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Archive for the ‘desi’ Category

Ship of Theseus

If the title didn’t clue you in, fear not, the director makes allowances for people like us by spelling out the Theseus paradox: which essentially raises the question that if all the parts of the ship are replaced is it the same ship; thereby framing his film in the context of identity, authenticity and change.

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Impressed by Sabiha Sumar’s earlier film Khamosh Pani with its strong script and poignant take on Pakistani politics, although admittedly sometime sketchy direction, I was intrigued enough to want to see Good Morning Karachi at the 3rdi film festival despite its rather predictable plot.

Intrigued enough, I might add, to pick this film to end my four year drought of not having seen the inside of a theater, I was ready to be more forgiving than usual and even hoped to gain some insight into her creative mind at the Q&A. Alas, all I have is a migraine and an even lesser understanding of her inspiration and work thanks to a disappointing film topped by a lackluster discussion.

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As the curtain falls on this light-hearted drama reminiscent of PTV days of yore, a fond farewell to team Aunn-Zara for having us in splits, singing choice item numbers and feeling the sting of Dadi’s chappats….

On the surface of it, the story is hardly new- a coming of age tale where Auun, suffocated by his family’s attention, and Zara, eager to run away from her fauji father’s regime see marriage as an escape. The motley crew bumbles though warm relationships, familial duty, madcap misunderstandings; subversive scheming foiled by reverse psychology and finally grows up. What is different however, is the refreshing treatment by writer Faiza Iftikhar.

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What makes a good desi restaurant? Here’s a little insider tip. (Little because I’m five foot four and insider because I’m desi.) Look for the vital stats: strip mall, self service and dining desis. They are all good signs. It means that the focus is on the food.

And speaking of food, the promise of melt-in-your mouth kababs (so swore a friend) and a trip to the South Bay saw us face to face with Shan restaurant. Strip mall? Check. Self service? Check. Dining desis? Check. Check. Check.

The décor is geared towards atmospherelessness so its tables, chairs and television. Let me rephrase that tables, chairs and Pakistani soap operas. Sitting within eavesdropping distance of the other tables and strategically placed in front of the TV, my elephant ears were all ready to wiggle and waggle but first to matters at hand. Khana.

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