muhammad.omar.iftikhar

Muhammad Omar Iftikhar

The author is a freelance writer and blogger and writes for various English dailies of Pakistan. He tweets @omariftikhar (twitter.com/omariftikhar)

Forget Bollywood, here are Lollywood’s most popular and most impactful movies from 2015

Pakistan’s movie industry met its downfall during the 1990s and 2000s. This was the time when big screen actors migrated to television, because there was no variety and Punjabi movies ruled the cinema. During the 1960s to 1980s, Waheed Murad, Nadeem Baig, Shabnam, Shaan Shahid, Resham and Reema Khan were the regular faces to be seen on screen. However, during the revival of Pakistani cinema during 2012-13, television actors adorned the silver screen with their powerful presence. During 2015, a number of Pakistani movies were released which heralded the rise of this industry. This blog will highlight some of the ...

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Prem Ratan Dhan Payo: A 90’s romance doused in today’s predictable colours

Although Salman Khan has always starred in movies with a strong plot which end up becoming box office hits, his latest movie, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo (PRDP), could only manage to achieve the latter. The plot is not cohesive nor can it be categorised as a typical Sallu movie.  Khan plays a double role in PRDP as Prem Dilwala and Yuvraj Vijay Singh, the latter being the Prince of Pritampur and the former being a stage actor. However, they have one common interest – Rajkumari Maithili Devi, played by Sonam Kapoor. Although Vijay is engaged to Maithili, he cannot keep out of trouble because of his temper issues. ...

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Hotel Transylvania 2: Better and wittier than its prequel!

Hotel Transylvania 2 is the sequel to the Hotel Transylvania (2012) which is the story of Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his daughter, Mavis, who falls in love with a human. Where in the first part Mavis (Selena Gomez) gave her heart to Jonathan (Andy Samberg), they are seen happily married in the sequel. The sequel, too, has a strong plot, if not stronger. Dracula is now not afraid of Jonny, the human, for he has wed Dracula’s daughter. Even though the conflict between Dracula and the humans is now over, Hotel Transylvania 2 raises another concern between Dracula and his grandson, Dennis (Asher ...

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Everest: An epic encounter of man versus mountain

Mount Everest has been a subject in many movies and for all the right reasons. The mountain is any mountaineer’s ultimate dream to surpass and therefore movie directors wish to portray the life of an adventurer trying to reach the top of this summit. In Everest, director Baltasar Kormákur makes an effort in summing up the real life story of Jon Krakauer, who was part of the expedition that faced disaster when eight people lost their lives while trying to climb  Mount Everest in 1996. The movie is an adaptation of Krakauer’s book ‘Into Thin Air’ and stars Jason Clarke (Rob Hall), Jake Gyllenhaal (Scott Fischer), Josh Brolin (Beck Weathers), and Michael Kelly (Jon Krakauer) among others. It ...

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Hero: When some remakes are better left unmade

Hero (2015) is a remake of the original Hero, released in 1983, which starred Jackie Shroff and Meenakshi Sheshadri. This latest rendition of new comers, romance and action, along with Salman Khan’s singing stints, is disappointing, to say the least. Sunil Shetty may have been the action hero of his time, but his daughter, Athiya Shetty needs a couple of more films under her name before walking on the path of stardom. It was evident that she was having difficulty delivering her dialogues, as they felt unnatural and abrupt. However, this might just be Sooraj Pancholi’s big break in the field of show business as he blended in with his ...

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Without Akshay Kumar, can Welcome Back follow Welcome’s legacy?

Directed by Anees Bazmee, Welcome (2007), starring Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor, and Katrina Kaif, became an instant hit because of its ensemble cast and masala-filled story. Welcome Back, the sequel, is set to create the same hilarious chaos that it did in Welcome. Replacing Akshay Kumar in the sequel is John Abraham as Ajju Bhai/Ajay Barsi, while Shruti Hassan plays the female protagonist opposite Abraham. Patekar and Kapoor depict underworld dons, Uday Shetty and Majnu Pandey respectively. The cast also includes Paresh Rawal (Dr Ghungroo), Dimple Kapadia (Maha Rani), and Naseeruddin Shah aka ‘wanted bhai’. Also directed by Bazmee, and written by the successful trio of Bazmee, Rajiv Kaul, and Raj Shandaliya, Welcome Back has the same wittiness ...

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Dekh Magar Pyaar Say: A scatty and mediocre cliché

Dekh Magar Pyaar Say, directed by Asadul Haq and starring debutant Sikander Rizvi and his leading lady, Humaima Malick, will keep the audience spellbound because of the directors’ cinematic prowess. The movie also showcases great shoot locations, such as Lahore and London. However, along with adding scenic beauty in order to add production value to the movie, a movie must also have a strong plot and a story to keep it moving forward. Unfortunately, Dekh Magar Pyaar Say could not score full marks when it comes to the plot, but it is good enough to be called an average and watchable movie, though it definitely lacks that particular punch which leaves ...

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Mission accomplished: Rogue Nation cruises to the top, literally

Where the previous instalments of Mission: Impossible had action and all the elements of a good movie, Rogue Nation, on the other hand, has everything that compels you to keep your attention on the screen. With a collection of breath-taking stunts shot from different camera angles, you feel like riding the storm with Tom Cruise himself. Do you remember the famous leap Cruise takes between the two floors of Burj Khalifa in Ghost Protocol? That is nothing as compared to what Cruise does  in Rogue Nation. The year 2015 has seen the release of many action movies so far, but Rogue Nation is perhaps the most enthralling one of the year that ...

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Paper Towns: The young and mysterious journey of self-discovery

John Green’s second book, Paper Towns, gets a movie adaptation by the same name with Nat Wolff playing the role of Quentin Jacobsen and Cara Delevingne appearing as Margo Roth Spiegelman. The movie explores the relationship of Quentin and Margo who remain best friends throughout childhood but drift away during high school. Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber, who jointly wrote the screenplay for The Fault in Our Stars, have written the screenplay for Paper Towns as well. Perhaps this is why viewers who have watched The Fault in Our Stars will find similarities in the philosophical issues discussed in Paper Towns. Although they are not the same, the tone of voice the characters use ...

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Can the minions compete with Despicable Me all by their mischievous yellow-selves?

After appearing as the henchmen and later as sidekicks of super evil felonious Guru in Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 respectively, the little yellow-coloured, one-eyed, and two-eyed adorable creatures are back with their very own movie – Minions. The movie, however, begins during the era of the dinosaurs, and shows the minions travelling in herds over a period of centuries in search for an evil mastermind as their leader. However, the minions are not that fortunate because all classic masters who they wanted to serve meet a tragic end. Watching these villains on the screen will surely make you feel like travelling back in ...

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