Stories about Pakistani cinema

Why Qandeel Baloch’s biopic is important for today’s Pakistan

Qandeel Baloch’s biopic has once again brought her right back into our lives. The uneasiness and discomfort has started unsettling us once again. Even her story has the power to keep us on edge and make us start talking again. The debate is rife, whether the story should be told or not and you don’t need to guess where the most votes lie. The anticipation around this project is brimming with many questions. Yesterday, I happened to watch a chunk of the show Popcorn on Express TV. The discussion was the routine banter, and questioned whether the biopic is an attempt to capitalise on Qandeel’s death ...

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With no star power, Chalay Thay Saath is one bumpy ride

Pakistani directors and producers often misunderstand the movement to revive Pakistani cinema. This year has seen numerous below average movies, thus questioning the merit and authenticity of the command in filmmaking; movies like Thora Jee Le, Whistle and Raasta. Let’s see if Umer Adil’s latest venture, Chalay Thay Saath will be able to break this dry spell. The film doesn’t seem to have any star power, thus it makes one question – can a movie with no crowd-pullers make it big in the box office? Zain (Osama Tahir) and Tania (Mansha Pasha), who are on the verge of separation, plan a farewell road trip for Resham (Syra Shahroz). They ...

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Does ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ have what it takes to rejuvenate Pakistan’s film industry?

There is a lot of spectacle, colour, emotion, singing and dancing in the recently released teaser of Punjab Nahi Jaungi. Two beautiful ladies, however, stand out amidst all the razzle and dazzle of the decidedly glitzy 75-second video. One is the glamorous Saba Waseem Abbas who walks ever so seductively, wearing pink, orange and purple, to welcome a triumphant Humayun Saeed to her home. The second is the perennially beautiful Naveed Shahzad who registers her regal presence in the teaser with remarkable grace and style. Photo: Screenshot There is, of course, no shortage of eye candy in Punjab Nahi Jaungi. The first collaboration of ARY Films and Six Sigma ...

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Khuda Mera Bhi Hai: A game changer for Pakistan’s dramasphere

Pakistani dramas are always under fire for portraying the ‘weepy woman’ and the ‘naik perveens’ that seem to have no spine or are always victimised. People tell me that I must have nerves of steel to watch dramas that are full of tears and misery.  Well, I do. But that’s not the end of it. There is a gradual change that’s happening in the Pakistani dramasphere. Women are taking on risky roles and writers are writing scripts where women don’t have to spend at least 20 out of 24 episodes crying about their husbands and their mother-in-laws. One recent game changer that has aired on ...

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Why is Asim Raza so surprised with the unfair, illogical and unjustifiable Lux Style Awards nominations?

Asim Raza, the maker of feature film Ho Mann Jahan, is not happy with the nominations for the 2017 Lux Style Awards. His displeasure is both understandable and inexplicable. It is understandable because his film, nominated in five out of eight categories for film, seems to have been selected without much deliberation, thought and, if you will, intelligence. The film featured outstanding performances by two young actors, Sheheryar Munawar Siddiqui and Adeel Hussain, but neither one of the two has been nominated in the ‘Best Film Actor’ category. Siddiqui, who was wonderful in the film, has been relegated to the ‘Best Supporting Film Actor’ category whereas Hussain, ...

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Power Rangers: Taking you back to the 90s

In the age of gritty, big budget reboots it was only a matter of time before Hollywood cashed in on the nostalgia factor and finally brought one of the most beloved children’s live-action series from the 90’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers to the big screen.  Now, the series was known for its campy nature, so it’ll be interesting to see how the South African director Dean Israelite and the producers bring it to the big screen in a manner that is able to maintain that feel of a modern day blockbuster, without being too self serious. And judging by the trailer, it ...

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Balu Mahi brought the Pakistani out in me

Recently, Pakistan’s movie industry has been going through the process of transforming and restructuring itself. Primarily related to this change is an alteration in movie production. The era of the “gandasa” (a wooden pole) and “horse-riding dhoti-wearing heroes” is over or at least diluted to some extent. This is the time to fill the big screen with colours, fun, and relationships backed by practical stories that resonate with our society. Balu Mahi offers an assortment of feel-good moments, comic relief, and songs along with heart-warming moments between Bilal (Osman Khalid Butt) and Mahi (Ainy Jaffri). It started off slowly, and ...

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Will Balu Mahi live up to the hype it created?

The upcoming romantic comedy, Balu Mahi, has created a lot of hype over social media and for all the right reasons. We don’t know much about the movie aside from the fact that Osman Khalid Butt takes the lead as Balu, alongside Ainy Jaffri as Mahi. Sadaf Kanwal makes her debut in acting as well. In anticipation for its release, fans have already begun enjoying Balu Mahi’s title song, performed by Asim Azhar and Aima Baig. Recently, the Balu Mahi team started a Balu Mahi dance contest over social media. Featured in the video were Butt, Hareem Farooq, Zainab Ahmed, ...

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Films like Thora Jee Le should be banned in Pakistan

It was just yesterday that I was thinking it was time for Pakistan’s film industry to use new faces – we’ve been seeing the same old actors in dramas, as well as on the silver screen and honestly, it’s time for a change. Thora Jee Le marks the debut of six fresh actors in pivotal roles. Rafay Rashidi handpicked the new faces, the music director, and the singers for his debut film. Thora Jee Le revolves around six friends who reunite in tragedy – when a common friend, Kaizad,  suffers from an overdose of drugs. They plan a road ...

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I Salute you, Aitzaz Hassan

Shehzad Rafique is a well-known name in the Lollywood industry. From Ghunghat to Rukhsati to Nikaah, the masses till date remember his movies. After a short hiatus, Rafique is back with a biopic on Aitzaz Hassan – a 14-year-old martyr, who stopped a suicide bomber from entering his school in 2014, saving the lives of thousands of students – titled Salute. The movie is amongst the first biopics that Pakistan has produced on martyrs. Saima Noor was highly appreciated for her drama Rung Laaga with Faisal Qureshi – and now she graces us with her presence on the big screen. As an accomplished actress, a lot of expectations were pinned to Saima’s able shoulders. ...

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