Giriftar (1979)


Giriftar (1979)
: Afzal Ahmed, Mustafa Qureshi, Najma, Ishrat Chaudhary, Adeeb
Director: Haider Chaudhary
Music Director: Wajahat Attre
Synopsis: Film within a film with loads of in-jokes along the way….formula comedy caper


Afzal Ahmed is filmstar Mr. Johnny who has teamed up with hugely talented director Shahzad to shoot a highly controversial film based on a current underworld Kingpin. When the Kingpin hears about the shooting of the film he is enraged and commands his own goons to put a stop to it using whatever deadly means they feel are necessary.

One day Mr. Johnny and Shahzad have a friendly argument about his role in the film and Johnny visits him at home to try to sort the matter out. As they are in mid discussion, one of the Kingpin’s deadly assassins stabs Shahzad with a well directed dagger thrown from outside the window. Mr. Johnny is caught “red handed” by Shahzad’s wife as he is removing the dagger from his dead friends body. Johnny is forced to run for cover and ends up being abducted by some goons belonging to the most dreaded and feared villain Jagga Dakoo.

However fate is kind to Johnny as the very eccentric yet wild Jagga Dakoo turns out to be a devoted fan of Mr. Johnny’s and vows to help him clear his name. The rather comic Jagga and Mr. Johnny team up to turn the tables on the Kingpin (Adeeb) and thus the film follows in the form of a comedy caper with our two main characters having to disguise themselves repeatedly in order to avoid the police as well as to infiltrate and destroy the Kingpins gang.

Its all rather imbecilic nonsense with Mustafa Qureshi turning in another OTT larger than life performance as Jagga and winning most public appreciation with his zany antics and his “get up” including wild hairstyle. Afzal Ahmed as Mr. Johnny enjoys a rare romantic lead role but doesn’t have the physical presence that a “hero” requires even if he acts better than most in Lollywood. Najma as a crime reporter looks like a parrot tarted up to the hilt as she is and dressed in horrendous synthetic bell bottom pant and shirt suits – truly a sight for sore eyes – 70’s kitsch at its most deliciously tacky.

Ishrat Chaudhary provides some much needed oomph through her fiery dialogues and her dances and tucks into a rare lead role that came her way. The music is weak with not a single song that stays in the memory bank and the dances sadly lack the energy or raw vitality of those from the Akram Khan productions. The sleaze factor sadly is at a bare minimum despite Ms. Chaudhary’s presence in a major role. Giriftar is a totally mediocre and unmemorable piece of piffle. Mustafa Qureshi strives hard to save the day to some extent but even his own performance is far from vintage Qureshi.

On the whole, a very disappointing film, not only in general but specifically for the lack of oomph or sleaze-power! This film has little to recommend it other than one classic scene where we have Najma’s earnest brother being tortured so that he prints fake money for the Kingpin Adeeb. He resists heroically despite being brutally thrashed from morning till night and given electric shocks, having his nails removed and so on. Finally Adeeb threatens to have his pants removed at which point the thus far heroic brother totally caves in and starts to print counterfeit cash like never before! Death being preferable to the shame of having his pants removed!

The mind boggles as it does after watching most Lollywood films!