There are good films and bad films but Pakistan has produced crappy films in the last 10 months, movies that shouldn’t have been released in the first place. In the coming few months, the number might increase considering a 48-year old Sahir Lodhi will be making his debut as a film hero and director in Raasta which is surprising, considering he doesn’t even know the basics of filmmaking! Then we will have films that have no chance of surviving in the jungle out there because either their poster has been ‘inspired’ from Indian hits (Balu Mahi – Bajirao Mastani) or copied from kid’s favourite Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Mehrunisa V Lub U). We also have films that have taken a lot of time to complete (Shaan’s Yalghaar), movies that were supposed to be released last year (Chupan Chupai, Shor Sharaba) or those that have had their names changed (Jhol, formerly Two Plus Two). So, according to the legendary actor, we are going in the right direction while according to this scribe, this is as bad as it can get. Let’s analyze …
In the last 10 months, crappy films like Hijrat, Hotal, Sawaal 700 Crore Ka, Blind Love, Teri Meri Love Story, Jeewan Hathi, Rahm, Maula Vay and Thora Jee Le were released in cinemas and trust me, these films were so bad that nobody will watch them once, let alone twice. Even writing about them makes me feel sick yet the makers thought that their attempts were nothing short of brilliant. Such overconfidence is what caused the downfall of Pakistani films in the 80s and the early 90s as the directors thought they could get away with anything. We are now reaping fruit of the bad films of the 80s and if things don’t improve, we might have to get ready for films that are horrid today.
Filmmaking is an art and must be treated like that; just as everyone can’t draw a perfect picture, not everyone can write and direct a film that comes out as something worth your money. Brilliant ad makers like Asad ul Haq have delivered flops (Dekh Magar Pyar Se) but that doesn’t mean that he is a flop filmmaker; he can make a comeback like Jami did with Moor and stun the world with his aesthetic sense that have made him a legend in the world of commercials. Then there are filmmakers like Nasir Khan and Omar Hassan who made low budget films like Bachaana and Dance Kahani respectively and impressed by thinking out of the box. In case of Nasir, his attempt to film the movie in Mauritius and use Adeel Hashmi as a villain was a novel idea while in Omar Hassan’s case, using ballet and hip hop dance as central idea was something that wasn’t attempted in Pakistan in. If they can do different work, why can’t others especially the ones who waste their parents’ money (Rafay Rashdi of Thora Jee Le), their own (Mahmood Jamal and Ahmed Jamal of Rahm) or their producers’ (Hijrat, Blind Love or Sawaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka).
We must treat 2017 as the year that will either make or break our film industry especially in the absence of Bollywood flicks. People are staying away from cinemas as they don’t want to watch films that have nothing new to offer. Just imagine someone naming their son Balu (in Balu Mahi) or having nicknames like Andy and Party (in Thora Jee Le) and that will give you an insight into where we are heading. And yes, I forgot to mention one thing – in India, Hollywood films are screened in English and Hindi and the locals watch the latter version instead of the former one, happily. The multiplexes give more shows to Indian films just as we give most to Hollywood flicks. So how can we expect an industry that doesn’t consider Hollywood as a competition to screen our films which are below standard and can’t even generate 10 people per show? Think again. Think aloud.