Wajood – A trip back in time for Jawed Sheikh

June 22, 2018

Jawed Sheikh is one of those directors who like to experiment and he has been doing that ever since he decided to go behind the camera in Mushkil way back in the mid-90s. His trademark – amazing songs, brilliant locations and good acting – is what made him a first-rate director back in the day and people were looking forward to the same in Wajood that was released this Eid. However, the film couldn’t match to the expectations of a Jawed Sheikh fan but yes, it did appeal to the single-screen cinema goers who are still stuck in the 90s.

The plot

Faizan (Danish Taimoor) is an international commercial pilot on the lookout for a bride in Pakistan; he falls in love with Arzoo (Saeeda Imtiaz) who is already committed to someone else. After trying very hard, Faizan wins Arzoo only to find out that a mystery woman Jessica (Aditi Singh) is in love with him as well. Her company hires him and invites him to Turkey where she seduces the new employee and tries to make him her man. Does Arzoo get back her husband or does Aditi get what she wants, watch Wajood and find out.

The good

Sheikh’s films have the best cinematography and this movie falls in the same category as it has been shot in Greece, Turkey besides Pakistan. Taimoor looks fresh with a moustache but at times his mannerisms didn’t go with the avatar, especially when he was stalking Imtiaz’s character in the first half. It was good to see Nadeem Baig, Shahid and Sheikh in the same film although Shahid sahib disappointed with his old-school acting. Trust me, had Sheikh not excelled the Columbo-esque role of a detective, people wouldn’t have enjoyed the film at all. He has fewer scenes than any other actor yet he came, he saw and he solved the case.

The bad

The whole first half is wasted on the romance that was never there; it was only when Jessica (in the first half) and Steve Rock (Sheikh) made their appearances that the audience began to take interest in the happenings. Imtiaz looks good but she needs to be better if she wants to do well in the long run; Asad Mehmood and Faiza Khan were wasted in silly roles despite having the potential. Indian import Aditi Singh may look ravishing in TV interviews but when the film was shot, she resembled Anjuman and danced like Nargis. That’s way too 1990 for a person who spends 700 films on a ticket and the sooner the directors realise that, the better.

Babar Kashmiri’s script should have been read by a millennial so as to tell him that he needed to watch latest flicks instead of too much Abbas – Mastan films. Had he done that, he wouldn’t have written the character of Q (Ali Saleem) at all because the last thing multiplex cinema spectators need is a character that is neither here nor there. The music was also not up to Sheikh’s standard who had delivered classics when teamed up with Amjad Bobby, songs that are still popular. Instead, Sahir Ali Bagga the music composer tries hard to promote Sahir Ali Bagga the playback singer and the film suffers big time.

The verdict 2.5/5

This was Sheikh’s first-ever Eid release as a director and it would have been better had it been released a few weeks later because his film didn’t get the shows the makers were expecting. He has always delivered as a director except for his last film but instead of going up, he stays at the same level. There were too many scenes that could have been edited out to make the film more enjoyable but they weren’t. Like always, his films had something new (a car crash, a detective angle, beautiful locations) but in order to appeal to the 2018 public, the writers must do away with old-style techniques such as fighting against goons, a seductive song and childish choreography because the audience has grown up. It’s about time the people making films for them to grow up too, so they both can live long and prosper.