Lollywood Heroes - We Ignore Them to Our Peril!

Despite some misgivings, I still cannot forget the brilliant performance by the great Ajab Gul in Kho Ho Tum Kahan. Those who have seen that film can never forget Ajab’s superb expressions, his fantastic dialogue delivery, his provocative, almost threatening smile, and obvious genius. If after that film, he was unable to make big in our Urdu cinema, then it wasn’t his fault. Finally, and sadly, he had the regional cinema left to exploit. And you can see Ajab has the caliber to be the best.

I don’t say that Lollywood did not waste its talent. Neither do I refute the fact that it could be provincialism that stopped artistes like Ajab and Arbaz in their tracks or great artistes were wasted by our producers and directors. We did not give them challenging stories and roles. But, I do know that now, when Karachi is in the driving seat, we should not limit ourselves to just a few actors from the city. If today, our top actors from Lahore’s industry are not being contacted, it is our loss. These boys are capable of pushing the accelerator to the floor, and pumping big money into our cinema.

You could see when our industry was down, the Pushto cinema was keeping the industry going, with some really good commercial movies. Ajab, Arbaz and other good actors were acting in films, which dealt with subjects that were taboo in Urdu and Punjabi films. Being across the border from Afghanistan, they continued to show how the militants were keeping the supply line of weapons and drug money going. From Torkham to Lashkar Gah, they were giving inside information about what contacts were being used from the insiders to bomb trailers and oil tankers coming through the different routes, managed by the US army. Some films were just top quality, but being in provincial language, they were not known to people all over Pakistan.

Shan is another great actor, who is out of the fray for no rhyme or reason, as these are actors, who’ll give us a big advantage. Yet, we are, knowingly, ignoring these great artistes in our movies. If we need to travel million miles an hour to the top, then we need these artistes. Direly!