HIP Reviews: ‘Maalik’ – The film we have been waiting for

Written by Omair Alavi

In an environment such as ours, people wait for a messiah to come and rid them of their woes – ‘Maalik’ is that messiah 


Intelligent Writing & Perfect Execution Help ‘Saraab’ Stand Out! Good things come to those who wait and Maalik has, without any doubt, been the flick we have all been waiting for – both cinematically and also systematically. Ashir Azeem’s comeback venture has all the ingredients that make a film, a blockbuster. Not since Chambaili has a film’s dialogue garnered the audience’s attention; not since Jawani Phir Nahi Aani has a film made it to cinema that has the feel of a film; not since Waar has a film shown authentic battle sequences that keep you on the edge of your seats.

Read more: Farhan Ally Agha’s ‘Maalik’ to release April 8th

That was cinematically; as for the system, we all live in a corrupt environment where lawlessness reigns supreme. In the present day Karachi, we face problems that no modern metropolis does anywhere around the world. The public is treated like a disease here and whoever gets the chance, they rip off the very people they are supposed to serve. In such an environment, people wait for a messiah to come and rid them of their woes – Maalik is that messiah.

Cinematically, the film is a must-watch as it has been shot in fabulous locations. The fight sequences are well executed and the casting is near perfect. Farhan Ally Agha and Shakeel Hussain live and eat like Army men whereas Faizan Shaikh’s role could have been meatier; such has been his aura on stage. It seems as if the characters had a say in selecting those who play them and while many disagree with Sajid Hasan casting as Ashir’s father, I believe he was not that bad. Ashir’s superior in Dhuwan was played by veteran actor Mohammad Nawaz, and Sajid Hasan does seem like the Quetta Center veteran. Plus he had to play an old to older man, just as Ashir was supposed to play young to old. Four parallel stories move in the direction of climax and by the time the film ends, people were either clapping hard or leaving the theatre in amazement (the happy kind).

Ahson Talish spotted at the premiere of ‘Maalik’ in Karachi

Systematically, the film shows how corrupt our politicians are; how they manipulate the voters to get elected; how they subdue any kind of opposition – in short, it is shown here that some men are as bad as animals. The crooked face of the police is also shown in the story and it is depicted how they trap poor people for their own benefit. Who kidnaps people and how do they operate, where do the street children come from, and why doesn’t the government care about the people are some of the questions Maalik raises; and although he does take the law in his hands in the movie, it was for the betterment of the people only.

And then there were the songs written by Imran Raza and composed by Sahir Ali Bagga. Naina Roye clearly takes the lead as the song of the album where Dr. Masooma Anwar uses her vocal chords to make you cry – and succeeds in doing so. Bagga’s theme song featured in the credits and will be liked for it being different; Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s Mann Mora has an air of mystery around it whereas Nazaria disappoints – in fact it reminds one of the paid government commercials we see on television. On the whole, Maalik is one of the better films to have come out of Pakistan. Not one frame has been shot, edited, and produced outside Pakistan, and maybe that’s why people will throng cinemas to become ‘Pakistan Ka Shehri, Pakistan Ka Maalik.

Read more: Behind the scenes of ‘Maalik’

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.