Should we look forward to Nasir Khan’s Bachaana?
One cannot put easy and film in the same sentence. It’s incredibly hard especially when it’s self-funded.
We eagerly await the upcoming Lollywood movie, Bachaana, which is set to release this month. Having said that, I recently interviewed the director of this romantic-comedy, to get a clear insight of what to expect from this movie.
1. Tell us about your previous work especially Made in Pakistan
“I have always been inclined towards film making and Made in Pakistan was also a step in that direction. I have been focused on making movies my entire life, and the documentary helped me improve as a storyteller. I started with a sitcom Bus Yunhi on HUM TV, and then my telefilm, 14 Din won a few awards at the Hum Telefilm Festival. Furthermore I did a play called Na Jane Kyun for PTV.”
2. What inspired you to make a film like Bachaana?
“Primarily, I wanted to make a Pakistani movie, which both engages and entertains the audience. Secondly, I feel that, in general, Pakistanis are generous and noble, and I wanted to show that in an entertaining way through the character of Vicky (Mohib Mirza).”
3. The Pakistani film industry is booming these days, but our movies still hold the “drama touch”. Nevertheless, from the trailer Bachaana seems to be different from the usual. Have you managed to keep this movie purely cinematic?
“Bachaana is a film made for the big screen, I have made it to the best of my abilities. The rest is up for the audiences to decide.”
4. Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza are very talented actors, but they are not usually associated with comedy. Do you think the audience will accept them in less dramatic roles?
“I feel it will be refreshing for the audience to see them perform such roles. Apart from being gifted with a sense of comedy, the one thing that makes Mohib a perfect fit for the role of Vicky is the aspect of heroism. Since Mohib wanted to be the lead actor on the big screen, he is able to capture the ‘larger than life moments’ in Vicky’s character. Sanam was part of one of my first television productions and what’s interesting is that she played a role that was primarily comedic. So as far as I was concerned, I always perceived Sanam as an actor who would do well in something light-hearted like Bachaana.”
5. Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza had a great rapport in the drama Firaaq, but how were they on set?
“Doing a play together certainly helped, as both of them were comfortable with each other and creating on screen chemistry became a smoother process. As actors, both of them are very different, Mohib is more spontaneous while Sanam has a more calculated approach, but the great thing is that they make the scene work, rather than try to overshadow each other. They constantly rehearse and throw new ideas.”
6. Why did you choose to shoot in the Mauritius? Was it easier working there than Karachi?
“Mauritius is filled with amazing landscapes and beautiful locations. On screen that helps in making the film visually appealing. We can say that Bachaana is a trip to Mauritius that you can take for the price of a cinema ticket.”
7. How difficult or easy was it to put this project together?
“One cannot put easy and film in the same sentence. It’s incredibly hard especially when it’s self-funded.”
8. Making a film is often a dream for people and you have achieved this dream, what advice do you have for struggling film makers?
“Insha’Allah in Pakistan things are getting better by the day, in terms of availability in opportunities, so if you have faith in a story, it will be told.”
9. As a director what was the most memorable part of shooting this film (if you can please share an anecdote)
“The most memorable part was when we were doing aerial photography in a helicopter without any doors, it was extremely windy and we were on top of the sea. It felt like an episode of Fear Factor. I worked so hard that I lost around 4kgs during the course of the shoot, and that is saying something, as I hardly missed a meal and was constantly eating chocolates.”
10. How are Sanam Saeed and Mohib Mirza to work with?
“Brilliant! The question should be how am I to work with. After making them work 18 hours per day for straight 35 days, if they are still nice to me, toh bahut hi ache log honge (they must be really nice people.) The shoot was tough and tiring, but they kept going and aimed to do well.”
11. Sanam Saeed is a huge star in Pakistan and has a massive following in India. Do you have hopes of this movie doing well across the border, especially as it seems to have an international flavour?
“I think it would appeal the Indian audience, as it’s a positive non-political movie. I think they would love to see the Pakistani point of view on Indo-Pak romance. However, getting it released there is another story.”
12. Cross-border relationships seem to be popular on the silver screen right now. With Bollywood making movies such as PK and Bajrang Bhaijaan, is there a risk of Bachaana being a repetition?
“No, not at all. There is no similarity in these films and Bachaana.”
13. Do you have any projects planned after Bachaana? If you can, please tell us about them.
“For now all my focus is on February 26, 2016 as that’s the date Bachaana will hit the big screen.”
14. What are your hopes for the Pakistani film industry?
“When Pakistanis put their mind to something, then nothing can stop us. And I believe that this is why our film industry will grow and get better with time.”
All photos: Sadaf Haider