Stories about lollywood

Dukhtar: A mother’s plight against child marriage

Rarely do movies of such calibre come along that transcend generations and provoke our greater thought process, not because of impressive visuals, A-list actors, extravagant set pieces and locales but because of its strong story-driven narrative – narrative that is deeply entrenched into the harsh realities of life, as opposed to a work of fiction.  Dukhtar too has a potential to lay claim to all of that and then some, thanks to its excellent subject matter. Dukhtar means ‘daughter’ in Farsi and Urdu dialects. The movie is predominately a story about the plights, miseries and ultimately the bravery exhibited by the principal protagonist ...

Read Full Post

Tamanna: A step in the right direction for Pakistani cinema

There has to be something about a movie where a Pakistani audience sits silently in cinemas, where mobile texting and chatting during a movie is the norm otherwise, and watch two lead characters dominate the story in a single location for 83 minutes. Billed as Pakistan’s first ‘Film Noir’, Tamanna is definitely in a league of its own in the context of Pakistani cinema. Prominent film critic Taran Adarsh raised an important point upon release of the film Barfi!, “You don’t formulate movies (like Barfi!) targeting its box-office potential or its commercial prospects. You create such films for its passion of cinema.” This statement applies to Tamanna as ...

Read Full Post

Meera ji’s age conundrum: It is time for our actresses to grow up!

It is evident that, in today’s day and age, women become very sensitive when it comes to discussing matters of ‘age’. Some become defensive, while others become emotionally distraught. Yesterday, a friend of mine shared a video with me on Facebook, and what a surprising video that turned out to be! In the clip, Meera is seen clarifying speculations about her age. She says, “My age has always been a very complicated matter and ‘Googles’ also portrays my age incorrectly, even my date of birth. I was born on May 12 but ‘Googles’ shows otherwise. But for now all I ...

Read Full Post

Veena Malik and her never-ending ‘dramas’

Veena Malik has found a new claim to fame. And this time it is at the opposite end of the pendulum. Suddenly modelling, acting, dancing and all showbiz-related content has been deemed un-Islamic. By Veena Malik. Yes, Veena Malik. Don’t believe me? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against practicing one’s faith but no one can publicly criticise another’s profession in the name of religion. No one can have the audacity to turn on someone or something that made you who you are. Not even Veena Malik. Who is she to decide about the sanctity of the showbiz industry? Yes, people can change; they can become ...

Read Full Post

Meera ji, take a chill pill, please

The list of things wrong with Pakistan, today: corruption, terrorism, a crumbling state structure, the energy crisis, sectarian violence, poverty, lack of infrastructural development, brain drain, increasing foreign debt, illiteracy, unemployment, mehngai (inflation), paani ki qami (water scarcity), roads pe traffic aur Meera ji ki English (traffic on the roads and Meera ji’s English)…Wait, what?! In her own words, Meera began her career in the entertainment industry in 1995. In just 18 years, she has somehow managed to become an integral part of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Every other person on the street will know who she is. Hers’ is the kind of fame ...

Read Full Post

Pakistan’s film industry is not dead… yet

I don’t remember watching a Pakistani film growing up. I was way too busy being smothered by Shahrukh Khan’s movies that everyone back then just had to watch — with the entire family. People would memorise lines, know the dance steps of each song by heart and would fantasise about Bollywood happening to them in real life. It never did. When Pakistan came out with films like Khuda Ke Liye and Bol, the content was too ‘heavy’ to appeal to the masses. Critics called the plot convoluted. The treatment contrived and termed the subject matter as just way too overwhelming ...

Read Full Post

Meera versus Imran Khan? Of course, I’ll vote for Meera!

Whilst the former government was busy choosing a person from the photo album of multiple 85-year-old potential caretakers (most of whom require a personal caretaker in their normal lives), the only thing that was killing me was to figure who I must vote for. Amidst that anguish, came the news that immediately lightened up the mood; interior design graduate from Kinnaird College named Irtiza Rubab is going to be contesting against Imran Khan in the next general elections. For those who don’t know, I’m talking about Meera jee! It was a bit of a laugh since there is absolutely no match between the two. ...

Read Full Post

Twenty things I love about Lahore

Lahore and I have always had a complicated relationship. The city can plunge me deep into an abyss of depression at will, yet it’s the sole antidote to depression I know of. It reminds me of various people, family members and others, who passed away; yet it’s a place that still makes me want to live. I would choose Lahore over any other city of Pakistan if given the choice. So it’s only after 20 years of my acquaintance with Lahore, countless memories, ample experiences and an article in The Express Tribune Magazine entitled ’10 things I hate about Lahore’ (which ...

Read Full Post

Can anyone tell me why India and Pakistan don’t get along?

In 1950, three years after the partition, my great grandfather, who was living in Dhaka (then Dacca) at the time, was brought to West Bengal, India, by his sons. This was not a voluntary move, for Charuchandra Dasgupta had lived in Manikganj almost all his life and saw no reason to relocate to what was now an independent India. The communal riots in East Pakistan of that year further pressed the resolve of his sons, who ultimately prevailed upon him and that was the last he ever saw of Dhaka. In the last week of August, a conflict transformation workshop organised by ...

Read Full Post

No stupid, banning Indian films will not help Pakistani films

Ayub Khan first banned Indian films in Pakistan in 1965. While it was a developing industry, the protectionist policy had a nationalist undertone rather than a solid economic rationale that would benefit filmmakers. Obscured by a political and nationalistic dimension, the long-term health of Pakistani cinema was ultimately hindered. Today, the debate regarding the ban on Indian films is prevalent amongst the film community. The idea is that through a protectionist policy one can adequately control competition, thus giving an edge to Pakistani films at the box office. The debate has been dominated by hardline filmmakers who insist that they can not only protect the ...

Read Full Post