Sheheryar Munawar’s Budhi Ghori Lal Lagam reminds us that age is just a number

By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: Over the past few years, Sheheryar Munawar has proven that he has a knack for opening up conversations about topics that should be had, on screen, with his directorial prowess. Whether it was shedding light on mental health issues in Prince Charming or abusive relationships in Mashaadi, he has set an example on how such topics should be presented on screen. And he’s done it again with his first Eid telefilm, Budhi Ghori Lal Lagam. While the topic might not be as intense as his previous projects, it is equally important to understand and accept. Wrapped in heartbreak, humor and romance, Budhi Ghori Lal Lagam is as unconventional as it is heartwarming and eye opening.

Written and directed by Sheheryar Munawar the telefilm stars Simi Raheal and Salman Shahid as the lead actors and tells their love story. The 60-something year old couple have fallen into a monotonous life. After dedicating their lives to raising their two children, Ayesha (Sarwat Gilani) and Kareem (Ahsan Khan) both of whom are now settled with children of their own, Jan and Zubi are still spending their lives prioritizing their children’s needs. While Zubi is busy managing the house and cooking food for her daughter to take back home, Jan begrudgingly babysits his grandson and watches raunchy “artistic” movies fantasizing about what he wishes his life was. Instead of the adventure he craves, he spends his days smoking in secret, buying vegetables and constantly being reminded of the label of being a senior citizen. Despite the monotony, Salman Shahid manages to bring humor into the routine. From his cranky disposition to his carefree life moto, so many of us can easily say, “That’s what we envision ourselves to be when we grow old!”

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But all that changes when tragedy strikes and Jan is reminded of just how quick life can pass by. Again, while Salman Shahid showed his ability to make us laugh, he also showed us what it is like to grieve. We felt for him and his loss and our hearts broke with his. The dialogues surrounding the tragedy deserve credit for how hard hitting they are. Huma Nawab does a spectacular job in the delivery especially when she draws comparison how until that morning, her and her husband were known for who they were as people, and just in a matter of hours, their identity is associated with their tragedy.

After the tragedy, Jan decides to live out his desire of adventure with his wife because life is too short not to. The two don on red clothes and set off on a day of love and laughter. The telefilm will make you laugh and will make you revel in how adorable the relationship between the two is. Simi Raheal and Salman Shahid enamor us with their giddy, childlike glee and their happiness is contagious. Their adorable date serves as a reminder that just because a couple grows old doesn’t mean their love dies down or that their inner child grows up. As they sit on the rocks or share a drink, the two manage to pull off the lovesick couple act wonderfully!

Naturally, things go wrong on Jan and Zubi’s date and when their children have to step in, there is an ironic role reversal between parent and child. The last scene when the two generations clash is a stark reminder of how we need to value and respect our parents and older couples. Raheal’s monologue reminds us of how much our parents have lived for us and how when the time comes for them to live for themselves, they are told its too late and they need to act their age. Nothing about the exchange is extraordinary, the dialogues aren’t poetic. But that’s what makes the story so relatable and so brilliant. The emotions speak volumes and they hit us right where it hurts and makes us reflect on our own attitudes and makes us think about our own old age.

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A post shared by Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui (@sheheryarmunawar)

A little before its release, Sheheryar Munawar took to Instagram to give a bit insight into his telefilm which he called, “A short love letter to my parents.” He thanked all those involved in the project and expressed how he is, “overwhelmed and humbled by the detailed messages and feedback I’ve received. Each and every detail didn’t go unnoticed – and for that i am grateful to all of you.”

The telefilm is available on YouTube and you’ll get to see cameos of your favorite actors including Mahira Khan, Humayun Saeed, Behroze Sabzwari and Asma Abbas!

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