Karachi se Lahore: You won’t want to miss this ride

On this roadtrip be ready to expect anything and everything. Khadija Mughal with the preview

Karachi se Lahore: You won’t want to miss this ride
A Much Awaited Comedy Movie

In an industry ruled by the genres of drama, thrill, romance, heist, and some more drama, Karachi Se Lahore’s pure – even if shallow – comedy is definitely a welcome change.

Released on July 31, 2015, Karachi Se Lahore is the brainchild of director, producer and storywriter, Wajahat Rauf, and of scriptwriter and actor, Yasir Hussain. Starring in the lead roles are Shehzad Sheikh – of “Javed Sheikh’s son” fame – and Ayesha Omer – of Bulbulay and (now) Tutti Frutti fame.
What Karachi Se Lahore loses in the storyline, it makes up for in humorous quips

The Story

As is the case with most comedies made for comedy’s sake, Karachi Se Lahore’s storyline is there just for the heck of making the spool of film roll – its real purpose is cracking jokes and making its audience laugh. However, this just-for-the-heck-of-it story of Karachi Se Lahore does exist, following Zaeem (Shehzad Sheikh), a resident of Karachi, his two friends, Moti (Yasir Hussain) and Sam (Ahmed Ali), and his neighbour, Maryam (Ayesha Omer).

The story begins when Zaeem, who has always had an unfortunate life, finds out that his girlfriend, Ayesha, played by Eshita Syed, is going to leave him to marry her cousin in Lahore. The heartbroken and frustrated Zaeem, although upset, decides not to give up: he plans to go all the way from Karachi to Lahore to halt his ladylove’s wedding. His friends, Sam and Moti are with him in this testing time and are willing to go the length with him – but how?

With plane fares out of their range (and railways on a strike, perhaps? Wajahat Rauf?) the three friends – accompanied by Zaeem’s nerdy neighbour Maryam and her baby brother, Zeezo (Aashir Wajahat) – decide to go all the way to Lahore by road. And that’s how the adventure begins.

Screen grab from the movie's trailer
Screen grab from the movie's trailer

Essentially a Comedy

Despite receiving a warm reception, earning Rs.2 crores off 60 screens across Pakistan, Karachi Se Lahore has been criticized for lacking a plot – it’s more or less a story with mutually exclusive acts patched together with the glue of humour and creased out to make a film.

And that’s alright.

Watching a movie is 2 to 3 hours in the cinema – or at home – experiencing sounds and sights: expressions, dialogues, music, dance, and emotions. Where does it promise a so-called “meaningful” script? If writing a meaningful script was an essential criterion for a movie, David Dhawan would not have been the most successful Bollywood comedy film maker possibly of all times. Even movies that do promise a meaningful story – and nothing else – fail to deliver it, then why criticize a movie like Karachi Se Lahore, that does not pretend to have a very deep or unique storyline?

What Karachi Se Lahore loses in the storyline, it makes up for in humorous quips – which truly was the purpose of the film in the first place. Although not always up to the mark, the movie’s dialogue is mostly funny enough to draw out a chuckle. At times it is absolutely hilarious, too. And that’s what a movie like Karachi Se Lahore should be judged on.

Ayesha Omar
Ayesha Omar

Debutants Galore

Another department that the movie succeeds in doing well in, is acting. Shehzad Sheikh surprisingly does a reasonable job as the lead – his awkward acting and wiry frame is strangely reminiscent of that of Riteish Deshmukh – Yasir Hussain as the stuttering Moti is possibly the funniest character of the main cast and Ahmed Ali is also very convincing as the wannabe-supercool, Sam (years of working with seasoned comedian Faisal Qureshi in Ufone’s ads has definitely have paid off!). The female lead, Ayesha Omer, is pretty much the usual – but her usual is good enough for pulling off the unchallenging character of Maryam.

The little guy Aashir Wajahat, for me, deserves a special mention. Although working with legends like Javed Sheikh, Aashir does not seem to be intimidated, and succeeds in playing his role as Maryam’s sharp – and not so well-behaved – younger brother.

Why Watch It: Humour and Soundtrack

As already mentioned, the Karachi Se Lahore should be watched for its humour and not for its story (just pretend you’re watching a Govinda or Adam Sandler film). As long as you love humour and don’t care about the context it has been presented in, you are sure to like the film.

Secondly, the film boasts a genuinely good soundtrack and not one but two item songs, including Ayesha Omer’s Tutti Frutti. Maybe Pakistanis are loving Bollywood’s item song trend a little too much. The film’s producers borrowed Noori and Sheraz Upal – who has started to become a regular feature in Pakistan’s motion pictures – therefore, music lovers are also in for a treat.

Why Not: No Story to Speak of and Not Very Family Friendly

Although the lack of a solid plot didn’t really bother me, because I can watch comedies just for laughs, any day, there are plenty of viewers who would be find that disappointing. Karachi Se Lahore is not for those who are looking to watch an engaging story. The film might also not be right for those planning to take their family or children to the cinema – they might find some of the jokes and exposure inappropriate. Heads up!