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HomeFilm ReviewsMovie Review: Ishrat Made in China, ironically, has a strong Karachi connection 

Movie Review: Ishrat Made in China, ironically, has a strong Karachi connection 

If you are a true Karachiite living in the lower-middle-class locality of this metropolitan city, then you are sure to build some strong connection with this movie that effectively carries the attitude and mood of the diverse street culture here. 

While living here, we are familiar with tapori slang (like Ishrat Chingari, Maatha, and Ponka), weird walk chalking, and roadside loafers poking their nose in every matter of mohallah – the same has tactfully been showing in the movie.

Before starting my review, I want to add that I have found some strong connections of my city in the script. Hence, I don’t mind watching this movie again (but this time with my friends, so they may also feel nostalgic while seeing a familiar neighborhood on the big screen).  

Now coming to the main plot– some people may find a coming-of-age story of donkey cart racer a little absurd – but for us, it is familiar. Each year, a grand event of donkey cart race has held in the slums of Lyari where the winner gets the big amount as a reward.

Taking inspiration from a similar event, the movie writer introduces us to Ishrat, a lower-middle-class young boy, who is a complete slacker – from waking up late to roaming around his ancestral college as a loafer, this boy doesn’t have any purpose in life.

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His childhood girlfriend, Akhtar, is his biggest supporter who always saves him from any mishap (especially from Shamshad and his chichoray friends)

Ishrat’s life takes a prominent shift when the Chinese delegate offers him to participate in a donkey race in China. Initially, he refuses to go with him but later circumstances force him to take up this offer.

Upon reaching China, he meets Jia (Sara Loren), daughter of a Kung Fu expert, Master BP (Shamoon Abbasi), who uses him to take revenge from old enemy Master Mangshi (HSY)

What obstacles does Ishrat face while dealing with Mangshi? How does a non-serious man transform into a sensible adult? What price does Ishrat have to pay to end Mangshi’s cruel rule on poor inhabitants of the village?

To know these answers, you have to go and watch the movie in the theatres. 


As a director, actor, and co-writer, Mohib Mirza stole the show. He was phenomenal as an actor and impressive as a debutant director.

His comic timing was superb. His stunts as an action hero were sharp and neat. In the climax, he fell from his cart, but quickly pulled up his socks and rose like an undefeatable hero. The scene made me think if the actor had taken charge of his career and put it back on the right track.

Sanam Saeed looked stunning as Akhtar. She dominated the first half of the film and lit up the screen with her colorful appearance. Her latkas and jhatkas were spots on. The actress’s on-screen chemistry with Mohib Mirza did its magic again and we enjoyed watching them together.

Sara Loren came in the second half of the film – and she did a pretty good job. Her role was also required to do some martial arts – and she did those basic moves with ease.  

The punches were humorous but, thankfully, not vulgar – making it a decent watch for the family. 

The film had several light-hearted and funny moments that instantly brought a smile to the face. The punches were humorous but, thankfully, not vulgar – making it a decent watch for the family. 

I like the careful and creative use of backdrop props – like a wall behind the artists had interesting walk chalking, the name of the college ( Raakat College of Arts, Ishrat ka Ghar nameplate, Ghazi Biryani Center, and Hawai Jahaz kay Ticket book krwane ki Jaga – all those things left an impact on the viewer that eventually helped them to connect with the story. 

I don’t find any faults in the supporting cast (including Ali Kazmi, Shamoon Abbasi, Hassan Shehryar Yasin, Mustafa Chaudhry, Mani Salman, and Shabbir Jan,). They all did a commendable job. They all did their part convincingly and justified their roles with an impeccable act. 

I could see the effort conceptualizing characters of Master BP and Master Mangshi. A distinct identity was given to them with sleek costumes and a particular getup. I loved that both actors put equal effort in essaying the role – they nailed it to the tee.

The catchy songs and the brilliant art direction were also the high points of the film. There are 7 songs in the movie – tuneful music and fresh vocals increase the song appeal and made them likable. Among all songs, my personal favorite was, Ishrat Aya Re – I found it groovy and it was something I would love to add to my current playlist.    


Other than Mohib Mirza, none of the characters are fully developed – making it difficult for viewer to build any connection with them. They come on screen, play their part, and left in a hurry. Everything happened so haphazardly that none of the characters stayed with us when the movie ended. 

The emotional element was also missing and, it was hard to feel empathy towards any character.

The emotional element was also missing and, it was hard to feel empathy towards any character. When Ishrat left for China and Akhtar was unable to contact him. As a childhood love, she must be heartbroken but her agony was never shown on the screen.

Final Verdict

In my final verdict, I would just say that the film is high on entertainment quotient and provide a good relief in today’s mundane routine.

Rating: 3.5/5  

(Note: The writer doesn’t know the technicalities that go behind film making and the review is based on her opinion as an advert cinema-goer)




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