LAHORE: Pakistani dramas are considered to be among the best, with a large viewership in the sub-continent and the Middle East, mainly due to limited dramatisation, no over the top emotional scenes, no dramatic music and camera shots (Yes we’re referring to Star Plus here), and their connection to reality and everyday life.
While Pakistani cinema has made incredible leaps of success in the past couple of years, a loophole still remains. The cinema industry saw a remarkable number of films last year from Punjab Nai Jaungi to Arth 2, however, that void still remained. But then came ‘Cake‘: an unlikely name for an unlikely film and we felt that that missing gap has been filled. Because Cake is exactly how our movies should be: story-centric with strong performances, beautiful music, no-item songs, hilariously emotional dialogues, and excellent cinematography.
Before, we dissect the film, a little about the plot. The film revolves around the Jamali family comprising of a joyful and rather filter-less, expressive mother (played by Beo Rana Zafar), a father who can do anything for his family (played by Mohammad Ahmed); a daughter Zareen (played by Aamina Sheikh) holding the family together, a second daughter Zara (played by Sanam Saeed), who is living in London and perusing her dreams, and a son Zain (played by Faris Khalid) who settled in the US with his wife and son, aloof to his family responsibilities.
Two medical emergencies lead to the reunion of the family in Karachi, and revelation of one dark secret, which caused it to disintegrate, with Romeo (played by Adnan Malik) found to be in the center of all of this.
The movie shows a rather colourful family, with strong personalities not adhering to socially decided norms. Both the girls smoke – openly in one scene – can change car tyres on their own, and can even look after the family agricultural land back in their village. Add to this a mother who loves her social media and her husband, equally.
For me, one of the best things in the movie was the relationship portrayed between siblings: fighting with one another, to the point of even beating each other up, but in the next scene, talking with each other and having fun as if nothing happened. There is no melodrama, a specialty of sub-continent movies; it is as real as it gets. You fight with your siblings, get over it and then takes care of them because, at the end of the day, there is nothing like family. This is the theme around which the movie beautifully revolves.
Unlike Bollywood and even Pakistani films, Cake does not have proper songs. The movie is smooth and does not, at any point, make you think that it is getting bored or tiresome. The background music by Sketches is apt and fitting to the movie’s plot. Strong performances by all actors keep you engaged throughout the movie, while the dialogues keep you immersed in the plot.
As an avid photographer, the one thing that really struck me was the brilliant cinematography of the movie. Mo Azmi has taken the cinematography to another level, giving you shots which are simply a treat to the eyes. The details in the shots and use of the frame was exquisite.
All in all, Cake, will give you the same satisfaction you get after eating a decadent and rich chocolate cake.