Yaara Vey

A Tad Underwhelming

By Sara Danial | January 2023

The film ‘Yaara Vey’, directed by Manish Pawar, is a strikingly local version of such Indian blockbusters as Dilwale Dulhania Ley Jaengey and Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Brimming with scenic landscapes of Thailand, the dingy airs of Tbilisi, Georgia, and the cutting-edge metropolis of Dubai, the film Yaara Vey is divided into two in terms of story, locations, and times, despite the love triangle.

The plot dominates the character of Sania Siddiqui (played by Aleeze Nasser), a strong woman raised by a stronger mother Sonia Siddiqui (played by Marina Khan). She knows what she wants and she makes sure she gets it. Not quite so where her heart is concerned. This bring us to the next character and Sania’s childhood friend Sameer (played by Sami Khan), who is head over heels for Sania. Both work together in an architectural design firm, looking to build a resort in Thailand for a major client.

Armaan Syed (played by Faizan Khawaja) makes his presence felt when he lands at the same property to build a dream restaurant that he has been working for, since eons. When he brings along a Japanese investor for approval of the deal, but it has already been signed up for by the architects (Sania and Sameer). Amidst the confusion and misunderstanding, Sameer receives a call from Dubai for his dream job and leaves Sania to deal with the mess. Just like Kajol was stranded on her European tour and ends up falling in love with her hero in the time she spent there, Sania and Armaan find a soft spot for each other.

In a parallel world, Sania comes across Kabir’s bookshop (Jawed Sheikh) in Thailand during her stay. Kabir happens to be her father, and both bridge the gap between themselves about a long-forgotten love story of Kabir and Sonia – leading everyone to a rollicking emotional ride.

While the film is remarkably inspired by the Indian film industry (this may be due to the fact that the technical crew consisting of many Dubai-based Indians drove the film’s narrative), with elaborate high-street fashion and stylized locations, the content of the film lacks substance. Hinging peripherally on tuneful music, beautiful dresses, and stunning cinematography left the audiences looking for more. The narrative takes time to build up, even slowing down along the way, with weak impact through bland dialogues.

Although Faizan and Sami have been around in the industry for a while, playing diverse roles in varying genres, they seem to have fallen flat. This can be more attributable to the lack of punch in the dialogues which made a disappointing fare in delivery. This is exactly why a strong script is important because it has cascading effects on every part of the value chain of filmmaking.

Talking about Aleeze Nasser’s debut, she walked away with the film. It was her show all the way, as she slips into the role of a strong, independent woman, while containing her emotions for the right times, and then morphing into the boss lady when she finally confronts Armaan. It doesn’t take a while for viewers to figure out that while it was her debut and not the most perfect of performances, she shows immense potential with her expression game going strong. Perhaps, a little work on the dance skills could have done the magic. However, by the end of it, you find yourself rooting for her - especially when you watch her dish out dialogues with supreme confidence, audacity, and a killer instinct. It can be safely said that she was not just a glamour queen pulling off flowery dresses, trendy bags, and designer heels, taking away from the film’s main theme.

Having recently watched films like Kamli, The Legend of Maula Jatt, and Joyland, and experienced an elevated bar of filmmaking in Pakistan by Pakistani film producers and directors, the film ‘Yaara Vey’ has come across as a tad underwhelming. It is a visually-pleasant film for a one-off watch that may sell well but may not have a houseful.