The Pa­tri­otic Pak­istani In­dus­try

Slogan - - COVER STORY - By Syeda Areeba Rasheed

The in­dus­try that used to boast more than 700 cin­e­mas, now hardly had 100 of them. The num­ber of films as well de­clined from what it used to be in the past. Pre­vi­ously, there were about 200 movies pro­duced in a year, but now it had also re­duced to only 25. The main rea­son for this dras­tic change is the chang­ing of cin­ema houses to shop­ping malls and this change oc­curred due to the lack of in­ter­est of the pub­lic to­wards the cin­ema houses and so lack of busi­ness.

Although now the sit­u­a­tion of the Pak­istani in­dus­try is to­tally dif­fer­ent as it had re­vived up­ping its ante. The Pak­istani film in­dus­try had given many block­busters in the last five years that would fuel up your soul with the right amount of en­ergy. Few movies would def­i­nitely blend up your de­voted en­thu­si­asm while oth­ers would un­ques­tion­ably give you snip­pets of rib-tick­ling par­ody. But the fledg­ling in­dus­try of Pak­istan is en­tirely dif­fer­ent when it comes to bleed­ing green. Many hits had been pro­duced in the last few years and in the past as well that are just per­fect to re­ju­ve­nate your pas­sion and trig­ger up the pa­tri­o­tism in you.

Many fa­mous Pak­istani dra­mas hav­ing the feel of pa­tri­o­tism man­aged to be on our tele­vi­sion sets for quite a long time grab­bing the at­ten­tion of its au­di­ences. The fa­mous drama ‘Si­pahi Maq­bool Hus­sain’ made with the col­lab­o­ra­tion of ISPR and In­ter­flow Com­mu­ni­ca­tions was based on the life of Si­pahi Maq­bool Hus­sain who went miss­ing dur­ing the Azaad Kash­mir reg­i­ment dur­ing 1965 war be­tween In­dia and Pak­istan. An­other fa­mous se­rial ‘Al­pha Bravo Char­lie’ made with the re­la­tion depart­ment of Pak­istani army sent a wave of

ex­cite­ment among the au­di­ence. The story of three friends and their individual ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing in the army struck the au­di­ence. ‘Wilco’ a ven­ture of Sev­enth Star En­ter­tain­ment and ISPR fo­cuses on the army that not only pro­tect the peo­ple from the en­e­mies but also help those who are af­fected by nat­u­ral dis­as­ters. ‘Khuda Zameen Se Gaya Nahi Hai’ a project of ISPR with HUM TV and PTV re­volves around the ac­tiv­i­ties of an ex­trem­ist leader and with the help of ISPR, the drama was able to cast many Pak­istani sol­diers and also use army he­li­copters. ‘Faseel-e-Jaan Say Agay’ an ISPR and CRS pub­lic re­la­tion was a brave strug­gle of the valiant sol­diers against the ever grow­ing ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties. The film in­dus­try is also not so far when it comes to pa­tri­o­tism. Projects like ‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’, Shahzad Rafique’s ‘Ishq-e-Khuda’, Mat­teela’s pro­duc­tion ‘Zinda Bhaag’ and Iram Parveen’s in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed small bud­get ‘Josh’ are few of the movies that proved to be the re­viv­ing pills of the Pak­istani cin­ema. The ini­tia­tive taken in this re­gard by ARY Films and ISPR is com­mend­able. Pro­duc­tions like ‘Waar’, ‘Op­er­a­tion 021’ and ‘Saya-i-Khuda-iZul­jalal’ put a new life to Pak­istani cin­e­mas. Shoaib Man­soor’s ‘Khuda Kay Liye’ broke the Pak­istani stereo­types re­gard­ing the teach­ings of Is­lam and Pak­istani cul­ture and high­lighted the bru­tal­i­ties faced by Mus­lims af­ter 9/11. An­other out­stand­ing biopic ‘Shah’ re­volves around the life of Hus­sain Shah who was the only Pak­istani to have se­cured a medal in the Olympics. Ashir Azeem’s po­lit­i­cal thriller ‘Maa­lik’ cir­cles around the SSG of­fi­cer’s anti-cor­rup­tion cru­sade. Although the movie got banned for in­cit­ing vi­o­lence and bias but the KPK govern­ment re­leased it in their re­gion. The bi­o­graph­i­cal movie ‘Jin­nah’ re­leased in 1998 showed the life of the founder of Pak­istan. The movie was re-re­leased in 2015. Jami’s pa­tri­otic ven­ture ‘Moor’ re­leased na­tion­wide de­picts a real life story which was es­tab­lished on the col­lapse of a rail­way sys­tem in Balochis­tan. The movie was all about a sta­tion mas­ter who was caught in a for­mer in­stant. Ja­mal Shah’s ac­tion drama film ‘Re­venge of the Worth­less’ was a hard hit­ting movie based on real life in­ci­dents. The film de­scribes a se­verely dis­torted so­cial ac­count with so­cial le­gacy high­light­ing the coura­geous bat­tles of un­sung heroes amid 2009 Swat In­sur­gency.

The trend of pa­tri­otic movies in the Pak­istani in­dus­try is again at a rise and we are well aware that Pak­ista­nis are a pas­sion­ate yet emo­tional no­tion. We may see thou­sands of peo­ple who are al­ways com­plain­ing about Pak­istan and its on­go­ing so­cial prob­lems but deep in­side there’s a

pa­tri­otic part in ev­ery­one’s heart. The newly re­leased ‘Yal­gaar’ man­aged to bring the au­di­ence to the cin­e­mas due to its grop­ing plot and the touch of pa­tri­o­tism. The film ex­plores what hap­pened in the life of those in­volved, in­clud­ing the mil­i­tants and how all of them were af­fected at per­sonal level be­cause of the on­go­ing op­er­a­tion. The movie proved to be a ma­jor hit at the box of­fice prov­ing to be the sec­ond high­est grosser of 2017 af­ter ‘Fast & Fu­ri­ous 8.’ The up­com­ing movies ‘Project Ghazi’ and ‘Waar 2’ are in the cue to be re­leased as soon as pos­si­ble. While Project Ghazi is a su­per­hero movie that re­volves around the thread to the po­lit­i­cal sol­diers, ‘Waar 2’ is a se­quel to the 2013 ac­tion thriller ‘Waar’ por­tray­ing Pak­istan’s ef­fort to con­duct a war on ter­ror and how the lives of se­cu­rity of­fi­cials are af­fected. Both the movies hav­ing a solid plot are anx­iously wait­ing to be re­leased by the said date for its au­di­ence, while the au­di­ences wear­ing the emo­tion of pa­tri­o­tism on their hearts are too wait­ing for its re­lease.

The change that hap­pened to oc­cur in the Pak­istani in­dus­try is all be­cause of the young blood. With the en­trance of young pro­duc­ers, di­rec­tors and ac­tors, Pak­istan has a scope of go­ing be­yond where it is now. The au­di­ences, par­tic­u­larly the mid­dle class, are com­ing back to the cin­e­mas to watch lo­cal films without the re­gret of pur­chas­ing the movie tick­ets af­ter­wards. Although our films could not be com­pared to as what the In­dian cin­ema is pro­duc­ing, but it is way much bet­ter. The movies be­ing pro­duced in Pak­istan are some­what de­cent, which is, in fact, a mas­sive im­prove­ment for our shaky pro­duc­tion ethics. There is no need to have that tootie frooties and Billi in our films, we are very much happy without them. Even there may not be a shift from In­dian cin­ema but peo­ple could be lured into the true essence of Pak­istani tal­ent by in­cor­po­rat­ing ge­nius ideas and themes for dis­play.

The re­cent wave of am­bi­tious pro­duc­tions had raised hopes that the de­clin­ing movie in­dus­try may be on the verge of re­nais­sance. It is re­fresh­ing to see Pak­istani film mak­ers tak­ing a dif­fer­ent ap­proach from the past of singing and danc­ing and cre­at­ing thought pro­vok­ing and pa­tri­otic films. With more de­cent look­ing lo­cal movies in­fil­trat­ing the­atres, we could con­clude that we are head­ing to­wards the right di­rec­tion in terms of pub­lic sen­ti­ments, emo­tions and their en­ter­tain­ment. One thing that needs to be high­lighted is that the film mak­ers must not, by any chance, use the word PA­TRI­O­TISM for their own busi­ness, there should be a proper story as well.

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