IMDB Rating: 8.0
Director: Syed Ali Raza
Starring: Hamza Abbasi, Ainan Arif
Main Hoon Shahid Afridi Review: To actually see a movie from Pakistan in which actors are talking and not yelling was a pleasant surprise but as the movie progressed it completely blew my mind off for being so real. Main Hoon Shahid Afridi has garnered much critical acclaim, which given the high level of cynicism among Pakistani critics is a rare feat. I am happy to say that this movie sets the tone for Pakistani cinema that hopefully will follow it. While it attempts social commentary, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi is not a polemic diatribe against the system like “Bol” or to a certain extent, “Khuda Ke Liye.” It’s goal is to entertain and the movie does just that.
The story revolves around a small-town team aspiring to make it big and a player who aspires to reach the level of the legend that’s Shahid Afridi. They find their coach in a framed and banished former cricket hero played by Humayun Saeed. No prizes for guessing where the story heads from here — there are the usual love interests, the villainous rival team, a broken-family subplot and so forth, but all of this is executed with panache and the acting and script writing is decent. However what really works in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi favor is some solid supporting performances from Nadeem Baig, who shows what acting greats are made of, and from Hamza Ali, who infuses some verve into the proceedings. The music score ably supports the production. Special mention to the the song-and-dance sequence at the start, which is nothing short of sensational.
The script does have a predilection for resorting to character stereotypes (which are incorrect), however given that MHSA is a first time effort by majority of the production team, this can be forgiven. Syed Noor, Shoaib Mansoor and the rest of the old-school gang should take a lesson or two from the movie and start infusing some energy and verve in their cinema, because the audience generally pays to be entertained and not lectured. The people who deserve special mention in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi are the young and upcoming actors and the script writer, Vasay Chaudhry for this brilliant piece of work.
Links to Download ‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’ in an excellent SQ print: