Bin Roye (Tearless/ Without Crying) the much hyped latest offering of Pakistani cinema, while a box office success, is quite frankly a waste of time. In recent years, the avoid-at-all-costs local films of Pakistan appeared to have fueled a film renaissance of sorts, with new talent gracing the screen and innovative writers and directors developing worthwhile plots and story lines. From social commentary films like Khuda Ke Liye (For God – usually translated as ‘In the name of God’), Dukhtar (Daughter) and Bol (‘Speak’) to the action packed Waar (‘Attack’) and the ludicrously humorous Na Maaloom Afraad (Persons Unknown), for once Pakistani cinemagoers had intelligent, interesting and fun (and above all, watchable) films to enjoy. Unfortunately, Bin Roye does not live up to the standards set by the aforementioned films.
Plot: Based on an Urdu novel, Bin Roye Aansoo (Without Shedding Tears), the film introduces us to (the highly irritating) Saba (Mahira Khan) who is in love with her clueless cousin Irteza (Humayun Saeed). Irteza then travels to America, and while staying with his aunt and uncle in the USA, he meets and falls for his other cousin Saman. What follows is highly predictable and immensely dull to watch – Irteza and Saman marry, Saba is devastated and wishes Saman dead, time passes, Saman dies, Saba is guilt-ridden and yet pressurized by her family into marrying Irteza. After ages of treating Irteza like he’s some kind of monster, Saba finally confesses her guilt. Irteza, completely unperturbed, tells her not to feel guilty anymore and that he’s loved her his whole life (umm… so why did he marry the other woman?) – the end.
Honestly. What was the point? Within 10 minutes of the film, the entire story was evident. There was no suspense, no interesting developments to keep viewers invested in the film. The plot too was pathetically unoriginal – two women in love with the same man, and the complications that ensue is the plot of probably every tv series produced by the Pakistani channel ‘Hum’ (i.e., Ahista, Ahista (Slowly); Humsafar (Companion); Alvida (Farewell); Dastaan (A Tale); Mere Mehrban (My Benefactor) to name a few…).
Acting: In a word, terrible. The characters are flimsy – there’s no substance to them, and there’s no character growth/development throughout the film. The characters remain the same at the beginning and at the end of the film – this may be the result of poor writing. But, what is undoubtably the result of zero-acting-skills is the inauthenticity of the characters. The viewer is never allowed to become immersed in the film. Instead, one is constantly aware that what they’re watching is someone pretending to be this character or the other. The acting doesn’t flow naturally – its stilted and fake like a cheap knock off.
Worst of all is Mahira Khan – she’s let herself fall into the trap of playing the same character again and again but with a different name. Here, she blatantly channels her character Shano from a recent Hum tv series called ‘Sadqay Tumharay‘ (literally translated as ‘Sacrificed for you’). The body language, the style of speech, the annoying immaturity masking as innocence – its all the same, just with a few more irritating negative characteristics added to the mix.
Also, there is almost no emotional impact of scenes that were apparently meant to be moving or climatic. In a scene depicting Saba’s despair and agony at the marriage of Irteza and Saman, viewers found themselves laughing at the awful acting by Khan. She raves, rants, screams, cries, howls in utter hopelessness, anger and sorrow but Khan lacks the skill of subtlety. The angry flinging of jewelry and the screaming is so over the top. You don’t need to over-act to convey depth of feeling – but sadly neither the actress nor the director/writer/producers seem aware of this very basic fact.
Cinematography: Just as bad as the acting. Need I say more?
Rating: 0 out of 5 – time and money tragically wasted. And this was allegedly praised by critics (says Wikipedia).