all seen things that take our breath away. For me, it was a perfectly clear night at the Mara Ashnil in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve where you were literally inches away from the “BIG 5”, and facing the sunset on a yatch in the middle of the Kilifi Creek . Two extremely different things, in one country, and yet they both didn’t fail to amaze me.”

Accompanied by her favourite travel buddy, her sister, here are a few of her best memories…

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