Everything you always knew about Lollywood

Published: June 2, 2011

I give you my small list of movie conventions back from the 1980s with the sole purpose of making you laugh.

I have to hand it to the Pakistani film industry of the 1980s and 1990s. Each film never failed to be a block buster hit regardless of having a very predictable plot line – the good guys, the bad guys and the age old triumph of good over evil, and yes, the hero gets the prettiest girl on the screen and all go home happy. This is a typical filmi “happily ever after.”

Does any of this sound familiar?

I present to you my small list of movie conventions back from the 1980s with the sole purpose of making you laugh.

The hero: The best person around

An ideal son, loyal friend, best singer/dancer, best lover, best speaker, best card player, you name it. He has no trouble getting into any kind of work and becoming a master at it. The hero has magic in his words and can convince a large crowd with ease. He sings at any occasion and is never short of fine poetry. He can change into any costume at any point during the song. When he sings for the heroine at a gathering, no one but she realises that his song is addressed to the her.

Another quality of the hero is that he is a great fighter. Bad guys may empty a whole round of bullets from their machine gun but not a single bullet touches the hero; he dodges all of them easily. On the other hand, our hero who usually has a small pistol just aims at goons and still never misses!

The hero can jump ahead or backwards as high and at any angle he likes. He can run behind a car, jeep or a motorcycle if need be and the villain can never escape. A single punch from the hero is enough for Chief Villain’s goons no matter what the number.

The heroine: The ‘prettiest girl’ on the screen

Apparently, she is rude but eventually it turns out that in fact, she is an innocent and kind girl. She barely notices our gallant hero until he saves her from the hands of some nefarious villain. A romantic song in some lush green garden is in order and then they inevitably fall in love. Their teenage love story hits a bump though as it turns out that the heroine’s rich daddy is the scary chief villain. In some movies however, she is already betrothed to a rich spoiled brat. In such cases, the fiance plays the role of the chief villain.

The helpful friends

The hero’s BFF is a kind hearted loyal friend who usually gives his heart to the heroine’s BFF. He is almost as good as our hero, but remains second best in comparison to him. The BFF is a very useful support character in films. He usually helps the hero in courting the lovely heroine and in doing so; he falls head over heels in love with the heroine’s BFF. The heroine’s BFF is a heroine’s side kick and both usually go to the same college. She dislikes the hero’s BFF just as much as the heroine dislikes the hero. Both these BFFs become a pair as soon as the hero and heroine fall in love. However, unlike the hero and the heroine, the BFFs do not have an exclusive song proclaiming their undying love.

Other than the BFFs, the hero and heroines also have some dancing friends who show up out of nowhere the minute any one of them decides to sing a peppy number.

The hero’s mother and sister

The hero’s mother is always a noble lady who is sometimes blind. The sister is ordinary looking, but a decent and respectful girl with a heart of gold. In other cases, if the girl is the Hero’s ‘moon boli behn,’ then the lucky girl becomes important with immediate effect. If anyone dares hurt the hero’s mother or sister in any way, all hell breaks loose. The hero leaves no stone unturned to find the culprit and give him a lesson he never forgets.

The happy ending

After the final fight is finished, we see that all of the hero’s friends and family stand in a straight line with all the couples standing in pairs. At this point, an elder family member announces the hero’s wedding with the lovely heroine. They crack up some stupid family joke and everyone laughs, sealing a happy ending.

Given this basic outline, each movie adds its own specifications to it. Is there any movie fact you want to add to this list? You’re more than welcome!


Mehreen Asghar

A software quality engineer based in Lahore.

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

  • http://politicalactive.blogspot.com khan

    A waste of Time Post, can we have some thing worth reading on Tribune Blogs or those days are gone forever??Recommend

  • Tahir Younus

    This blog is as meaningless as the films it talks about. What’s the purpose did it serve? it’s not even entertaining.Recommend

  • Usman

    The same traits are shared by many Bollywood & quite a few Hollywood movies.Recommend

  • http://www.capitalhomesestates.co.uk/ Holiday rentals in paphos

    Great post.Its really a good post. It gives me great pleasure and interest. This is a very important Article.ThanksRecommend

  • Dr. Ali Ahmed

    FYI many of the blockbusters of bollywood r actually taken from LollywoodRecommend

  • M.

    To khan and Tahir Younus: Is it really necessary to be cruel to the poor author? It’s really easy to sit behind your computer and make such comments – can you imagine how hard it is for the author to write a post that thousands of people will be reading? Furthermore, this piece is posted on the BLOG – NOT THE NEWSPAPER. A blog is a forum where people can write about whatever they deem to be interesting/their opinion. If you feel like you’re wasting your time, then don’t spend even more of your precious moments by commenting.

    Mehreen, I thought your piece was fun. Enjoy writing and ignore the unconstructive comments by the blog trolls.Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Rao

    @Khan and Tahir: Why have you even bothered to comment on a blog that you obviously could get. I bet you both tried blogging but got bitterly rejected. There is no point in commenting on how the blog was if the subject under discussion is not of your taste, you could have opted out of it instead you opted to write something, so that it gets printed… This typical Pakistani trait of discouraging every one and every thing has to go.

    Mehreen: Just keep it up. I have read most of your blogs and they are really deep. When you move up the ladder, people tend to behave in the manner Khan and Tahir did, so lets just ignore them and enjoy the fact that they actually read the article and then decided not to like it :):):) cheersRecommend

  • Neelofar

    Mehreen, it was a real fun to read it, it brought a smile on many faces. Keep on writing.Recommend

  • Asghar

    Very amusing article, explains the genuinely patahtic situation of Lolly Wood. Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Rao

    @Aurangzeb Rao:
    **i meant could not getRecommend

  • Mojo

    Lighten up people…it’s a blog…she’s not out to get the Pulitzer prize…she wrote right at the beginning that it was intended to make you laugh….it did make me smile if not laugh and it was much better than some hate-filled Pakistan bashing blogs usually seen on ET!
    Thanks Mehreen…keep writing and dont let em bring you down:DRecommend

  • whatever

    I liked it!!! :D
    Well done writer! Recommend

  • Majeed

    This is one really sloppy piece of writing.
    Could you not have done a better disection of the social constructs that have caused the movies in India and Pakistan to emphasise the family and social stories / relationships and develop on a very distinct trajectory in comparison to the Western techniques of storytelling.
    There is such a thing as comparative cultural criticism. Please do write about it from that vantage point … it requires a great deal of exposure to the medium to be able to do that … and you surely have the pen and pensiveness to be able to do this matter justice. Unfortunately, most articles from female bloggers (no sexism intended, just a factual statement) is slanted overly in the small talk in the coffee shop genre. It needn’t be thus. Recommend

  • http://jobwine.com Jasmin Sharma

    @Dr. Ali Ahmed:
    Can you please name some of the movies?Recommend

  • Mehreen

    @ All above

    Thank you for taking out time to read this piece, whether or not you found it entertaining. Every one is entitled to his or her own opinions and so I am. That’s what I think! Thanks once more for giving it your time :)Recommend

  • Anwar

    Why don’t you do a blog on this for a change?

    Plagiarism of Pakistani Music – Part 1

  • Dani

    Lol. Very well written, I liked it.Recommend

  • king

    @Dr. Ali Ahmed:
    Bollywood copies many movies from western as well as asian countries. And we indians are fully aware of those things. When you say bollywood it means “Indian Commercial Hindi Movies”. But there are non comercial art movies also. People find these movies very depressing though these are very informative and thought provoking one. There is no financial support for art movies. India does have biggest movie industry in the world. India produces thousands of movies in a year. There are many regional language movies like tamil, bengali, bhojpuri, mallyllam, kannad, gujrati, marathi, and so on… In pakistan only few commercial movies released which are bollywood movies so you guys are not aware of Indian art movies. Now just for curiosity let me know the lollywood movies along with year which got copied in bollywood. Recommend

  • hamza shoaib ahmed

    Very soft and nicely written. At least got some fresh air while reading other turbulent articles. Recommend

  • Haseeb

    Mehreen: Thumbs up (Y),it makes me smile and ignore all the rubbish comments.
    Keep writing such blogs that can bring some smile on faces.Good Luck :)Recommend

  • Shumail Qureshi

    You really have reminded me the reminiscences of hit and good movies of all times that Pakistani cinema had ever produced todate.

    Keep up the good work. Waiting for more to come :)).

    Shumail QureshiRecommend

  • Lady6

    It means you have never watched an achi movie?Recommend

  • KN

    Makes me smile all over again by how simply you bought out the bottom line that was evident in all its plot:D Enjoyed this art (of presenting flagrant things in an undisguised manner) after such a long time!Recommend

  • http://fruitforbidden.wordpress.com The Forbidden Fruit

    Ah! Seems like the sense of humor of most commenters here is as conked out as lollywood itself. This post made me smile and reminisce of my childhood PTV days. Lollywood sure is a tangy twisted treat I kinda miss!Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Taha Ceen Tayyab

    I dont understand this….why my articles never make it through the tribune editor’s desk while all these guys gets their published???
    And No I didnt write about my favourite restaurant… I wrote about the rising trends of child abuse, Education, Vocation Crisis, Diplomacy (raymond) etc etc…
    Are these views not worth publishing and lollywood movies SOP(standard operating procedure) is??Recommend

  • http://Islamabad Taha Ceen Tayyab

    Obviously not trying to ‘boo’ Mehreen down… Nice gentle humour… Keep it up!Recommend

  • 001

    hahahahhaah absolutely loved it ! the Hero’s mother and sister part the most , that was classic :DRecommend

  • IA

    Boring pointless article…just filling space.Recommend

  • James Bond

    Hey Bebo,

    Good one. Great to know you have not quit writing. Dont listen to losers. Keep writing. You are helluva good write. I know it.

    James BondRecommend

  • http://RabiaKhan Rabia Khan

    Don’t even want to read it…. waste of time
    completely irrational to post such an absurd thing at this point in timeRecommend

  • indian

    I think lollywood has to follow bollywood. Most of the times, hero’s friend gets killed by the villan in the most horrible tortured case possible and the Hero has to avenge his death. While avenging the death hero kills mayd 40-50 bad guys. But at the end police comes and arrests the vilan, but not the hero who took law into is hands.

    Oh yes. The police. Like the police at your naval base in Karachi, our police also comes late to the scene , usually after the final fight is over.

    rest all is same.

    ahmmm, the two girls in the picture, is the dress halal?Recommend

  • Saad H

    This was really funny! I would like to add, isn’t there always a story about the sister’s wedding and the near impossible task of finding money for her jahaiz?

    And mehreen, avoid all the haters! You’re doing a great job!Recommend

  • Mehreen

    It’s very kind of you to enlighten me with your views for the feminine side. I wonder, then, what makes you read an article from a female? Surely you must have a lot of time on your hands, like me. If you are so concerned with the matters you discussed, why don’t you write about them and why leaving the big, glorious job for others to grab?Recommend

  • http://deblazedhub.blogspot.com khizra zaheer

    Thoughtful blog you have written to make people laugh and think…Recommend

  • http://iqi-musings.blogspot.com/ Iqra

    Girl I read this one when you posted it on your blog. But when I read it today I was again laughing. You remember that time I gave you 10/10 for this :) This is such a cool post. Keep writing Recommend

  • http://www.afficer.blogspot.com Israr

    @Taha Ceen Tayyab:
    yes its true …the ET will never publish anything which is not sensational… i have sent them like 5 articles and none of these were published.. :( you should try to write something against the pak army and it will be published the minute you submit it… ET has strange editorial policies which no body can understand…and now i have given up writing or submitting anything to ET…infact i have subscribed to the print edition of another english newspaper (formerly i used to read ET print edition daily)…Recommend

  • Aurangzeb Rao

    @Taha Ceen Tayyab:
    may be they are not as good as they should be to get printed. Thats just a may be, I may be wrong :)Recommend

  • http://truthexposed123.blogspot.com/ Crazy

    excellent……….. all punjabi movies are same. Nice observationRecommend

  • Fahad Raza

    @Aurangzeb Rao:
    Err .. I thought the easy way to get the blog published is to write some recipe, even ranging from mangoes to Lolly wood. My mom’s hoping to see Zubeida Tariq’s or ‘Rahat’s write up soon and my cousin just hoping for commander safe guard’s next.

    Anyway this blog is hilarious. Loved the heroin part. Keep it up. :) Recommend

  • Bhutto

    Great article enjoyed the reading.. She had written true about the lolly wood films, even more thing are remaining in this article like about the great funny tittles of the films ” Wehshi Darinda”,
    Shadi meray Shohar ki and many more.. in my opinion hardly 10% of pakistani watch lolly wood films.. Recommend

  • Jack


    Very nicely summerised. One thing you forgot to add, at the end when all goons have been nicely beaten up, police arrives to take them into custody and thank the hero.

    Take careRecommend

  • http://Islamabad Taha Ceen Tayyab

    @Aurangzeb Rao: You are right maybe I would have believed it if Dawn would not have printed my piece in their “PRINT VERSION”. You see I think blogs can be published much more easily then anything in print simply because of limited space in the print media. Hence usually getting anything in print requires more quality than online. So I assume that would not be the case. Recommend

  • nida

    haha anything but fine poetry my friend. Astaghfirullah. Faiz and Ghalib would be turning in their graves.Recommend

  • Majeed

    Evidently my criticism was too biting.
    It found its mark, nonetheless?
    The teacher is not impressed. Redo. Recommend

  • Sahar

    Who cares …it made me smile and thats what it all about. A small piece of article with mere words if make you smile or amuse you for that matter then the job is done .! I liked itRecommend