Stories about Saba Qamar

Does the Pakistani media industry have the guts to boycott Khalilur Rehman Qamar?

I had once been one of the most avid viewers of local television content. Gradually though, I stopped following most local dramas and became very selective about what I chose to watch – but given that my job is related to digital media, I do have to keep an eye on the latest developments in the film and drama industry. Every other day, I find celebrities complaining about the vile comments that people make on their social media profiles, mostly judging them, assassinating their characters and even slut-shaming them. I have always felt for them and wondered why our ...

Read Full Post

5 reasons why Cheekh is unlike any Pakistani drama so far

Bidding adieu to 2018 with some great Pakistani dramas, our local industry has welcomed the new year with even better ones. Thankfully, we are finally over the typical and redundant saas-bahu sagas, and show runners are venturing into arenas that have remained untapped thus far. The latest attempt to bring something new to the palate of drama lovers is the drama serial Cheekh. Starring the stunning Saba Qamar and heartthrob Bilal Abbas Khan in the lead roles, this new show is something very out-of-the box as we have not seen anything similar coming from our drama-makers in the recent past. Intelligently ...

Read Full Post

Nandita Das does justice to the iconoclastic Manto in a way Sarmad Khoosat could not

Viewing the trailer of Nandita Das’s Manto was a great pleasure, especially since prior to seeing Sarmad Khoosat’s biopic of Saadat Hasan Manto released in 2015, I had not seen its trailer. Comparisons of Das’s version with Khoosat’s trailer will seem inevitable, even much-needed, given what the respective directors and main actors are trying to prove in a short span of less than three minutes, if the trailers are to be believed. Das’s Manto, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, comes across as an iconoclast and a rebel right from the opening scene of the trailer, where Manto is shown to be in ...

Read Full Post

Dear India, you can #BanPakArtists all you want – we will soar regardless! Love, #PakDontCare

On February 22, 2018, the Federation Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) unanimously agreed to ban Pakistani artists and technicians from working in films and TV serials made by Indian producers in any language. This decision was of course made in light of growing tensions and the deteriorating relations between the two countries as of late.  Every country is entitled to take action based on their political reasoning, and justify it through patriotism. If India wants to do so as well, so be it; it has the right to do so. However, once again we see that art too has been ...

Read Full Post

In Pakistan, rape might go unpunished, but a movie on rape cannot

I recently came across the news regarding the ban on Verna, Shoaib Mansoor’s upcoming film, and was shocked, to say the least. Mansoor has played a monumental role in the revival of Pakistani cinema, delivering masterpieces like Khuda Kay Liye and Bol. Not only were both great films, they were also centred on very important issues that plague our society today. Bol highlighted the practice of having innumerable children in the name of religion, especially when you cannot even feed them, giving us the legendary line, “Jab paal nahin saktey, tou paida kyun karte ho?” (When you cannot provide for them, why do you give birth to them?) Likewise, the movie Khuda ...

Read Full Post

The hits and misses from the Pakistani drama industry in 2017

When it comes to Pakistani dramas in 2017, there has been a diverse range to choose from. There are dramas that fray towards the whimsical side, as well as those that have empowering messages about relevant social issues. A conversation about Pakistani dramas, however, is incomplete without criticism on the portrayal of the roti dhoti aurtein (miserable women) of our society. Listed below are the top and flop dramas of 2017 so far: Baaghi The drama is consistently scoring high Television Rating Points (TRP) and gaining a strong word of mouth due to its incredible script. Saba Qamar’s portrayal of Fouzia Batool aka Qandeel Baloch is one ...

Read Full Post

How Bollywood’s curtain call became a blessing in disguise for Pakistan

This has been a year of reformation and introspection for Pakistan’s entertainment industry. After India closed its doors to Pakistani artists in the wake of the Uri attack last year, Pakistani artistes – who were minting a heavy buck from the biggest culture industry in Asia, Bollywood – were forced to come up with a plan B. Nothing can compare to the attention and recognition a successful project in India can bring. In fact, a lot of Pakistani artistes still bank on that one short role (that nobody remembers) to enhance their portfolio. But as Junoon said in their song, “khwaab ...

Read Full Post

So far, Baaghi is authentic and impactful – but will it continue to be so?

Currently airing on Urdu 1 and starring Saba Qamar, Ali Kazmi, Sarmad Khoosat, Irfan Khoosat, Nadia Afghan and Saba Faisal, is a drama called Baaghi. This drama explores the life of Fouzia Azeem aka Qandeel Baloch, the social media superstar who was murdered by her brother in the name of honour. Qamar plays Fouzia Batool – a sparky, witty woman residing in a small village in Punjab. She’s not your average village damsel; she harasses her harassers and talks back to anyone who dare oppress her. Filled with an inviting antagonism and natural charm, Fouzia’s personality is a firecracker. She dances at weddings and sings Noor Jehan songs. ...

Read Full Post

Can Baaghi aptly and fairly portray the layered, complicated and uncovered truths of Qandeel Baloch’s life and death?

The year 1994 saw the release of the biographical film, Bandit Queen, based on the life and times of India’s famous dacoit who went by the name of Phoolan Devi. The director and producer of the film proudly claimed it to be a ‘true story’. However, it was only a matter of time before critical acclaim and raving reviews started pouring in from all quarters. It was then that the Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy picked bones with the movie. She said that making such a movie was trespassing of the vilest degree. Devi was alive when the film was released and yet she was ...

Read Full Post

See Qandeel, all you had to do was die in order for us to stop hating you

Kohl-ridden eyes, polished nails, puckered up lips covered in the defying shade of rebellion; she rapidly rose to fame from the platform of social media. Writhing to the beat of self-promotion, dressed up in the daring fabric of ‘baring it all’, Qandeel Baloch launched herself as an actress, singer and social media starlet (the puritans rhymed it with ‘harlot’). Let us establish one thing before the comment section fills up with accusatory fingers and self-righteous sermons. This is an opinion piece, not a verdict of virtue and sin. All of us first heard about Qandeel through one friend or another, mostly urging us to hate-watch ...

Read Full Post