Once known for its quality work, Pakistani cinema was lost in time and remained in dark ages for quite long. Pakistani cinema Lollywood has produced many magnificent actors of its time film star such as Mohammad Ali and Waheed Murad, who can easily be counted in are considered the veterans of the industry. Later with passage of time the shining light of this industry got dimmed.
During the golden days of Pakistani cinema, the Lollywood industry produced more than 200 films annually. Today, it’s just one-fifth of what it used to be in the 70s and 80s. The Federal Bureau of Statistics shows that once the country boasted of having at least 700 cinemas operating in the country; however, this number has dwindled down to less than 170.
Lately, we have seen that almost after three decades Pakistani cinema has made news again. It all started with showman Shoaib Mansoor’s ‘Khuda Kay Liay’. The movie revived the Pakistani cinema after ages. In the dark times of the Pakistani cinema audience had to rely on foreign content, Hollywood flicks were the bread and butter of the Pakistani Cinema industry. Later the releases of Bollywood movies in Pakistan gave huge revenue to the Cinema Industry here.
After ‘Khuda kay Liay’, many directors flung into the film industry. There are almost 20 featured and commercial films lined up to release and revive the Pakistani Cinema in the upcoming years. In the past few years ‘Bol’, ‘Siyah’, ‘Zibah Khana’ ‘Chambaili’ and many others have also hit the Pakistani cinemas and made their name as a local brand.
Now if we talk about all these films released so far, majority of them were social issues based and had the “Movie with a Message” tag along. But for a start I think it’s not a bad way to attract the general Pakistani audience towards Pakistani cinema, as Bollywood and Hollywood with their high budget and latest technology is providing us some MASALA entertainment and Sci-fi action movies our industry playing smart with low budget is focusing on the content of the films. It would be wrong to expect or compare our local industry with Bollywood as we are in the stage of revolution with so many limitations. Pakistani cinema has its own class and norms for film production and it will take time by the audience to absorb the emerging industries fresh content.
Yes, there are some flaws in our local industry and most important of it is the lack of importance given to the pre-production. That is, again I think because our directors are new, young or inexperienced with film productions on large scale. Another factor in which we lack is the absence of good “Screen Play Writers”. The director is considered the father and mother of a film here screen play writing, scripts and sometime more than that is look after by the director not because of his will but due to lack of resources or respective professionals.
‘Main Hoon Shahid Afridi’ by Humayun Saeed was a commercial movie which means entertainment with no social message thingy for its viewers. Whereas, ‘Waar’ by Bilal Lashari was again based on politics which was no entertainment for its viewers but still people watched it. Both of them Javed Sheikh and Humayun Saeed were leads in MHSA where as in ‘Waar’ the cast includes Ali Azmat and our very own film star Shan.
Another expected flick ‘Seedlings’ which was making waves internationally and its lead actress Aamina Sheikh has won some very prestigious awards for this movie. It was released in Pakistan with an Urdu title of ‘Lamha’. Other than that, ‘Zinda Bhag’ featuring veteran actor Naseeurdin Shah, shot in Lahore was also a hit in Pakistan. ‘Kaaptan’ based on the story of cricketer turn politician Imran Khan is also making news in the industry for the past few months.
Other films which are in the line to be released are ‘Gol Chakkar’, ‘Kolachi’, ‘The Extortionist’, ‘Morqaye’, ‘Manto’, ‘Rafina’ and ‘Downward Dog’. ‘Tamanna’ has also been in released in Pakistan but it has been very silent.
With all these movies lined up to release anytime soon let’s just wish best of luck to our young upcoming film makers and wait to witness the amazing revival of the Pakistani cinema in near future.