I’ve said this many times, Pakistani Cinema is back. Though right now, it seems the newly-reborn industry is still going through the paces and finding its bearings. In spite of that, it has begun churning out some incredible movies. Movies with great production value like Janaan and Dobara Phir Se, entertainers like Na Maaloom Afraad and incredibly relevant and meaningful works like Josh: Against the Grain and Verna. Of course, the odd spanner in the mix is still thrown (Chain Aye Na). Thankfully, as a whole the industry is effectively trying to shed its C-Grade Bollywood knock-off persona, and working towards its own identity.
I mean yeah, a lot of the films are still musicals, but so were the flicks of the golden age of yore. Beyond that, while certain titles do seem like they are desperately trying to out-do Bollywood, the dependence on music to drive the film forward is not as prevalent here.
Yes indeed, the magic of cinema really is back. No longer are theatres exclusively for the presentation of Hollywood and Bollywood films. No longer do we just wait to see what these foreign industries will throw at us next. Most importantly, no longer will we have to resort of going to precarious locations and watching literal cheese on screen to say we support Pakistani cinema. Each year now brings its own selection of hype-worthy Pakistani movies, bringing something unique to the table (and the odd item song too).
As this year draws to a close, we look to 2018 with eyes filled with hope and wonder (which may turn into crippling disappointment). But here are four Pakistani films that you, in my increasingly boisterous opinion, should definitely look out for.
Staring Urwa Hocane, Bilal Ashraf and Gohar Rasheed, Rangreza posies itself to be a musical drama filled with romance, ambition, jealousy and intrigue. Urwa has had a pretty successful year with this being her third film to release this year. I guess this counts as saving the best for last. Bilal Ashraf I’ve always found a bit meh. I mean he looks the part, but he also seems a bit rigid.
Though he is set to play the jilted, unrequited lover of Urwa’s Reshmi, the trailer has humanized him the most. His character, Waseem, goes from a lazy, cheerful prankster to menacingly unhinged. He also has an item song in the film.
The journey from cheerful to unhinged is in my opinion this movie’s biggest draw, followed by its stunning visuals and stellar soundtrack.
Arth: The Destination.
Now it’s no secret I’m not a fan of Shaan Shahid. Though that applies to more his off-screen rants rather than his relatively monotone acting.
However, the trailer of Arth and the back story have both provided enough intrigue for me to look forward to it. Albeit I am a bit weary given that Shaan is also serving as the film’s director and writer. I will say though; the film seems to be packed full with production value. Gorgeous aerial shots of London and all.
The back story is that this is a remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s critically acclaimed Arth. Now, normally remakes don’t stand up to the original, but Shaan seems to have put a musical spin on the story. I guess I’m intrigued to what he’s going to do with it. Will it actually be a good movie, or an ego boost? Either way I want to see it.
Oh and it also stars Humaima Malick, AKA the savage queen of Pakistani twitter.
That is reason enough to go watch.
Of all the winter releases, this is the one I’m most excited for. Though it’s only slated for the very start of next year, 2018 can’t get here soon enough. Why you ask? Why am I so excited for this movie? To that I say; haven’t you seen it’s trailer yet? And I also say; when is the last time you saw a movie with a female don in a pivotal role?
I think the best thing about Hareem Farooq here is that she’s out to prove that a woman can be anything and everything she wants too; from Madam Sahab to Billo Hai.
That’s not all; the rest of the cast including the amazing comedic talent that is Ahmed Ali Akbar and Ali Rehman Khan of Janaan fame all share amazing on-screen chemistry. The jokes in the film also seem to land, all against the backdrop of a very relevant topic; extortion. In spite of all this, the hero of the film is definitely Hareem, who is also a producer. So I guess it raises the same question as Arth; good movie or ego boost?
Personally, I’m leaning towards good movie, so go watch this in case you want to prove me wrong!
Cake The Film.
Okay this is a stretch. Up till now we have only been given the first looks for this movie. However, the official Instagram account has been active for a few months now, and in full-fledged tease mode. Though I guess it’s definitely a stretch to hope that people will get excited from just a few (hundred) Instagram posts, rather than a trailer.
Yet, I want you to get excited for it. I mean the central character is a baker. Yeah okay I get it, get the glutton jokes out of the way, thanks.
Anyways, Cake, directed by Asim Abbasi and staring Amina Sheikh, Sanam Saeed and Adnan Malik seems to be setting itself up as a thought provoking, artsy, family drama. Artsy being the keyword.
Up till now, Pakistani movies have had an unfortunate tendency to be over-the-top, with subtlety usually going out the window. While there is no trailer yet, Cake, from the first looks and the set photos promises a more nuanced experience. The hope now is that it lives up to the expectations. And a movie like this deserves hype.
And there you are, four Pakistani movies that I believe we should be looking forward too. Before someone mentions it, no I didn’t forget Chuppan Chuppai, it’s just not doing it for me, you know? Opinions, my dears, we all have them.