Verna has been through a lot. Starring Mahira Khan, the film was initially banned due to its edgy “scenes and dialogues” by CBFC. However, it was cleared at the last moment and cinemas published the movie in their late shows to the eager viewers. Reportedly, cinema halls were booked in advance and last minute viewers didn’t have much success. Since we at bookitnow.pk have an integral interest with the entertainment industry in Pakistan, we absolutely had to watch it! Following is our review on Shoaib Mansoor’s latest effort.
Shoaib Mansoor never follows the mainstream. One to always pick the deepest flaws of the society and shove them right in the viewer’s face, his movies are controversial, aggressive and thought provoking. This time, Verna is no different than his previous titles.
Sara(played by Mahira Khan) and Aami(played by Haroon Shahid) are a happily married couple. However, their married life fells into a disarray when Sara is kidnapped and raped by the Governor’s son. Upon her return, the whole matter is hushed by her husband and his family. Sara, since portrayed as a strong and resilient woman, decides to take matters in her own hands and consults a lawyer.
It is soon clear that her rapist is very influential and this struggle will not be easy. The film depicts clearly the abuse of power from the lowest to the highest levels of the government.The matter goes to court and legal battles take place. However, the case is withdrawn in the end for the sake of respect and social status of the couple’s family.
The film ends with the couple killing the rapist and notifying the media about the reality.
As expected from Shoaib Mansoor, the film finds its strength in the powerful themes the movie follows; rape, politics, feudalism, power plays, women empowerment and the hollowness of the justice system. A powerful narrative means that the story will not be forgotten any time soon.
While the film stands out with its theme, the production and acting could have been better. Mahira Khan delivers a powerful performance on the screen which will definitely satisfy her fans. The acting by the rest of the cast is okay at best and fails to deliver any memorable experience to the viewers.
Weak character building is the biggest flaw for the rest of the actors around Mahira. The sets, the expressions, the emotions and the atmosphere, all of them could have used a bit more thought and effort. We found it all lacking that flourish that was expected from Shoaib after the 6 years break.
The movie is worth watching for the sake of the message it delivers and the superb performance of Mahira only. Regardless of the 8/10 rating on IMDb, it still leaves you wanting a bit more.
Box Office Collection of Verna
Due to a late start on Day 1, Verna did not do very well in cinemas on Friday. Much of the blame rests on the last minute censor board review that initially halted Verna’s release. However, the Mahira Khan magic filled the cinemas in the subsequent days with movie getting significantly more business all over Pakistan.
- Friday = 68 Lacs
- Saturday = 1.12 Crore
- Sunday = 90 Lacs
Also published on Medium.