Democracy has tipped the balance of power from the rulers to the ruled ever since it became the preferred system of governance in the modern world, but in many countries, the privileged are still more equal than the rest.

Though democracy is still in its infancy in the ‘Land of the Pure’, and the journey to maturity has been stalled by many obstacles, Ashir Azeem’s latest venture ‘Maalik’ is a step in the right direction in raising awareness.

A ‘film with a message’ often runs the gamut from lecturesome to downright boring for the average movie-goer, but ‘Maalik’ is neither. It’s actually entertaining, with romance, action, and comedy blending in perfect harmony.

With the Panama Papers scandal ruling the airwaves, the content of ‘Maalik’ becomes even more relevant, as the story focuses on a retired army commando who makes it his life’s mission to wage a war against the corruption rife in the corridors of power.

Even if the plot drags a bit till the interval, it picks up a brisk pace in the second half of the film, taking the events to the expected conclusion with thrills galore. The commendable performances by Ashir Azeem himself, as well as Sajid Hasan, Farhan Ali Agha, Hassan Niazi and Adnan Shah Tipu make ‘Maalik’ a powerful film, and the debut of model-turned-actress Tatmain-ul-Qulb is a breath of fresh air.