Stories about social issues

Why Batti Gul Meter Chalu should have stayed in the dark

These days it is difficult to find a Bollywood movie that depicts a strong message. Most movies are made for the sole purpose of entertainment and pay no heed to the script or the plot of the movie. As long as there are some witty dialogues, catchy songs and a star cast, the movie will cash in all the moolah. Unfortunately, due to this, the fine line between commercial and parallel cinema is fading away. After the success of the eye-opener flick Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, Direcetor Shree Narayan Singh is back with another subject-oriented film, Batti Gul Meter Chalu. The ...

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Zesty and witty, Load Wedding uncovers body shaming and marriage like never before

Director cum screenwriter Nabeel Qureshi and producer Fizza Ali Meerza, the famed duo behind hits like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor In Law and Na Maloom Afraad 2, are once again back to lure filmgoers. This time, they are ready to amaze movie-buffs with a newfangled theme; conveying the message regarding social issues via a highly charged romcom – Load Wedding. The much anticipated film has been creating buzz and excitement since its first look was released. It is obvious, judging by the recently released official trailer, that the subject is captivating for various reasons. The three-minute trailer is a mix plate ...

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Pervez Musharraf claims he gave women their rights, but then mocks Bilawal Bhutto Zardari by calling him a “woman”

“Bilawal jo nahre laga raha ke auraton ke tarah. Sub se pehley tu yeh keh aadmi ban ker dikhai aur phir  nahre lagwai.” (Bilawal is raising slogans like a woman. First he should become a man and then raise such slogans.) These lines from the latest video from General (retired) Pervez Musharraf really hit me hard. As of late, I am becoming used to Musharraf sprouting nonsense, but this was very uncouth and ill-considered and below his usually extremely low standards. After all, Mr Musharraf, the former dictator and Pakistani “educated” urban middle class’s favorite political leader after Imran Khan, has lately been ...

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Verna: A story powerful and lucrative on paper but fails at its execution on screen

Rape is a serious issue that is prevalent in the society. Even talking about rape openly takes a lot of courage, let alone making a movie about it. Shoaib Mansoor is known for making thought-provoking movies on social issues that turn out to be a cinematic delight. His previous movies have been pieces of art for movie-lovers and film students. Verna is his third and recent instalment, so expectations obviously had to be soaring high. His previous movies starred big names like Shaan Shahid, Fawad Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Imaan Ali, Atif Aslam and Humaima Malick. However, this time, Mansoor does not ...

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Yaqeen Ka Safar is honest and original, and has changed the paradigm of Pakistani dramas

Drama Yaqeen Ka Safar is currently basking in the success of being Pakistan’s most popular drama at the moment. The plot of some TV serials begins to drag towards the middle, but in Yaqeen Ka Safar, each episode is a rollercoaster of emotions, leaving the audience at the edge of their seats, curious to know what happens next. Personally, this is the first time that I have watched all episodes of a Pakistani drama without fail. It is hard to come up with just one reason to explain the popularity of this incredible story. The drama begins with Daniyal (Shaz Khan) returning from London to Islamabad to try and serve as an ...

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Parday kay peechay: A humourous unveiling of Pakistani society

Parday kay peechay starts off with a typical scene at a funeral—relatives, both close and distant, feigning sadness for the deceased, backbiting aunties, and, of course, as is custom in Pakistani society, talk of rishtas. The play revolves around the family of the late Mr Kazmi attempting to gain a stronger financial footing by convincing one of his daughters, Alia, played by Shanze Hasan, to marry the son of an American businessman. However, Alia’s sister, Leena (Alina Salahudin), wants the American boy for her own self, and thus pursues Daniyaal, played by Saad Mirza, while comically setting up mean-girl-esque pitfalls ...

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10 Pakistani dramas from 2015 that everyone should watch

2015 was a year filled with lots of emotions, drama and masala for the Pakistani drama industry. We have a set of directors, actors and producers who have always made much applauded dramas, while on the other hand, we have a pool of artists who are always set to bring out taboo topics and make an impact. The dilemma to decide which of the dramas rightfully made it big due to its content and which were given overrated popularity for the love of cast and locations is still unanswered. I feel this confusion will always start a heated debate within the ...

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Why should Indian Muslims and Christians be barred from taking part in the Garba?

I vividly remember the time I spent during my school and college days with Ghulam Farid, one of my best friends. He was like family to me. We have, however, not been able to catch up ever since I moved to Delhi and he remained in Rajasthan taking care of his family business. We would celebrate our respective festivals together every year. On Eidul Azha he would always invite me to his place, and I would relish the scrumptious biryani and mutton curry cooked by his gracious mother. On Diwali, I used to go to his shop and offer him sweets. And on Holi, ...

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A conversation with Faiza Saleem – The Facebook superstar

Lawyer by day and Facebook star by night, 24-year-old Faiza Saleem gives a new meaning to celebrity-hood. She might not come on TV, or star in a local film, but her two-minute-long videos, which are produced through a phone camera and uploaded on Facebook, rack up more than a million views from around the world. The videos, which are satirical in nature, star Faiza and her friends and they poke fun at all sorts of social issues in Pakistan. Some of her characters are so popular – especially ‘Aunty on the phone’ – that she has turned it into a ...

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Is a Muslim scholar allowed to disrespect a woman?

Wow! That was my first reaction when I came across a certain incident making waves on social media, catching the attention of people globally. A gutsy Lebanese female TV host, Rima Karaki, strong-armed her guest, London-based Muslim scholar Hani Al Seba’I, live on air after he told her that it was beneath him to be interviewed by a woman. Being a TV presenter myself, I am very well aware of the fact that no anchor enjoys giving their guest a shut up call. Talk-show hosts are often bound by respect and obligation for their guests because of personal affiliations. It also takes a lot of ...

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