KARACHI: With the industry depending on bankable stars releasing films on Eid so far, last year’s biggest hit (if we count the international box office performance as well) was delivered by a bunch of newbies stepping into the spotlight with a big budget film, Janaan.
Directed by Azfar Jafri and produced by IRK Films, Janaan went on to achieve tremendous popularity and made Ali Rehman Khan, Hania Aamir, Armeena Khan and Bilal Ashraf household names.
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The team behind Janaan is now set to return with a new comedy film Parchi, starring Ali Rehman Khan, Hareem Farooq (also co-producer), Usman Mukhtar, Ahmed Ali and Shafqat Khan (who also serves as the writer). The Express Tribune sat down with the producers Imran Kazmi, Farooq and Arif Lakhani to talk about their upcoming outing.
The interview began on a hilarious note after Kazmi claimed the sole reason they were making the film was “to make money” and that they will “hand out parchis to audience and take their money.”
“The reason we wanted to make Parchi was to redefine the comedy genre in Pakistan,” said Lakhani. “Situational comedy hasn’t been explored that much here yet. We are not using dialogue but situations to make people laugh.”
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The producers believe that IRK is set to do something different this time around, as with each of their previous films, Janaan and the horror film Siyaah, which marked Jafri’s directorial debut.
Interestingly, this topic of ‘parchi’ system – with gangster issuing ‘parchi’ to local businesses to demand money, hasn’t been touched upon in Pakistani films yet. A comedic spin on this idea surely sounds like money in the bank for the team.
Perhaps the first time you receive a parchi from your local gangster named Chotu Dakait or Pappu Langra, it comes as a surprise. The namesake film also packs a few surprises for the audience.
Firstly, Osman Khalid Butt will be making his debut as the choreographer. “He is a good choreographer. People just didn’t know about it,” said the Dobara Phir Se star. “Like people didn’t know Ali Rehman could do comedy but we had seen him do theatre. That’s how we know Osman is a good choreographer. I think he has achieved the mark where we always think that Indians dance better.”
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What else does Parchi offer? The producers affirm they are all about giving new talent a chance. In the upcoming film, 14 new actors, all of whom have a theatre background, will be seen making their film debut, including Mahenur Haider Khan.
“We want to change perceptions and introduce and give platform to new people who have so much talent,” said Farooq. Kazmi added that one of the reasons was also to promote local theatre as there is a lot of fresh and solid talent there. “We preferred to look for talent with theatre background because we want our theatre industry to grow. If theatre grows, so will our film industry.”
“We also want to change the fact ke sirf Eid pe film chalti hai (that only the films released on Eid can be successful),” said Farooq. Adding to the point, Lakhani said, “We are confident that we will do good business even without the added advantage of Eid holidays.”
Parchi is planned for release in December this year or January 2018.
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