Bol completes 10 years this month. The film on its release created massive hype and was not only the highest grossing film in Pakistan but it also broke all previous records. It was also critically acclaimed worldwide gaining various awards and accolades.
The story begins with Zainub (Humaima Malick) been taken by the police for her death penalty. Zainub’s mother and 6 sisters are shown weeping. Before been hanged; her final wish is to address the media and tell her story to the world.
The story goes in flashback wherein we see that Zainub’s father (Manzar Sehbai ) a hakim ( Uses traditional ways to cure illness) discovering that his wife delivered a intersex child after giving birth to 7 daughters. Hakim’s desire to have a son yet again derails and he decides to kill the unisex child as it is an embarrassment. However, he is stopped from doing so by his wife and daughters. His thirst to have a son still continues and later his wife delivers few more babies who die while birth. Finally, Zainub decides to get her mother’s tubal ligation to avoid her from having more babies and save them from brisk of poverty.
The daughters are not given education due to lack of money nor any freedom due to Hakim’s orthodox thinking, and therefore not allowed to work either. They barely can afford meals as Hakim is the only earning member in the house with 10 mouths to feed. Zainub is married off and returns back to hakim’s house leaving her husband as she is forced to bear children.
The story talks about how women in some parts of the world are considered as nothing more than a source to produce kids. It also beautifully portrays the atrocities women face on the name of religion.
There are several moments throughout the film where you won’t be able hold back your tears. Your heart will weep for Saifi (intersex child) which is beautifully enacted by Arm Kashmiri (Debutant). His portrayal of someone who is looked down upon and yet trying to explore his true self is heart wrenching. He doesn’t get any love from his father and is locked in the house all the time. He draws really well and their neighbor Mustafa (Atif Aslam) who is also in love with Ayesha (Zainub’s sister) helps him get a painting job nearby. What follows later will break your heart. The women continue to be oppressed and struggle for the slightest of happiness. Zainub on a few occasions faces her father’s wrath and is been beaten brutally while the mother watches helplessly. It also shows the hypocrisy of Hakim on many occasions which will make you detest him. There are many underline messages and parallel story which will peak your interest.
Simple story telling yet impactful in every sense. Truly Path breaking and thought provoking. Story of women in a family and their struggle for equality and respect. It talks about the hypocrisy of men in the name of religion. It beautifully showcases the bond amongst the sisters and their love towards Saifi; who is different.
Direction /Cast /Music
Shoaib Mansoor the Writer/Director/Producer of the film has previously directed another gem of a film titled Khuda Kay Liye. He has put his heart to ensure the message reaches globally about women oppression and conveyed it the right way. Humaima Malick, Manzar Sehbai, Mahira Khan, Arm Kashmiri were all phenomenal in their roles along with the other supporting cast all of them were very well suited for the roles. There are couple of really good songs with soul southing lyrics and even after 10 years they still manage to stir up emotions.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.