Every few years comes a film that exceeds all expectations, that gives the ailing film industry a burst of fresh blood and that comes out as a game changer, raising the bar high and entertaining audience at the same time. Ahsan Rahim’s directorial venture Teefa In Trouble is one such film that not only gives the audience their money’s worth but also takes the game to another level, where others will strive to reach in coming years. Although it was written by first-timer Ali Zafar (with his brother Danyal and Ahsan Rahim), it looks like a polished effort that will go down in history for all the right reasons.
Teefa (Ali Zafar) is a troubleshooter in Lahore who wants a lot of money for his dream restaurant; when the opportunity arises to raise his bank balance by 10 lakhs, Teefa decides to go to Poland to kidnap Ania (Maya Ali) who is on a lookout for someone who will help her escape her father’s heavily guarded mansion. On the run, Teefa falls in love with the victim and things go haywire as the girl’s father Bonzo (Jawed Sheikh) and prospective father in law Butt Sahab (Mehmood Aslam) try their best to get hold of Ania who doesn’t want to go to either of them. What happens next is what keeps the film all the more interesting, taking the audience on a ride of a lifetime.
It’s an Ali Zafar film if you ask me because not only he acts in the film, he is the co-writer of the script, was the brain behind the witty dialogues, composed the songs and wrote their lyrics, sang the numbers with Aima Baig besides producing the film with his wife. He looks every bit the modern action hero we all missed in Pakistani cinema and if he can continue the good work, he will enter the league of legends in no time. He can act, he can dance, and he can fight … what else you want from one person! Maya Ali came as a breath of fresh air and looked naturally beautiful, someone who hasn’t gone under the knife to look sexy. She needs to work on her dialogue delivery but here it suited her character of a rebellious daughter of a dangerous Don. Jawed Sheikh continues to stack up hit films and this is no different as he sleepwalks through the role and comes out as a winner. His scenes with veteran Mehmood Aslam were brilliant, considering the latter was making a filmi comeback after 28 years. Shani Arshad’s magical background score and Zain Haleem’s amazing cinematography keeps the audience engaged in the film, making it one of those films that will not bore you even after multiple viewing.
The film has a slow start where other characters get more screen time than Teefa makes a grand entry but arrives late. The story gets a little slow in the middle which could have been avoided by making it crisp. The time duration of 150 minutes is too long and somewhere near 130 minutes would have been great. Nayyar Ejaz’s role goes missing in the film and only appears at the start and at the climax; the viewers forget about his character when he does return and that could have been corrected with one scene here and there.
The Verdict 4/5
The film is undoubtedly one of the finest productions from Pakistan and can give tough time to international flicks including Sanju and The Equalizer 2. However, until and unless the rest of the directors raise their standard, this high-quality film will fall flat in its mission to carry forward Pakistani cinema. The kind of cinematography done in this film or the brilliant editing by the director himself should make others ‘up’ their game otherwise those who change their gear will remain in the race and others will have to bow out like losers. Teefa In Trouble may have been released in troubling times for Ali Zafar but it surely will help his career stay away from any more trouble in the future.