It would not be wrong to term the life cycle of Mah-e-Meer as interesting as the subject matter of the film itself. The first trailer of the movie was released approximately two years ago and feels like a distant memory now.
While the almost 100-second-long teaser was more than enough to kick-start the anticipation for the film, which only seemed to grow with each passing moment, the wait for has been a long one. With days turning into weeks, months and eventually years, all the excitement the trailer sparked seems to have now vanished into thin air.
But, after multiple delays, the Anjum Shahzad directorial is all set for an official release on May 6. Although, this is not the first time the Mah-e-Meer team has committed to a release date, the film’s producer has assured audiences that it will be premiering on the given date. “Previously, there have been reports about the film releasing in November, December or January but none of them had been announced officially. This time around, it has been confirmed that Mah-e-Meer is releasing on May 6,” producer Badar Ikram told The Express Tribune.
Iman Ali and Fahad Mustafa sizzle on screen
Reluctant to point out one particular reason for selecting May 6 as the deadline, Ikram noted that one of the key factors in their decision was to avoid clashing with other local projects. With films such as Maalik and Hijrat releasing in April, followed closely by Hotal, Ikram deemed May was the best time available. “Our priority is to avoid competing with local films. We want to provide a sufficient run to all as it’ll help the industry grow.”
Since the release of the movie’s first teaser in 2014, several local films have gone onto having a successful run in Pakistani cinemas including Na Maloom Afraad, Wrong No, Ho Mann Jahaan and Jawani Phir Nahi Ani. Elaborating on why the studio behind Mah-e-Meer previewed the trailer months ahead of its release, Ikram explained, “Only half of the film had been completed at that point in time. We had unveiled the trailer because ARY Film Awards wanted to preview a film package at their ceremony, to which we agreed.”
All these claims aside, the production process for Mah-e-Meer has run longer than that of other movies of its nature. During an earlier interview with the publication, Shahzad disclosed how the film required minor visual effects — a fact which was corroborated by the producer. “There was a little bit of VFX involved because of which post-production of the film may have taken longer than usual. But most of it is out of the way now,” he said. Another factor cited for the delay was reports that actor Manzar Sehbai had not been able to dub his dialogues for the film due to ill health. Refuting these rumours, Ikram confirmed the actor had completed his work on the film and was specifically flown to Germany to record his lines.
Slated to release on the first Friday of May, Mah-e-Meer unravels the story of classical poet Mir Taqi Mir and his struggles through life. It features an ensemble cast comprising of Fahad Mustafa, Iman Ali, Manzar Sehbai and Alyy Khan, all appearing in lead roles. Former Vital Signs band member Shahi Hasan has composed the background score as well as produced the soundtrack for the film. Classical singer Ahmed Jahanzeb has also contributed it. Mah-e-Meer is also slated to release in the Middle East on May 5 but the producers are still working towards a wider international release.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2016.
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