Sahir Lodhi first stepped into the limelight in 2005 as a TV show host but he always had a burning desire of moving to the big screen. Eleven years later, the host-turned-actor is gearing up for his film debut, Raasta, a project that he has not only acted in but also co-written, co-produced, and co-directed, among assuming other duties on the sets.
“I have always wanted to do a film — it was my passion,” shared Lodhi, in conversation with The Express Tribune, regarding the recently launched trailer of what so far looks like a one-man-show. Since Raasta is his brainchild, Lodhi has therefore jointly taken charge of its direction, production, and has written the screenplay and dialogues all by himself — apart from playing the lead role of course. The film also stars Aijazz Aslam, Abeer Rizvi, Naveed Raza in titular roles with Shamoon Abbasi as the antagonist.
The actor is of the opinion that the film features elements that truly make it stand out from its contemporaries. “You see, a few Pakistani films that I have seen, they look more like TV dramas. I am not criticising anyone, for an effort has actually been made. I still believe a film should look and feel like a film, complete with the music! Raasta will be a real film.” He also added with an air of pride that the project is entirely Pakistani in every way possible way. The film has been shot at various locations in the country including Karachi, Lahore and parts of Balochistan.
Elaborating on the storyline, Lodhi revealed that Raasta features an ideal amalgamation of action and romance. The plot revolves around a boy-girl love story but there is a lot more to it. “It’s the boy’s fight against the atrocities of this system, and willingness to stand against the evils in this society.” There’s still no expected release date for the movie but Lodhi predicted that it will be out very soon. The shoot has wrapped up and the actor is waiting for the perfect post-production touches to do complete justice to Raasta.
Lodhi has been putting up with an impressive juggling act by managing a morning talk show, a radio programme and the movie project all at the same time. “I live to work, I always want to work, and I want to die working,” said Lodhi adding that there’s a social cause associated with his film the nature of which he is unable to disclose right now. “This is my time to give back to the people and the society. I believe I was born to work, I am happy doing that.”
Towards the end of the conversation, it was perhaps obligatory to pose the question regarding Lodhi’s somewhat uncanny resemblance to Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan, to which the actor said, “He [Shah Rukh] comes from India and I belong to Pakistan, and we both have our own identities. I want people to remember me as Sahir Lodhi, once I am gone.” He goes on to add that he has personally met the B-Town heartthrob twice and fails to understand why people continue to compare the two. “I am grateful to my fans for loving my work and really appreciate their gesture. Those who criticizes me — I want them to open their hearts and brain a bit.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 26th, 2016.
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