Shehr-e-Tabassum is an Urdu animated Pakistani short film and I recently got a chance to watch it on Youtube. If I am not wrong, then it is the first Pakistani short film of this kind. At first glance, it looks like some dark series. After some time, you realize, it really is. (presenting the dark theme with animation)
Shehr-e-Tabassum is a short film about Pakistan’s future, the year that it is depicting is 2071 and Pakistan has solved all its problems of violence and terrorism and now everything is fine. This seems to be the main theme of the video, however, on the deep surface, it is more than that.
It came out on the web (Youtube) after the lots of hard work and strenuous effort of a team that works on animation, graphic designing and music etc. The whole description of the team is under the Youtube video description box.
I wonder, the way negative sentences, controversial videos and abuses are highlighted by Pakistani media, it seems that our youth is doing nothing. However, the good work, brilliant stuff and the real talent get buried deep. If someone, at last, invites these talented people in some show, it’s only for one or two times and then people forget about them. Social media is equally responsible for highlighting the negative and controversial stuff.
Shehr-e-Tabassum short film is about a time period where it is a crime “not to smile”. You have to smile whether you want it or not, otherwise, you will be disappeared in some unknown place. You have to smile, whether you are upset or sad. There is a “smile bank” attach to everyone and their points are added and increase according to their smile.
There can be various meanings or themes one can infer, however, I put two down below:
- Firstly, positivity is no doubt is a good idea however too much positivity means that you are just ignoring all the bad happening around you. You are doing nothing in order to make things right. You are just sitting and thinking that everything is God’s will and everything will be alright.
- Secondly, it means that forcing one rule or law over all citizens is not justified even if it is to put a smile. You cannot force someone even for a smile, then how can you forcefully implement laws and rules. I know the state is responsible for its people. However, the state should leave people private affairs to them, unless it starts affecting other people then it is the responsibility of the state to interfere in order to make the atmosphere peaceful.
- Thirdly, it means that no matter to what extent we are depressed, worried or having some problem, it is expected of us to hide our true selves. We have to put a fake smile and pretend that everything is alright with us and around us.
There can be various meanings in Shehr-e-Tabassum and every viewer can interpret according to their thinking. However, we are very much impressed by the overall animation and visuals, etc. We are glad to see a work of art of this level made in Pakistan and by Pakistanis. There is no doubt that Pakistan has a lot of talent, they only need the right platform to showcase their talent and especially need a platform through which they can explore themselves more.
Because sometimes, it happens that people showcase their talent but after some time due to lack of opportunities they reach in an unknown place and become hopeless. Many of them settle in foreign countries because those countries provide them better opportunities.
The best thing is, Shehr-e-Tabassum is available with English subtitles so it can reach the international audience too.
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