Cast: Reem Shaikh, Atul Kulkarni, Divya Dutta
Direction: HE Amjad Khan
Gul Makai is a biographical film based on the life and struggles of Pakistani Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, she used the alias Gul Makai for her BBC blog about living under the threat of the Taliban and the importance of education for all.
The two hours thirty minutes long film is not even close to what the reality is, it is half baked and doesn't show the real picture of what Malala went through.
The controversies are not even touched upon. Considering it's a biopic. The first half talks bout he early days that is 2007 onwards and transcends to 2009, the screenplay is low, and most of the film's narration and dialogues are in Urdu which makes it hard to understand.
Actress Reem Shaikh looks exactly like Malala and all the points go to her for etching out such heavy dialogues. The second half moves to 2012 and Malala's tryst with the Taliban and how she makes the movement strong enough and battles it out.
The narrative is messy and switches too quick and as a viewer, I didn't find the story as hard-hitting as the real subject is. The film a tedious watch.
Ziauddin Yousafai Malala's father (Atul Kulkarni), runs a local school, nurtures his daughter Malala's independence and bravery, and encourages her. Malala (Reem Shaikh) is a young and vibrant girl who gets wings to fight against the Taliban's decision on imposing a ban on girl's education.
The story continues over the years to 2007, 2008, and 2009. There are songs, gun fires, bombs exploding, trucks rolling and a warlike background score from the '80s. Malala's parents are her support while she fights the battle against the Taliban, there is a lot of brutality in the narrative.
And then comes a point in the film when the gunmen stop the school bus in which 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was travelling in, and shot her in the head.
And the girl was sent to the UK for medical aid. All this happens too quickly and leaves us wondering whether the makers have kept the real essence of real battle or not.
Every actor has done a fine job, Reem Shaik is a good actor and her role looks convincing as Malala, but she has very little to do, because of a weak script.
Atul Kulkarni and Divya Dutta give their best and outshine in emotional and war-based scenes.
The efforts of the actors and the locations are good. The set designing and costume designing.
It is quite disappointing that the film does not mention any of the controversies, being biography it is slow-paced and the entire film looks like a compilation of Wikipedia and books, it gives a documentary feel.
'Gul Makai' could have been a very strong story, but the director has been so politically correct and feared to show the main issues that Malala dealt with. The subject of the film is strong but didn't show up on the -screen.