By Shershah Ahmed: Aksbandh is a new, slightly off the beaten track addition to Pakistani cinema. Refreshingly different from the usual war or romance laden films, it is a ‘found footage’ style horror film, with a plot revolving around six friends setting out on an adventure to make a film, where things take a turn for the worse in a paranormal way. Released in May 2016, directed by Emran Hussain and shot mostly in Pakistan, the OST for Aksbandh is sung and composed by Shuja Hyder, accompanied by a riveting music video directed by Imran Taighoon Shah.
Moving on to the song itself, the track in question does a great job of melding with the video to produce a well-rounded package. The video and song complement each other in presenting the story, and one can understand the gist of the movie with this alone. It starts off with a beautiful piano melody which leads into Shuja Hyder’s vocals, filled with emotion. The melancholy vibe is strong with this one, and it slowly builds up into an emotional chorus that will certainly give you goose bumps. The song then transitions back into a piano interlude that is not at all out of place, and once again skyrockets back into the chorus.
The video which has been tastefully shot in greyscale and sepia tones respectively, has a very melancholy vibe to it and the color tone gives it a very different from the norm look. It alternates between shots of the singer, and flashbacks of the group of six friends out on their adventure. The fact that only Shuja Hyder is featured singing in the video, gives it a very unobstructed and uncluttered feel which is easy on the eyes. The black and white composite shots are certainly very gorgeous and give weight to the mood of the video itself and they make it a joy to watch, and as the video progresses, we see the story progress further as well.
The flashbacks do a good job of showing the gradual change in how the group is perceiving their adventure, first from a sense of wonderment to a gradual sense of fear. The change is apparent in the latter half of the video as the scenes grow more and more dreary and filled with an impending sense of doom. Helped in most part by the scary figurines hanging from the trees in the woods that the friends are trekking through, it is shot beautifully and does a great job of expressing the underlying story, which is not seen often these days in terms of visual storytelling.
Stellar composition and performance notwithstanding, the song itself does not seem clichéd and that is a feat in itself and apart from hitting all the emotional notes, Shuja’s voice hits all the high and low notes one can expect from a musician of his caliber and we at Taazi look forward to seeing what he does in the future!