Reema’s second directorial venture, Love Mein Gumm,released

Boy meets girl, fall in love, tragedy follows, love prevails and they live happily ever after! That’s the premise of most love stories as well as Reema’s second directorial venture, Love Mein Gumm, that was released this Eid at theatres across Pakistan.
A love story with some bits taken from The Ugly Duckling and the others from Paulo Cohelo’s novel Veronika Decides to Die, the film follows the life of a Zindagi/Maria (Reema) who works as an assistant at a university library. Fed on a staple diet of love stories, she has a huge crush on a student, Wilson (Nabeel Khan), who happens to be the leader of the ‘cool’ gang at the campus, and she dances with him in her daydreams wearing taffeta gowns and reciting Shakespeare! In real (read: reel) life, Zindagi is ridiculed by the group only to find solace in the company of a feisty boutique owner Nazi (Ali Saleem/Begum Nawazish) and her co-workers Sukhiya (Johnny Lever) and Raphar Sindh (Afzal Khan /Rambo). But things spur out of control and Zindagi ends up taking an overdose of sleeping pills to end her pathetic life.
On the other hand there is Ali (Moammer Rana), a young man who lives with his father Haroon (Javed Shiekh) and stepmother Sheza (Gia Ali). After repeatedly thwarting Sheza’s amorous advances, Ali too attempts suicide (in the most gruesome manner) after a misunderstanding.
Though their paths have crossed earlier, Ali and Zindagi land in the same medical facility and from there onwards their lives take a new turn. However, it’s not smooth sailing as Zindagi is duly informed by Dr Kanwar (Nadeem) that she is living on borrowed time, and the two try to make the most of what little time they have left.
Nabeel Khan and Araida Corbol.
Acting-wise, Reema appears wooden at times and lacks spontaneity. However, she puts in a great effort in her dance moves with the song, Kitni Haseen Hai Zindagi, taking the cake. Dancing opposite Nabeel, a model-turned-actor who is easily her junior in looks and age, Reema is seen at her best here.
Nabeel, on the other hand, wastes the opportunity. For any youngster, debuting in a big-budget film is a dream come true but in this case it’s sheer waste. From poor dialogue delivery and fake accent to lack of expressions, Nabeel is yet another example of why models cannot and must not act. Araida Corbol, the green-eyed Azerbaijani beauty who plays Wilson’s partner in crime, makes the most of the opportunity and acts pretty good.
Moammer Rana as the brooding young man doesn’t do much apart from pouting and playing the angry young man. It is only towards the end — when his character gets to interact with Zindagi — that he does a pretty good job of romancing.
Gia’s Shiza, a trophy wife with nefarious intentions, puts in a decent effort but what is irritating is her repeated use of “darling” and “sweetheart”. Dressed to the hilt, quite a few in the audience linked her mannerism and look to that of an Indian TV soap’s most popular vamp Komalika (played by Indian actress Urvashi Dholakia in Kasauti Zindagi Ki).
However, the two performances to watch out for are those of Ali Saleem and Rambo. Though Johnny Lever is one of the leading funny men from across the border, he is easily overshadowed by our Afzal Khan aka Rambo’s comic timing and expressions (and it doesn’t mean face contortions in the name of comedy). Ali Saleem aka Begum Nawazish as Nazi is seen in fine form here with many of the double entendres that get you laughing and “is more sensuous than the real women in Love Mein Gumm” as one viewer quipped.
The downside of the film is the stereotypes and clichés. From “never trust a white woman” to “the western society and its waywardness”; quite a few dialogues seem right out of the ’70s.
With Love Mein Gumm, the ugly duckling-transforms-into-a-swan routine has finally been done to death. Also, for Reema to pass off as a 20-year-old appears desperate and quite odd. She needs to take a leaf out of Shamim Ara’s book — despite playing meek and submissive roles in her heyday; she made sure that her heroines were strong women.
Then there is Zindagi’s “mysterious but deadly disease” that is never identified in the film but since our heroine suffers from it, one has to bear with it while Reema does her filmi histrionics, replete with glycerin and a heaving bosom!
And while on the subject, Reema sure sets the screen on fire with the item number, Love Mein Gumm. Though a blatant rip-off of Deewangi Deewangi from Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om, the Saqib Malik-directed number has the cream of Pakistan’s fashion/entertainment industry shaking a leg. However, it’s the silver screen sirens who look the best, with Meera and Resham boogey-ing like there’s no tomorrow.
The other song to watch out for is Heeriye Sohniye sung by Abrar-ul-Haq. The energetic number seems to be on its way to the Mehndi play list with the start of the wedding season. As for the dance moves, Afzal aka Rambo once again proves that he is not only a good actor but also a damn good dancer.
Overall, Reema Khan’s Love Mein Gumm is a good time-pass if you can see past the fake accents, the overdose of forced English (Lollywood-style) and a weak plot line with too many loopholes. Maybe if you have a good sense of humour (like the folks who were present in the audience on the day I saw it), you could come up with witty one-liners that elicit more laughs than Johnny Lever’s comic takes in the film.

Spell Bounder

I'm journalist in Pakistan,And working in this field about 20 years.