11 things we learnt from Ho Mann Jahaan…

Originally published in The Express Tribune Blogs. Jan 12, 2016.

“Ho Mann Jahaan”, apparently among Pakistan’s most anticipated films, released recently to packed houses and rave reviews. While there’s enough in the film to keep you glued to the seats, Pakistan has definitely seen better films lately. An amazing soundtrack, a boisterous star-cast, decent acting, ample use of flashy colours, spectacular cinematography and some great locales are some of the film’s strong points. However, there’s more to the film; and far more shades of grey that go well in one flick. So here’s a round-up of the deeper meanings and greater life lessons from “Ho Mann Jahaan”. No spoilers are given here, partly because there’s not much to give from the plot-line!

1. Boys and girls can never really be friends. You might be buddies for life and all that, but all your friends from the opposite gender are eventually going to hit on you – it’s just a matter of time. Yes, even if your female best friend is committed to your male best friend. However, it totally depends on you if you prefer sweeping all this awkwardness under the carpet and are intent upon showing absolutely killer moves on “Shakar Wandaan with the very same friends.

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

2. You might belong to the lower strata of society, and may also carry your humble foundations on your arm; but that won’t stop you from looking dapper at will. Also, you can deliberately pronounce monotonous as mo-no-tone-ous to convince us of your lack of privileges, but owing to your showy friends and high-profile (and Sheheryar Munawar looks), that still comes across as a totally acceptable pronunciation and we start doubting our own.

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

3. Your life might be a complete mess, replete with all the tragedies that would give “Umrao Jaan a run for her money; but all these problems come with a simplistic-to-the-point-of-stupid solution. You can always end up having (or feigning, if you’re strong-nerved) a nervous break-down and you are done: happy endings! So yeah, you just need a hospital admission or Mahira Khan to rescue you from life. The second one might not always work, so we’re sticking with the former. And so is Adeel Hussain!


Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

4. Speaking of which, it has been sadly revealed that there’s only so much you can digest (and appreciate) in the name of Mahira Khan. And this is something coming from a person who watched “Bin Roye twice for her. You might have a great cast to begin with, but you cannot expect it to swim across the ocean and come out alive if your script is tissue-paper thin.

5. Cameos might have registered themselves as the ‘in’ thing, but they are sure to be met with indifference (or worse, yawns) if they do little to compliment the story-line. Who would’ve thought that the sight of heart-throbs like Fawad Khan, Zohaib Hassan, Zeb Bangash and Hamza Ali Abbasi would be met with such a deafening silence. Or maybe it was just the Lahori cinema I watched the movie in.

– Parents will always understand you at the end of the day, and vice versa. In this Pakistani version of “Taare Zameen Par, with exceedingly more aged and better looking actors – the relationship between parents and kids uses a convenient brush-up. This movie must be mandatory watching for all the parents out there. They’re sure to come out as better ones afterwards.

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

6. If you’re single and a bit too eager to mingle, friends’ mehndis are where you should be heading. You can always count on finding a hot, compatible, eligible match for you. (Hint: they will approach you with all the Bollywood clichés – your table is empty and they’ll ask if they can take a seat; followed by the usual – ‘I don’t really know many people here!’). To which you’re like, “Hell, baby. Now you know me well-enough. For life, that is!”

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

7. Your dad might be a border-line fanatic, but he’ll just accept you if you’re strong-headed enough. And he won’t go berserk after barring you from stopping music and then seeing you on national television out of the blue. You just have to present him, very sweetly, an invitation to your wedding (about which, again, he has no idea), and he will be there to bless you in all his might. Well the film has already been playing for a bit too long, so we’re too tired to question the sanity of this!

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

8. When they say a film is made on the editing table, they aren’t kidding. A film can always (and I repeat, always) use some sleek editing. And then some more of it. If you’re bent upon dwelling on all the unnecessary bits, go for a TV drama instead. Those things run for years, but there might as well be a reason why more directors all around the world are going for shorter movies.

9. Someone might be flawless. But that does not save them from bagging a role that is meatless. Ask Sonya Jehan!

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

Photo: Facebook- Ho Mann Jahaan Official

10. Songs are imperative for a film, especially when its counting on them so heavily. Also, it is smart to save your best song for last. That way you can assure that the people remain seated to the very end. Otherwise they might leave the hall in search of greener pastures half-way through the film.

11. Everyone is selfish. Everyone uses you for their own good, eventually (especially the men). But stay tuned: Everyone also learns a lesson somehow and then competes with Mother Teresa in selflessness. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration there – but given the promising trailers and mammoth-like publicity, so is this film.


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