The cast of Chalay Thay Saath including Mansha Pasha, Zhalay Sarhadi, Osama Tahir, Syra Shehroz and Faris Khalid at the trailer launch.
The film’s trailer was unveiled amidst much appreciation from industry veterans and press in attendance.
As much as we like to celebrate the revival of Pakistani cinema, we’re disheartened to see the kind of films that have come out in the recent past, particularly the last two years. The first film to release this year, Thora Jee Le was a disaster at the box office, followed by Haissam Hussain’s rom-com Balu Mahi, which received mixed reviews. And given the release of Sahir Lodhi-starrer Raasta this month, we are speechless.
However, after watching the trailer of Umer Adil’s directorial debut, Chalay Thay Saath, it seems that all is not lost. Unveiled at an event recently held at Nueplex Cinemas, the film’s trailer has everyone hooked. It comes across as a remarkable attempt from the filmmaker and received much appreciation from those in attendance.
Chalay Thay Saath is a romantic drama that stars Syra Shehroz, Chinese actor Kent S. Leung, Behroze Sabzwari, Shamim Hilaly, Zhalay Sarhadi, Mansha Pasha, Osama Tahir and Faris Khalid in pivotal roles.
Behroze Sabzwari, Javed Sheikh, Syed Noor and Shehroz Sabzwari spotted at the event.
The trailer opens with Kent S. Leung crossing the Pak-China border and entering Pakistan where he meets a group a friends and tries to learn their language. Two of the friends, Tania (played by Pasha) and Zain (played by Tahir), who are apparently husband and wife and are always arguing, plan their friend Resham’s (essayed by Sheroz who plays a doctor in the film) farewell trip. They embark on a journey together – with some other friends played by Sarhadi and Khalid – during which they face certain trials and tribulations; it’s a journey of self-discovery. Leung plays Shehroz’s love interest and stars as Adam in the film.
If we go by the trailer, the film seems to be a complete package with a hint of comedy, romance and drama and that too in good taste. Though it’s not a ‘star’ cast in the best sense of the word, this ensemble of young and energetic actors lends a unique freshness to the film. It’s as vibrant and bright as the cinematography. The cinematography, acting and direction as well as the background score are on point. The score, which has been done by Abbas Ali Khan, complements the story well and sounds as original as one wishes to have in a Pakistani film.
“Making a film in Pakistan in this day and age isn’t very easy given the limited production facilities that we have here,” Umer Adil, the director of the film, told Instep on the sidelines of the event. “In Chalay Thay Saath we’ve tried to incorporate a bit of local element. It’s very close to life; it’s about real relationships. We feel that something like this should attract a large audience because right now many families aren’t coming to the cinema. This is our effort to bring them to cinemas and entertain them.”
The event wasn’t a star-studded affair as there were hardly any celebrities in attendance apart from the film’s cast and crew and their family and friends. Those who were present on the occasion include Javed Sheikh, accompanied by his son and daughter Shehzad Sheikh and Momal Sheikh, veteran actor-director Syed Noor and his new favourite Shehroz Sabzwari who was there to support his wife, Syra Shehroz.
“The trailer is very good,” industry veteran Javed Sheikh shared his views while speaking to Instep after the trailer launch. “I hope people will like it. It’s a good effort, a very positive approach and the Chinese connection is very good. I hope that this film will make a mark internationally and show the soft image of Pakistan.”
Set to release on April 21 this year, the film appears to be a departure from Bollywood-inspired stories and aims to convey a positive image of Pakistan. The international release of the film is also in the pipeline, maybe a week after the initial release. Chalay Thay Saath is also unique in the sense that it has a “Chinese touch” to it, as Behroze Sabzwari put it at the event.
Considering the number of Chinese citizens we are seeing in the city these days, Chalay Thay Saath does appear to be a solid endorsement of the Pakistan-China friendship, or as the director would have it, romance.