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So, did Verna hit its mark?

So, did Verna hit its mark?

Audience and critics’ appreciation for the film’s topic gets marred by technical weaknesses

Shoaib Mansoor’s latest film, Verna, tells the story of a young Pakistani woman who, after facing sexual assault, decides to fight back and take revenge.

The film has received mixed reviews from critics; some have praised the film for showing the dark side of our society which not many people are willing to acknowledge, while others have bashed the film for having a lackluster storyline and lack of depth.

The main problem with the film that many critics agreed upon was the lack of character depth, which ultimately resulted in the fact that the audience could not truly feel for Sara (Mahira Khan); the main character in the film. While Mahira Khan did a very good job of portraying the anger that a rape victim would feel, the grief and the suffering was not highlighted. This gave the character a very wooden feeling, and the myriad of emotions that a victim of sexual assault experiences was not well captured.

The supporting characters in the film were also, for lack of a better word, poor. Shoaib Mansoor decided to highlight the strength of Sara by weakening the characters around her. While it may be true that he succeeded in doing so, the film would have been much more interesting if there were strong, intelligent characters helping Sara. The ending of the movie, where Sara takes the law into her own hands has also, raised a lot of eyebrows, with many viewers agreeing that it might have been inappropriate.

 

However, the film was not all bad. The dialogue of the film has been praised for being especially powerful, audiences watching the film in cinemas burst into applause at some points during the movie.

The cinematography of the film has also been highly praised, which shots from the film being referred to as brilliant. The dialogue and the cinematography only accentuated the brilliant acting by the cast of the movie. Mahira Khan (Sara) and Zarrar Khan (Sultan) were especially brilliant in their roles. The songs used in the movie, written by Shoaib Mansoor himself, was also praised for not taking away from the scenes while at the same time staying memorable and powerful.

Verna may have some shortcomings when it comes to the story or the character depth, but the movie did a good job of shedding light on the corruption and darkness in our society. Some people have complained that the movie is portraying Pakistan in a bad light, but the truth remains that the topic that the film highlighted is extremely important; the rich and powerful do whatever they want and the ordinary citizens have no voice.

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