Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God
Animation Scaling Heights
Karachi’s local cinema hosted a special screening of Pakistan’s first stereoscopic, 3D film, Allahyar and the 100 Flowers of God. The ground-breaking production was broadcast for the Karachi audience, with the cast and crew in attendance. The primary voiceovers are offered immaculately by Iqra Aziz as Aira, Azfar Jafri as Hero, Anum Zaidi as Allahyar, Ali Zafar as Minister, Meera as Bush Prince, Humayun Saeed as Sage, Bushra Ansari as Aunty Liz, Nadia Jamil as Cameo and Azlan as Azlan.
The tale of Allahyar, who journeys to another world with his closest friend Hero, the Chakor, to save his father from a race of ruthless robots poaching wood, is an exciting, fast-paced adventure. Like the previous Allahyar film, this one also examines the environment for what it provides us. Simply put, it takes place in a vast, unnamed world. In a massive, mechanized city on a dystopian planet, Allahyar and his Chakor friend Hero find themselves to rescue Allahyar’s father. His efforts to save his father eventually result in saving the planet from impending destruction brought on by decades of deforestation and pollution.
The Earth is wiped off of all forests and animals. It resembles several dystopian deserts we have seen in science fiction films like Mad Max: Fury Road and Dune. This planet has exhausted all of its resources and is dotted with ruins, rough/dry terrain, and the shattered remains of robots. Although certain species that resemble humans originally called it home, it is now entirely run by machines. They are now only recalled as gosht ke thailay (meat bags).
Allahyar comes across Ira along the journey, a robot organizing a revolution against the robots in charge of the mechanized city. Only robots with enough money to pay for themselves can charge themselves, while those without will end up as scrap metal.
Peppered with humour, drama and action in equal measure, the film targets a younger audience as it explores the current environmental problems by equating Earth with an extra-terrestrial planet. It also generously touches upon social injustice, the power of unification, and the importance of friendship.
What is heartening is that the film celebrates life by way of resonant and culturally acceptable role models for children to look up to as its protagonists. The film has fantastic battle scenes, chase scenes, and great cinematography. Some of the punches and kicks that landed even caught me off guard. One could feel the vibration through the cinema.
The biggest problem Pakistan faces with such films is its marketing, majorly because the animation genre has little place in Pakistan, and this film has been positively appreciated by those who have seen it, children and adults alike. With a film like Allahyar making it big in the Pakistani cinema landscape, I believe that the animation industry and genre have a promising future, as it inspires others to follow suit.
Our younger population is growing unprecedentedly. And it is important to provide them with meaningful, relatable content in our national language that they can call their own. It enables our children to resonate with the local culture and the national problems that persist in our country. The production is an important addition to localized entertainment for children.
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