If Pakistani films from 2014 had political versions they would look like this…

Published: December 31, 2014

A gut wrenching account of one man’s fight against corruption, niharis and patwaris, this film will keep you at the edge of your seats. PHOTO: AFP/ REUTERS/ FILE

It’d be only be fair to say that 2014 was a roller coaster ride – if roller coasters came with 10 times the vomit inducing vertigo and none of the fun. The political sphere in our country has had a stranglehold on our television screens for way too long. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to bid the one-four goodbye and what better way to do so than by explaining exactly what we don’t want to see on our screens ever again. Here is a list of some famous Pakistani movies that would look like this if they had a political version:


(PG 15 – Courtesy some ‘wardi’ removal scenes)

Directed by: Pervez Musharraf

Produced by: The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and the military establishment

Espionage, intrigue, action, serious medical conditions and betrayal combined in ways that made us scratch our heads. The plot follows an army general’s quest for power, acceptance and the mistakes he makes along the way with weak performances by Pervez Musharraf and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. The five-hour run time was a little too much and the action scenes involving the war on terrorism appeared a tad overdone. The movie’s only saving grace was the thrilling denouement with the main character saving his skin by a hair’s breadth. All in all, a lot of questions were left unanswered which has most people wondering if maybe a sequel is in the works.

Na Maloom Afraad 

(PG 15 – For violence)

Directed by: Altaf Hussain

Produced by: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement

There is no overall plot. Instead, the movie combines many small disjointed stories about the exploits of a gang in Karachi narrated by Altaf bhai, punctuated with songs by Altaf Bhai and music, mostly humming, also by Altaf bhai. And my, isn’t there a lot of Karachi involved!

It almost appears as though in 1947 a large port city gained independence from colonial rule and India, and since then its supreme leader has lived in London because his life is threatened by some na maloom afraad. This film became a hit mostly because everyone in Karachi had to watch it… or else.


Directed by: Nawaz Sharif

Produced by: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and As-Saud Group

While the main plot revolves around a family’s rise, fall and then return to power, over all the sugar mills, niharis and circus lions, the film is really an ode to a father. It is narrated by Maryam Nawaz as she describes the exploits of her father, uncle and cousins with special emphasis on how amazing daddy is and how horribly the big bad world treats him. If you love roads (especially motorways) then this is the film for you; it includes a (pointless) 40 minute discourse on how to get from Lahore to Islamabad in four hours flat.

The System 

Directed by: Imran Khan

Produced by: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

A gut wrenching account of one man’s fight against corruption, niharis and patwaris, this film will keep you at the edge of your seats with a barrage of ‘this is really, absolutely the final deadline’ deadlines. Viewers will have no clue as to what the plot is about but who needs sense when you have a smoking hot lead, music by some of the industry’s best artists and beautiful women in every frame. The movie is shot in almost every major city imaginable with some passable action scenes and a lot of ranting. Seasoned critics complained about the length and confusing sub-plots; apparently masala is the only thing this country needs for a hit.

Sultanat 1 and 2 

Directed by: Tahirul Qadri

Produced by: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek

These films are nothing but glorified road trips from Lahore to Islamabad. Twice. The first movie ended on a deflated note, which the film’s cult following insists was a cliff-hanger, and audiences anticipated the resolution of many mysteries when the second movie screened, only to be disappointed yet again. Ardent fans claim that we do not understand the ‘director’s vision’ and that part deux was really a prequel to The System before the two production houses parted ways. Most people no longer care.


Directed and produced by: Sheikh Rasheed

This is pretty much the Pakistani version of Playback Time (the movie within a movie in ‘Mr Bean’s Holiday’) with Sheikh Rasheed going on and on and on about himself. Rasheed wishes he was important and insists that his life is in danger. Many elements have been lifted directly from The System in which he also plays a minor supporting role. If the man had fans, they’d call it a spin-off.

Puttar Makhan Gujjar Da 

Directed by: Asif Ali Zardari

Produced by: The Pakistan Peoples Party

Bilawal Bhutto stars in this coming of age story of a reluctant burger boy taking up the helm of his dead mother’s empire. This is the PPP’s first Punjabi venture in an attempt to compete with the popularity of The System and Dukhtar, but with the main character struggling with Urdu, let alone Punjabi, the film’s many attempts at seriousness have tripped over each other and made us all laugh instead.

Za Yam Kakay Khan 

Produced by: The Awami National Party

A Pashto film which the makers insist will never be translated, dubbed or subtitled. Those who wish to watch it must learn Pashto or have a friend translate. My Pashto friends tell me that it is mostly about red hats.


Directed and produced by: Javed Hashmi

An espionage film to beat all espionage films, the movie follows an ex-spy as he defects from one agency, joins another and then triple double crosses everyone. Hoaxes, misunderstandings, and self-discovery combine to produce a film that we’d talk about more if we weren’t afraid of giving away more spoilers.

Paindu Prince 

Directed and produced by: Bilawal Bhutto

After the resounding failure of Puttar Makhan Gujjar Da, the scion of the Bhutto house attempted to salvage credibility by striking out for box-office gold, entirely on his own. The plot revolves around a ground breaking cultural festival and the people who organise it. Bilawal plays multiple roles as himself, his twin, his best friend and his love interest, but alas, his acting fails to match the calibre of his father. It would have helped if the script had been in English as the lead continues to have issues with his accent. A brilliant soundtrack saves the film from sinking completely into obscurity.

Needless to say, this year showed us many fails, some more unsalvageable than the rest. But one should never lose hope; 2015 is just round the corner and we need to prayers, with all our might, to make sure that we don’t allow such productions to surface again or may God help us all…

Happy New Year folks!


Sakina Hassan

Sakina Hassan

The author is currently studying for an Mphil degree at the Centre of Excellence in Solid State Physics.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.