Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cake - Movie Review (3/5 Stars)

By Hamza Shafique (Instagram / Facebook)

Asim Abbasi's Cake is a bag of mixed emotions and it left me disputed. There are many moments of sheer brilliance but then there are also basic scale/pacing problems that holds it back from giving the audience required cinema experience.

My own state throughout the film can explain what I mean properly, In the beginning it was exciting as character's introduction was great and I was also enjoying the creative camera frames/shots. Then in middle it started to stall, felt very dry and I started to wonder when this film will eventually kick in. At this stage the creative camera angles also lost their charm and it started to look more like a good TV production which is definitely not meant for cinema screen. But what kept me going were the amazing performances. After that toward the final sequence, close to end, intensity increased, story started to move fast and at this point I got back into the film. From here onward I thoroughly enjoyed it till very end. Movies of this genre require a certain balance between the reality of the subject and cinematic elements to create an overall entertaining experience for the audience. This balance is missing here which holds this film back from turning into next Piku or Kapoor and Son like successful comedy dramas.

Let’s talk about the positives first, performance by the whole cast is amazing. It’s one of the most well performed film I have seen in recent times. Amina Sheikh’s portrayal of Zareen takes the biggest share of cake here and is the soul in this family drama. Sanam Saeed comes next. Her younger sister portrayal is very convincing. As sisters they both have the right chemistry, and this makes this otherwise dull story overall engaging. And sibling's chemistry gets even better when Faris Khalid joins the two sisters as elder married brother. Scenes where all three of them are together, are the best moments of this film. Rest of the cast is pretty good as well. This film can be taught in acting school from performance perspective. 
Asim Abbasi’s direction and Mo Azmi’s cinematography is very artistic and satisfies ones’ esthetic senses properly. Normal household settings appear extra ordinary on screen. Each and every frame is beautiful and Asim Abbasi has used simple local elements to add depth to the otherwise ordinary scenes.

Screenplay has pacing issues and primarily because of the absence of cinematic scale and basics that are required to create a balance between realism and an actual movie experience. Especially first 70 % of the film is very toned down in fact toned down to the scale of a TV drama serial. A little addition of humor and a bit more focus on Zareen and Romeo’s love story including a romantic ballad could have really helped increase the scale to required level and give cinema goer the right experience throughout.
Overall I still enjoyed the film and if you appreciate great performances in a very creative and artistic setup , you will enjoy it too. I go with 3 stars

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