Eid-ul-Fitr 2013 Lollywood Gala: In depth analysis

(Rizwanaa Shaikh)

Three Pakistani movies are in line to be released on Eid-ul-Fitr 2013: Ishq Khuda by Shahzad Rafique, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (MHSA) by Syed Ali Raza, and Josh by Iram Parveen Bilal. In past years of Lollywood, both the film makers and cine-goers used to be exited on the occasions like Eid and tough competition used to be there. This time round Lollywood is going to repeat the scene once again.

Let’s have a look at them:

Ishq Khuda Movie PosterIshq Khuda has been announced three times before but delayed due to reasons. However, it has got a world premiere on 18th May in Punjabi International Film Festival (PIFF) 2013 in Canada so it is on show on Eid-ul-Fitr. Ishq Khuda is made on a rare subject in Lollywood: Sufi-ism and love of opposite sex converting into love of Allah. Shaan and Saima have played the very different roles of their years long career in the film. This is a point of attraction for viewers to see the super stars in characters never done before. The second attention grabber is Wiam Dahmani from UAE, new face for Lollywood giving us a feel of freshness, that too in a Punjabi desi style and get up. World premiere of Ishq Khuda and a very positive response at PIFF 2013 has boosted up significantly the chances of its success.

Main Hoon Shahid AfridiMHSA is the only movie not announced before or delayed as opposed to the other three. It is a Humayon Saeed production. Written by Vasay Chaudhry and directed by Syed Ali Raza, MHSA looks in the first sight like the story of hard hitting cricket sensation, Shahid Afridi, or as if he has acted in it. But seeing its official facebook page and website, one knows that the main theme of it is a cricket club, people related to it, and a youngster who want to be a star like Afridi.

Stories involving sports are very rare in Pakistan for TV and film mainly because they require heavy budgets, location shoots, technical knowledge of the subject, and a specific world of characters. But the same makes it different from a routine romance. Thus, chances are high of its success.

josh-the-movieJosh is written and directed by a young, energetic female, Iram Parveen Bilal. Its main theme is the cruelity and injustice of feudal lords and the youngsters striving and surviving against the brutal system. In last months, Josh is been screened in USA, Canada, and Mumbai Film Festival, India successfully and well appreciated. Its curtain raiser was held in Atrium, Karachi on 7th May, 2013 and attended by a number of media persons.

Josh is starred by the young, talented, and gorgeous drama artist, Aaminah Sheikh, Mohib Mirza, Naveen Waqar (Humsafar fame), Naila Jafferi, Parveen Akbar etc. Story line and cast will surely inspire the audience.

Difference creators:

  1. Genre: Almost all the movies have mixed genres: Ishq Khuda (sufi-drama), MHSA (sports-drama), and Josh (drama). Technically, mixing of two or three genres like social + drama + romance makes a movie more solid and impactful. But it definitely demands sound skills of story telling, production, and direction. This time we will see two fresh and new kinds of story: sports (MHSA), and sufi-ism (Ishq Khuda).

 

  1. Typical and common subjects versus non-common: Shahzad Rafique has the fame of doing typical romantic but powerful genres; while Iram Parveen Bilal, and Sayyad Ali Raza both have tried a new subject or the common things with new perspective. Film is director’s medium, so the team, working environment, professionalism, and thinking lines of a director becomes key things. The same new lot will change the look of our cinema in future.

 

  1. Language and world of story characters: Language matters a lot. Punjabi films do better in Punjab and Pushto in KPK, but Urdu being national language represents the whole country so it can attract more audience due to a bigger volume of proximity.

 

To expand the circuit of influence of a story, we’ve to take things into account that could touch a common man everywhere. Like Chambaili, and Bol have portrayed the issues of whole society. The more common and familiar the world of story and characters, the more viewers it would catch up.

 

  1. Music and trailer release: Pre-release of film music and trailers is a good attention grabber. This way, poeple can make a better choice what to see and what not as well as determining the story line to some extent. All of the films have released their music videos by now on social and web media and trailers in cinemas.

Postponement of Waar:

Waar was also in line for release on this Eid but in the first week of Ramazan, Bilal Lashari and Mind Works Media (production studio) postponed its display till unspecified time.

Cine goers are disappointed on it but director Bilal Lashari is of the view that due to the expected competition, attention and interest of the people will be divided and diverted to the three new films which would be a bad effect on Waar business. His fore seen opinion is declared a right decision by movie critics and reviewers. Lashari wants to release the film when the Eid hype is cooled down and with minimum competition. Now we have to be a little more patient.

Till the filing of this report, a new Lahore based film Dirty Girl, directed by Arshad Khan and produced by Qaisar Sana Ullah is also being advertised in newspapers to be released on Eid.

Expected competition:

The expected ban on Indian movies, as demanded by Film Distributors Association, on this Eid will too be a morale booster, if government fulfills this demand by concerned film circles. That way, cinema owners will have no choice other than these three. Film makers will display their movies freely because of availability of theatres, with an internal competition, unlike to the Indian ones.

Not a single movie can be thought to sweep the box office as all of them have different grounds to catch up and appeal the audience. As Pakistan has a mix and diverse audience, from gundasa action to that of Chambaili, so we can expect at good result. We are going to see a healthy and tough competition. Which one of these three comes out as the most successful, Eid day will tell!

We will do have a reason to be excited as chances are very little of a typical or gujjar movie coming on this Eid, and cinema owners and distributors to be optimistic regarding box office returns. We have a diverse choice; and healthy entertainment and competition ahead and the hustle bustle of theatres is going to return, so time to cheer up for Lollywood fans!