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Mahira silenced her critics with a power pack performance in Superstar

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Star Rating 4.0 / 5.0

Superstar is a very simple love story, what makes it grand is the star cast that turned this boy meets girl story into something special and magical.
Director Ehtehshamuddin crafts this Pakistani love story with some non-traditional twists and turns which makes this film a pure treat for cinemagoers this Eidul Azha.

Superstar story about Noori (Mahira Khan) and Sameer (Bilal Ashraf), Noori works in a theatre which is run by her grandfather Sameer Malik aka Agha Jaan (Nadeem Baig) and occasionally she also works in small budget TV commercials. Whereas, Sameer is a Pakistani film industry’s superstar, he is a son of business tycoon Zulfiqar Khan (Javed Sheikh) and his mother Laila Khan (Marina Khan) was once a famous actress of her era. As usual Sameer’s father wants him to leave the film industry and help him run his business, while Sameer is passionate about his acting career, thus it makes father son relationship a sour one.

Agha Jaan was once a famous film director who has now limit himself to a theatre in Lahore’s old city area.

Somehow Noori and Sameer meet on a commercial set and soon Sameer developed soft corner for Noori and his feelings are not one sided. They started falling in love together. One day Sameer went to watch her theatrical performance with his commercial director friend Shaan (Ali Kazmi) who immediately decides to cast Noori in his debut film after watching her power packed performance with Sameer.

This is the point when we have an important twist in the story and unpredictably Sameer’s self-centeredness pulls him cross the border and it changes everything completely for Noori and of course for Shaan.

Here come some real-life inspirations from the Pakistani film industry and the sequence is exquisitely filmed thanks to strong screen play by Azaan Sami Khan and skillful presentation on screen by Ehtehshaamuddin.

Superstar has a bag full of stars like Mahira Khan, Bilal Ashraf and Nadeem Baig, which helps it create an onscreen charm that never fades away.

If we talk about the performances Mahira Khan has certainly exceeded all her previous works till date. In superstar, you will find Mahira Khan at her best. She has proven herself to be director’s actor, and Ehteshamuddin has undoubtedly brought her character to life as the dreamer Noori.

With an exceptional performance as Noori, Mahira Khan has successfully silenced her critiques and all those who were trying hard to bring her down sending a solid message that she is here to stay. In this movie, as a theatre actor Mahira Khan has performed some remarkable skits with utmost brilliance.

Superstar is Mahira Khan’s first film where she choses to reveal her glamourous side as she dances in a traditional Lehenga Choli in a dance number ‘Noori’ and also wears some exquisite Ball Gowns, western attires and of course Sarees. Superstar is surely a joy to watch for all of her fans across the planet.

Coming from behind, Bilal Ashraf as a superstar brings the best of himself especially with the body transformation he has gone through, he managed to portray a superstar persona that brings joy, happiness, and charisma to the silver screen. In Superstar he actually impresses his audience with his acting skills and his romance with Mahira Khan. Bilal Ashraf somehow shred all the stiffness that we have witnessed is his previous work.

His chemistry with Mahira Khan is phenomenal, the one we had only witnessed with Fawwad Khan before Superstar.

Ali Kazmi as Shaan as always delivers his best in each and every frame we saw him. He demonstrates that he is a class actor that delivers whenever he is asked for.

Although Javed Sheikh has a very limited screen time as Sameer’s father, but he did very well, especially the scene with Nadeem Baig which complete the story arc of that generation was quite nostalgic to watch on a giant screen it reminds me of golden age of Pakistani cinema.

Nadeem Baig as Agha Jaan has a major role to play rather than a usual cameo presence. Ehtedhamuddin unlike many directors did well not to use him as a prop, but a real character and he prove why he is still a superstar. After over a decade we have seen Nadeem Baig lip sync a song which definitely makes you feel nostalgic.

The man behind the outstanding music and screen play of Superstar is none other than Azaan Sami Khan. Having music in his DNA, Azaan gives us some best melodious songs of recent era. The beauty is that every track pushes the story forward, it focuses on telling you the story and never makes you feel unfit for the situation. Tracks like ‘Bekaraan’ and ‘In Dinon’ makes you feel loved while ‘Dharak Bharak’ and forces you to wear your dancing shoes.

In the end I would say that Superstar is a pure romantic saga, it has some of the best acting performances, brilliant music, good storyline and remarkably well execution. Director Mohammed Ehtehshaamuddin deserves every bit of praise for this wonderful jewel being presented on Eid ul Adha.

Entertainment

Steps towards a Plastic free Pakistan.

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Have you been wanting to go plastic free or at least reduce its usage but you don’t know how to get started or need a little push? Don’t worry, I have got your back with these seven easy tips and tricks to get you started!

  1. Start carrying a reusable water bottle with you everywhere and don’t buy one unless absolutely necessary. The earth will thank you and so will you wallet.
  2. Stop all usage of plastic bags and replace with reusable, non-plastic, earth-loving shopping bags. You can use a cloth bag, baskets, jute bags or get one stitched by your tailor. Get nice bags that you can even enjoy using. Take their care by washing them from time to time and keep them fresh.
  3. Switch out your usual plastic toothbrush with an eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush. Many non-plastic habits are hard to pick up. This one’s easy to make and stick to. None of the elements of a typical plastic toothbrush are biodegradable so they remain in our planet forever whereas bamboo brushes disintegrate into natural elements and leave no toxicity behind on the planet.
  4. If you are used to buying disposable drinks every day, get yourself a reusable straw or cup. The straws can fit in your work/school bag easily and the cups not only help you reduce plastic but look absolutely chic as well.
  5. Next time you are grocery shopping, pick pasta in the box instead of pasta in a bag. Choose cardboard over plastic bags. Paper products tend to biodegrade more easily without adding a lot of weight.
  6. There are a number of non-disposable options out there to cut down on period waste by using silicon cups to reusable pads. All these choices reduce incredible amount of packaging that most pads are encased in.
  7. Rethink about your food storage. Instead of using plastic zipper bags or cling wrap, why not use jars or glass containers or bees wax wraps to store food? When it comes to carryout, these types of containers can be reused instead of disposable ones.

SUGGESTIONS:

  • When buying anything new in plastic, stop & think if you can buy it in a non-plastic option – wooden cooking spoons, disposable plates.
  • If you use cling wrap at home regularly, buy bees wax wraps from stores like @codegreenpk
  • If you store food in containers at home, only buy new ones in glass, steel etc.
  • Some Instagram accounts where you can your plastic free supplies from: @codegreenpk, @keano-ru, @recircle.life, @trashitpk

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4 Facebook Groups with Great Initiatives that Serve Significant Purposes

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Old were the days when a review was not a “thing” and it was extremely difficult to get information about anything be it travel, food, medical issues or any problem related to everyday life. It was not common to have a forum where people would share their experiences directly with the public. Reading first-hand experiences was rare and forums like Quora and Yahoo Answers were considered the only reliable sources. 

Now, everything is available on the internet and is just a click away. But, should we rely on such sources to be authentic and true? It depends and varies from source to source. It also depends on who moderates the source and how.

When the trend of having groups on Facebook started, people only used it for fun, to gather at a place to talk and share jokes. At that time, a few were trying to utilize this source for a meaningful purpose and those people gave birth to some amazing groups that, now, have a huge following and are considered reliable sources for any information related to the subject matter of the group.

Now groups have become a popular and the safest space for like-minded people to congregate and discuss specific stuff- from hobbies to pets and celebrities.

If you are still living in the stone age or looking for answers to your riddles related to food, travel, pets, allergies, mental health, etc., these are the groups that are at your service with a meaningful purpose and a great initiative to help the masses through a direct communication and dissemination of information through various posts.

 

Foodies ‘R US

Created in 2013, now this group has over 95k followers. This is the place where you will find reviews about any restaurant. You name it and people will share their experiences. If you are a foodie, this is surely going to be your favorite group as it has all the solutions to deal with your appetite. Not only the masses, but this has also helped a lot of restaurateurs and home-based chefs with their businesses.

The founder of the group, Asad Sheikh says “I started this group 6 years ago for one reason only and that’s the passion for food. I just want to tell and guide people on what’s good out there to try and what’s good that our country has to offer. I don’t write bad reviews of any kind but that doesn’t mean that I have not had my share of bad food. Always try to highlight the good while telling owners of the restaurant about things that need improvement.

We all are ambassadors of our city or country and others who see our posts or reviews create an image of where we are from. Over the years Foodies ‘R Us has helped many people living out of city or out of country to pick the eateries when they visit Lahore Karachi or even Islamabad. The same passion was translated into encouraging home-based talent to post as much as they can and later encouraging them to turn this talent into a business.

Many small businesses have blossomed from this platform and we later encouraged them further to be part of our Coke Food Festival, giving them a face to face experience with their consumers.

We have never charged anyone to advertise on our platform and that’s the reason for the success of many small businesses.” 

Soul Sisters Pakistan

This group is home to 212K women who interact and share their issues and experiences related to health, relationships, feminism, networking, their moments of happiness, moments of suffering or any piece of advice related to the ongoing discussion. Not only this, through the group, women were able to find their long lost friends, online jobs, solutions to their problems and a lot more. This has become a safe place for them to talk about stuff they do not normally share publicly or are afraid to talk about. Anonymous posts have become the new trend to send your message across.

“In a culture where women are often silenced and their issues trivialized, I felt that we needed a space and people to talk to, other than their immediate family and friends; a space where we could give unbiased advice as a third person, for each other’s problems and a space where we could come together to share our stories, experienced and inspire each other.

And so in August 2013, Soul Sisters Pakistan was formed, and within months we were getting scores of requests to join the group as the concept of a safe space like this wasn’t so common back then! From discussing taboos to breaking stereotypes to providing legal aid and emotional support – the community has really made a mark and become a household name. It is also one of the 115 most impactful communities in the world, recognized, supported and trained by Facebook itself!- Kanwal Ahmed (the Founder)

The Travel Diary 

Earlier, it was extremely difficult to know about the experiences of people who travel. Now, you just have to post a query and hundreds will be there to assist you or guide you about a particular thing, food place, culture or about people of a certain country. All in all, this group is a complete package to know about anything related to a country. Founded in 2016 with more than 72K members, this group is a query-home for all travel enthusiasts.

 Mishaal Hashmi, the founder of the group says, “Traveling is something that is an innate part of me. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel, be exposed to cultures and people. As an adult, I’m even more fortunate to be able to share my passion with like-minded individuals, who share a similar passion. The idea to create the Travel Diary arose from my desire to share my travel experiences as well as gain wisdom from the experiences of others. Never in my dreams had I imagined my passion to take on such a gigantic form and for a forum such as The Travel Diary to exist is a humbling experience and a dream come true.”

Soul Brothers Pakistan 

Even though most of the posts are light-heart humor and user-generated content; the group generally talks about various topics including networking, recruitment, and counseling. Similarly, it talks about issues that surround the men’s ecosystem i.e. relationship, health, masculinity, and mental state. Moreover, It discusses these issues in depth through live talk sessions also known as #SBPGuyTalk, where group members from all walks of life come and discuss issues varying from Depression, Suicide, legal affairs, and health-related topics. Their popular segment #AnonymousSoulBrother is also widely used by members who seek suggestions and valuable insights on a variety of topics.

We identified a need where we could create a crowd-sourced platform for men which would offer a healthy support system for Pakistani brothers here and abroad.” – Danish Javed (Co-Founder) 

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Gawah Rehna: An Upcoming Film Glorifying The Past

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In dearth of enough content for the Pakistani Cinema and its audience, writer and director Tariq Mehmood, is ready to add something to make the numbers higher and give something different to the audience by going to floors with his first ever feature film Gawah Rehna in October this year.

Cast of this film includes Muhammad Qavi Khan, Ghana Ali, Emmad Irfani, Rabya Kulsoom, Rehan Nazim, Faisal Imtiaz and others. A Turkish actor Mert Sismanlar will also play a very important character in the film.

Talking at a presser in Karachi, Tariq Mehmood said that the film was based on a significant historical period of Khilafat Movement. The film depicts the era of 1920 when British rule was at its peak in the Sub-Continent while our forefathers defied the British rule and at the same time started a mass movement called the Khilafat Movement to help their Turkish brothers and sisters in their struggle against the imperial forces”

According to Mehmood, “Gawah Rehna pays rich tribute to the unsung heroes of our independence movement as well as to the brave Turkish nation. The film will be a source of further strengthening the people to people bonds between Pakistan and Turkey as it will tell Turkish audience what our forefathers went through while helping their Turkish brothers and sisters.”

Ghana Ali, one of the lead of the film said she could not tell much about her character but she loved the script that is why I couldn’t say no to it. She disclosed that her character in Gawah Rehna was the role that her father always wanted her to do that is why was more excited to be part of this film.

 She further said “I am very honoured to be the part of this film as I always wanted to do something that could educate our new generation. Gawah Rehna is a peep into the history and our youth will get to learn about the past struggles of the Muslims of Subcontinent.”

Ghana was sure that Gawah Rehna will give us an international recognition and will be appreciated because if its topic.

Emmad Irfani, another lead in the film, said, he felt lucky to be an actor and being an actor it was his responsibility to portray his character it its true sense.  

Talking about his character in the film Irfani said, “Gawah Rehna carries a very strong message. The film is about how to achieve your aim and to remain determine to get to your destination despite all challenges come in the way. My character is very challenging in the film which will go through many emotional and physical despair but will carry on his struggle to achieve the point (actually the ‘why’ of his life) that has been lost. The character will transform at that point.”

He further said that he was really looking forward to this project as he loved to take different types of roles for his professional growth.”

Veteran Muhammad Qavi Khan said we need more of these types of films where we can glorify our past struggles which further strengthens our  present cause like Kashmir issue and others where Muslims are oppressed and the target of violence.    

Gawah Rehna will be released in both Pakistan and Turkey as well as in other foreign markets in March next year.

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