Swaarangi is a story of life, fate, sacrifice and survival, it portrays the impact of a drugs on the addicts and their family. It highlights the global problem of drug addiction and how it destroys lives of those affected. This issue is unfortunately part of every class of society worldwide.
Earlier, the film was scheduled to release on August 28, 2015 but was delayed for a later release on September 11. The film is written and directed by Phida Hussain, produced by Mazhar Abbas. Actors Resham, Ayub Khoso, Waseem Manzoor & Naveed Akbar are playing lead roles in the film. The film was already amongst the eagerly awaited releases because it marked the comeback of Lollywood’s ace-actress Resham after many years to the silver screen. Swaarangi is a proof that our film directors are breaking the shackles, not following the Bollywood trends and are daring enough to attempt an issue based film.
The story revolves around Salma (Resahm) who is married to a heroin addict named Jamal (Naveed Akbar) and a mother to two sons. She tries her best to fight with all her strength throughout the story to keep her children safe and for redemption of her husband from drug addiction. Zaryaab (Waseem Manzoor) is child hood friend of Jamal and hates Jamal for marrying Salma as he has been in love with her before she got married, he is determined to do anything to destroy her marital life and eventually marry her. Zaryaab is the man who controls the illegal activities of the area. He is fully supported by the powerful and ruthless syndicate head Saien. The story is full of pain, grief and helplessness. Jamal is a skill less Goat vendor with no senses at all, who makes Salma’s life hell as he is willing to sell his soul to the devil for procuring drugs and earns nothing. Zaryaab plays an important role in making Jamal an addict, as he is one supplying him drugs. Somehow he convinces Jamal to do an inhumane and devilish act of selling his sons to get money for buying more drugs.
Swaarangi kicks off in an impoverished and barren region, the characters appear to be illiterate belonging from a backward area of Baluchistan. At many occasions the dialogues and the accents of the characters, did not at all go with the background of those characters. Some of the dialogues used in the movie (like roz-e-hashr) cannot plausibly be part of a vocabulary of illiterate individuals. Rehsam’s manicured nails completely went against the impoverished social status she was set to portray. There was a character of Jamal’s mother who sat still like a dummy in all her scenes, the reason behind her motionlessness remained unexplained throughout the film. Another unexplained shot was when Jamal was found in jail after someone killed Saien’s men when he was just having tea at a tea stall.
Resham and Ayub Khoso’s acting were really admirable prospects of the movie. The locations selected for the shoot were matching with the plot, shooting at such locations can be difficult for the actors. The story was moving with snail’s pace specially the journey of Jamal and his sons towards Saien’s place was too slow and should have been shorter. There were few unrealistic and unexplained scenes in the film which shows lack of attention to the details. Jalal’s bandages after injury, killing of Saien’s assistant by his son and the death of Zaryab are some examples.
Phida Hussain stated in a media meet up held two days before the premiere that Swaarangi is not a telefilm, referring to the other newly released Pakistani movies he was of the opinion that most of them are not movies, they look like telefilms. After watching Swaarangi’s premiere though, one has to admit that Swaarangi actually resembles a telefilm more than any other recently released films.
Despite being a low-budget movie, the director and producer of Swaarangi should be appreciated for the fact that they had the will to make a movie exploring new dimensions instead of going for a proven-formula sitcom with a few item songs to ramp up the ratings. Waseem Manzoor and Naveed Akbar performed their roles well, they are new faces and a lot of potential yet to be unleashed. The shortcomings of Swaarangi can be tolerated considering it to be Phida Hussain’s debuet film, we wish him best of luck for his career.