The movie, Bol, however, is not meethi in any way. Unless maybe you count the ending, ’cause that would definitely leave you with an ‘awww’ feeling.
No, this is not really going to be another movie review of a film that is taking the country by the storm. Well, at least, judging from the number of people flocking to watch it. Or maybe that was only because it was a Saturday. (Still, I feel obliged to say: Spoiler Alert!)
I liked Bol. I would recommend you to watch it, although I would rate it at least PG-13 for language.
But it’s not simple as that. Because, the movie, in itself, is not as simple as that.
I can’t decide whether the movie is controversially intense or intensely controversial.
And if I had to choose, I think I would totally go with Option C: All of the above.
I loved how in such a short time span Shoaib Mansoor was able to point out the various problems in our society.
So, we get to see how poverty defines the lives of a religious nut and his non-conformist daughter who dares to defy him, and the things each does to survive, even ending up murdering. All the women in that household live a life of oppression and the one person who isn’t technically a woman certainly has the tendencies. Which is another major cause of consternation for the religiously strict father.
The movie also touches upon rape and sexual assault in reference to kids, how it is considered a stigma and why murder becomes a result of such things. We bear witness to police asking for bribery in order to overlook a case. The general money matters are solved using other people’s money and then playing a ‘gamble’ to pay off the ‘loan’ and maintain family izzat. Ironically enough, only the people belonging to Heera Mandi, people who had been discarded because of their profession, were the only ones to step up. Meanwhile, the women are not allowed to do anything, and especially, not allowed to work: it is a man’s job to provide for his family. Except that when the cat isn’t home, the mice definitely play.
Tensions continue throughout the film, which ends with some very important questions: why do you keep having kids if you don’t have the means to feed them? Why is giving birth not a crime?
These are valid questions, of course, considering the vicious cycle of poverty and population problems in the country.
What I felt was that the non-conformist daughter could defy her father in taking her mother to the doctor and having her sister married off to the Shia neighbour she was in love with and was meeting secretly every day, to whom her father had expressly said no to. So she could have defied him to go earn some money and showed him that he was wrong. Wasn’t this what she was already trying to do when she talked back to him and earned a slap for her effort? Couldn’t she easily have hidden the details to her strict overbearing father, while making sure they did not starve? Nope! When it came to actually doing something, she preferred to play the damsel in distress conveniently.
And then, how once the evil and dominant father was removed from the midst of that family and everything worked out very well is a concept I find very problematic. Really? And what’s with the ultra-modernism? Is the only reason ‘compare and contrast’? To make us think?
Controversy for the sake of it or with an actual motive?
Such argument apart, what the movie actually did for me was simple: it made me really thankful to the Almighty Allah for my father.
I’m not kidding.
I was sitting in the dark theatre and watching that moulvi break the small mirror with his daughter’s face and all I could think was: Thank God! Thank God! Thank God!
I can’t even imagine my father talking to me loudly, let alone this.
But you know the best part?
When the President of Pakistan is watching the reporter’s broadcast about the hanging…when it ends, there is no ‘channel’ to go to. It’s as if there was a cable/power outage at that very instant.