Celluloid World’s Certain Oddities

Cool crores piled up for Verna early in the first week. Shoaib Mansoor must be happy that he survived some close shaves to win quickly. But all in all, the last decade or so hasn’t been really consistent for the new Pakistani cinema. Vision, as I said a couple of weeks back, hasn’t been forthcoming. Some quick-draw McGraws, who shot films in the fast lane, managed to cash their taaza taaza ventures, while supposedly laid-back makers like Syed Noor, Shaan, Bilal Lashari and others, are delaying their movies indefinitely. One of them, Shaan, at last came out with the trailer of his Arth 2, though it was announced in 2014. Moor, by Jami, also got late. Hasan Waqas Rana’s Yalghaar, which was first announced as Delta Echo Foxtrot, got delayed a lot, and then it bombed. Farooq Mengal’s Hijrat got delayed, too and then hit the dirt with a thud. Manto was late as well, though it earned good. Saya e Khuda e Zuljalal took at least four years to make, and the film ate dust. Lashari ne apni film ko latka diya, and eventually got into trouble with the maker of original Maula Jutt – God knows when his film will be screened. Similarly, Syed Noor’s Bhai Wanted and Price of Honour are becoming more and more late latif. In this context, I must praise production houses of Humayun Saeed and Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza for releasing films early with excellent publicity; that is why they have been collecting money dono hathon se. Yasir Nawaz and Wajahat Rauf have also been delivering well. Hit movies of the past five years, all got made within a few months, or followed tight schedules, like Bin Roye, Na Maloom Afraad, Actor In Law, Punjab Nahi Jaungi etc. Now, there is news that old hands like Sangeeta, Zeba Bakhtiar and others are launching their new movies. They must quicken their pace and earn fast bucks to invest in other ventures. Moammar Rana’s film, Azadi, is complete, but Javed Sheikh’s flick is still shooting.