Self-proclaimed Dubai story, Pinky Memsaab evoked high hopes way before its release. But did the characters’ determination, the plot’s wobbly ride, and Dubai’s skylines, manage to uphold the anticipation? The response would be pretty flimsy.

A real-life account of director Shazia Ali Khan’s life in Dubai, the film centres on two women belonging to polar opposite backgrounds, and trying to deal with the city and life’s curveballs in their own ways. Hajra Yamin and Kiran Malik play the lead roles, and are joined by Adnan Jaffer, Hajrah Khan, and Sunny Hinduja as the plot rolls out.

The trailer gave off a directed by a woman, for women vibe, and the movie matched the claims for most part. With its two strong leads, Pinky and Mehr, the film presents a pleasant ride entangled in their lives. Pinky, a divorcee from the interiors, finds her luck changing as she sets off to Dubai to be house-help for Mehr, a neglected socialite with a failing career. We see an honest account of Pinky struggling to adjust at first, but soon getting the hang of it when Mehr takes her under her wing.

The inclusion of other prominent characters adds a little life to the plot, and actually takes the story forward. Mehr’s husband Hassan, initially a self-absorbed investment banker, later turns over a new leaf and his development is lauded. We also see the chauffeur, Santosh, who is like a ray of sunshine in their bleak lives. And Kulsoom, being the headstrong single mother struggling to make ends meet, is an inspiration. Moving forward, when Mehr’s jealousy starts to wreck her relationship with her husband and Pinky, they all lead their own paths and apparently, embark on a journey of self-discovery.

Along with the leads, all other minor characters are praiseworthy. But amidst all the stellar performances by the entire cast, what really misses the mark in the film is the purpose. The storyline, however well-intentioned, lacks proper flow and drive. Many times, you’re left wondering where it’s all headed and what exactly is the point they’re trying to convey as a whole, as the scenes literally fade out without closure. And with the super rushed ending, you’re just left asking for more.

Another notable point that contradicted with the claims was the whole Dubai ploy. It did not feel like the city had much of an influence in the characters’ lives, as any girl from a rural lifestyle would behave the same in any other urban setting. And many overlooked women facing career issues would be just as heartbroken anywhere else. But the director’s effort on not showing Dubai how it is portrayed in other films, as the mainstream metropolis it is, should be commendable.

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The music and cinematography are applaudable, but when merged with the lack of proper direction, the film seems to miss the mark it was trying to reach. However, based on acting alone, this could have been a wonderful cinematic experience for all film-goers.

Verdict: The excellent acting alone is not enough to save the film from tanking, as it has more misses than hits, and we see the plot suffering because of a flawed storyline.

Rating: 3/5


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