“Something different? Not a love story” was the director’s response when he was asked what surprise would audience expect from his latest movie Mansoor. 

His statement could stand a trial because Mansoor, for the most part, is an adventure of an enthusiastic young man in search of his identity. It is an adventure that is triggered by love, fueled by uncertainties and driven by desperation. This adventure leads to another emotional story so expertly told and presented one can’t but appreciate the director’s story telling.

No movie is without flaws, or at least few areas that could use improvements. The good thing with Mansoor is that every single facet is at worst, average. There are few story arcs that are recycled and though I can’t tell whether it is from the movie or the projector, the movie struggled to fit perfectly on the screen. As a result, the subtitle was hardly visible; the colour grading could have been better, the nights and days appeared almost identical.

However, Mansoor has so many strengths to counteract those weaknesses. The excellent production value is at display throughout the movie. Every detail has been attended to. From the sets, to the costumes, to the make up, to the locations.

The director has gotten most out of the actors. The dialogue is refreshing and the delivery, perfect. The scores could have been more frequent. The songs are exciting. The dance sequences are colorful and impeccably acted.

One thing that deserves special mention is the stylish direction. The shots are neat, elegant and stylish. The attention to detail is superb. The way he puts up the story is remarkable. It is said that the act of telling a story is better than the story itself. This statement has never been truer. From the way he mixes voice-over with footage, to the way he motions the camera, to the way he changes the mood and expressions of the actors; it is truly a remarkable piece of directing. 

Spending such a huge amounts on actors that are barely known by audience is a risky business few producers could take. Such boldness could be the reason why FKD has stood the test of time. Can others follow? Only time can tell. 

Mansoor is wonderfully observed, stunningly shot and thanks to so many breakout performances, a must watch in Cinemas. 

Cast: Umar M Shareef, Maryam Yahaya, Ali Nuhu, Sadiq Ahmad, Abba El-Mustapha, Baballe Hayatu, and others. 

Screenplay: Jamil Nafseen. 

Producer: Naziru Dan Hajiya. 

Director: Ali Nuhu

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