Atif Aslam’s ‘Kinara’ employs too many ideas for one video’s good

March 1, 2009

Atif Aslam’s ‘Kinara’ employs too many ideas for one video’s good

Atif parachuting down to ground. Atif buried in the sand. Atif as a superstar. Too many ideas are as bad for a video as too many cooks are for the broth

Maheen Sabeeh, Karachi

A music video is supposed to lift a song. Not take it down. Unfortunately, in Atif’s latest video, the former happens.

When Atif Aslam revealed that his next video would be with Bilal Lashari (well-known for his stand out videos of Jal’s ‘Sajni’, Overload’s ‘Dhamaal’, Abrar’s ‘Islamabad’ and Atif’s ‘Hungami Halaat’), it came as a nice surprise. After all, barring ‘Hungami Halaat’, Atif has had a string of music videos that simply haven’t left a lasting impression. That he has become a star despite the abysmal quality of most of his videos is astounding and speaks of true talent and star quality.
One had hoped that another team-up with Bilal Lashari would bring something intriguing to the forefront. However, Atif’s latest with Bilal, despite many expectations, is hardly memorable.

‘Kinara’ is quite unique to say the least but it is unique in the sense that it leaves you weirded out. Directed by Bilal Lashari and shot partly by Atif himself, it is, simply put, a weak video from Atif. Not that it is Atif’s weakest video. That honour will always belong to ‘Hum Kis Gali Ja Rahein Hain’. But ‘Kinara’ fails to leave a mark because it is laced together quite disjointedly.

Featuring Atif as a protagonist, touring, performing at crowded venues, singing underwater, buried neck down in sand and flying down to planet earth via a parachute… sure, there are some moments that raise a brow, just for the sheer novelty, the first glance – we are talking about Atif placed in sand – but overall ‘Kinara’ is forgettable. The video has its foot in performance and in a storyline but the two do not compliment each other. It comes across as a half-baked job.

The fact that Atif featured his live band in the video is commendable. It is great to see star singers include the men who work behind the show. Ali Azmat did it in ‘Gallan’ recently and Atif is following suit. The shots of Atif and the musicians singing underwater and in the sand as floating heads are cute… sort of. The rest… footage of Atif in hotel room, performing at a packed-concert, playing himself as a successful musician just doesn’t work. The shoddy camera work doesn’t help either.

Atif’s superstar image and that performance-angle of him taking the stage, are not new ideas. They are themes that have been a part of videos before, even if as a subtext to a boy-girl storyline. Atif previously played a successful singer in ‘Chor Gayi’ and before that in ‘Doorie’. Even watching him perform as a singer in a video is too overdone. He’s done it many times before. The magic of Atif Aslam as a singer epitomised as a massive icon – that he may well be – the whole appeal, has worn thin now. Perhaps the only cliché Atif has missed is a love angle with a girl. And that remains ‘Kinara’s only silver lining.

The weakness of this video actually takes attention from the song, which is one of the more decent tunes Atif has done. Off his third solo album, Meri Kahani, this tune is one of the few where Atif has managed to tackle the rock genre with command. It’s blistering in sound and lyrically it stays away from the usual clichés one associates with Atif. ‘Kinara’ as a song lingers on.

Coming back to the video, it is disappointing work coming from Bilal Lashari. Videos have become very crucial for musicians at this stage. In the wake of lesser concerts, unstable political environment and economic recession, concerts have decreased throughout. Music videos are the most effective mode to connect with fans.

Last year, musicians and directors raised the bar high. Whether it was Strings or Ali Azmat or Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan, Zeb and Haniya – their videos were sharp in content, stylishly executed and shone out. This is what is needed from Atif Aslam on the visual front. He has the voice and the talent. But the visuals must change.

Source: The News International – No. 1 English Newspaper from Pakistan – Saturday, December 30, 1899