Stories about Pakistani cinema

Is Durj worth the controversy?

Pakistani cinema is slowly (read at a snail’s pace) evolving to encompass a wider range of issues rather than just plots centred around the typical boy meets girl and disaster ensues. Durj is one such offshoot movie that tackles the sensitive, almost taboo, subject of cannibalism. This dark theme, however, is not the reason why Durj has been in the spotlight of late. Controversy has surrounded the Shamoon Abbasi starring mystery thriller even before its release, with only two out of three censor boards of the country clearing the movie initially. But as they say, no publicity is bad publicity ...

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Heer Maan Ja: And the award for the best Eidul Azha film goes to…

With three star-studded films released on Eidul Azha – Heer Maan Ja, Parey Hut Love and Superstar – the competition to succeed at the box office was fierce. In this race for ratings, Heer Maan Ja truly stood out for its unique narrative. IRK Films introduced us to the world of Heer (Hareem Farooq), a young soon-to-be-married woman on the run from her conservative family. However, along with its entertainment aspect, the movie propelled its viewers to reflect on its hidden message about honour killing as well. Including a socially important message, Heer Maan Ja fulfilled its duty of responsible filmmaking. All in all, the movie emerged as a winner ...

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A quick chat with the Superstar duo, Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf

With Eid just round the corner, Pakistani films are all set to entertain you over the long weekend and earn big at the box office. Superstar is one such movie which people haven’t been able to stop talking about.  I managed to catch the lead pair of the film for a quick chat, which included the queen of Pakistani cinema, Mahira Khan, and the six-pack hunk, Bilal Ashraf. They both shared some interesting facts about the film along with details of the hard work they invested in the entire process of completing this film, the concept of which started three to four years ...

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Project Ghazi: A missed opportunity

In 1989, Saeed Rizvi pioneered the use of cutting edge visual effects in the Pakistan film industry with his science fiction spectacle Shani. Thirty years later, after a cornucopia of advancements in computer graphic imaging (CGI), director Nadir Shah’s film, Project Ghazi, also attempts to push the boundaries of Pakistani cinema. Boasting an all-star cast comprising of veteran actors and rising talent, the action film hopes to be a genre-busting trendsetter. Project Ghazi’s plot revolves around a special organisation which creates an elite force of ‘super soldiers’ who are given advanced combat abilities. The story kicks into action when Zain (Sheheryar ...

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Laal Kabootar is a strong, well-made film but fails at being a trendsetter

Films such as Laal Kabootar have a much bigger responsibility to cinema, particularly for Pakistani cinema, which is going through an interesting phase of its life cycle. Pakistani cinema’s revival is over; it is now in the maintenance stage. I don’t think it will go down to the disaster that it was, but whether it grows further or not remains to be seen. In order for cinema to grow, all kinds of audiences have to start coming to the theatres; the kind who would watch Kahaani or Andhadhun over Thugs of Hindostan. If you go wrong in making a Jawani Phir Nahi Ani or a Na Maloom Afraad, there ...

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Sherdil can talk the patriotic talk but doesn’t know where or how to walk

Patriotic films have managed to do well at the box office of late. Most recently, Parwaaz Hai Junoon came out last year and fared quite well. In fact, some theatres are still playing it, which obviously suggests that audiences are enjoying this genre. The most recent release in this genre is Sherdil, which has been in the limelight for a while now, mainly due to Pak-India tensions and the skyrocketing patriotism experienced by the country over the past month. Sherdil is Azfar Jafri’s fourth film after Siyaah, Janaan and Parchi. The film is written by Nomaan Khan and features Mikaal Zulfiqar, ...

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Something new, something different: 4 reasons to watch Laal Kabootar

The trailer of Kamal Khan’s debut Pakistani film Laal Kabootar recently released and it’s already making waves. The movie stars Ahmed Ali Akbar, Mansha Pasha, Rashid Farooqi and Faiza Gillani in lead roles along with Ali Kazmi. The film is produced by Hania Chima and Kamil Chima. From the trailer, it is evident that the story of the film is based in Karachi. It appears to be a crime caper thriller, a niche in which Pakistani cinema has not experimented much. The trailer of Laal Kabootar is receiving a positive response from people of all social classes and here are four reasons why it ...

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12 times Pakistani sense of humour stole the show on Twitter

The end of the year is upon us, and yearly roundups are spreading like wildfire. After all, for Pakistan alone, this was the year of the elections, of some intense accountability and of some horrendous behaviour by politicians and celebrities alike. International news didn’t fare any better. In a year that is certain to be remembered as a dumpster fire, the only thing that kept us going was a platform where all the dark souls on this planet gather to laugh at their misery – Twitter. They say things get worse before they get better. Pakistanis can attest to that, ...

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From the moneymaker to the ‘accidental hero’, 2018 has been a booming year for our film industry

The year is almost over, and there is no doubt the ‘revival’ of Pakistani cinema continued in 2018. It would even be fair to say the so-called revival phase is over and the industry has stabilised to a degree. It should only go up from here, as our filmmakers have now understood the basic needs of the modern cinema going audience. While production values, music and the film treatments have significantly improved, the stories remain the weak link. However, this is a problem with most large-scale films, even across the border. Yes, there are still some black sheep insisting ...

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Durj: An intense Shamoon Abbasi, a terrifying cannibal and so much gore – Pakistani cinema, brace yourself!

Shamoon Abbasi has come a long way from playing a comic character (Mohammad Shafiq Masood) in PTV’s drama to portraying a furious villain. He is increasingly improving his acting game and matching the calibre of superstars of Pakistani cinema. It seems they are in for some competition! The trailer of Abbasi’s upcoming movie recently released. With an unusual name, Durj’s trailer is brilliantly made and people’s anticipations are firing up. The movie is said to be based on true events and given the ‘cannibal’ nature of the trailer, it will definitely be intriguing. Here are four reasons why people should anxiously ...

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