Shaan Shahid suffers meltdown over 'Arth - The Destination' failure

Published: December 27, 2017



December was a big month for Pakistani cinema. With the release of three films, Rangreza, Shaan’s Arth – The Destination, and Chupan Chupai (which has yet to be released), exhibitors relied on the first two to bring in some solid revenue. Unfortunately, Arth and Rangreza released on December 21 to a low audience, and were even panned by critics.

While the distributors of both films, HKC Entertainment and Distribution Club were unavailable to share the box office figures, sources reported low numbers. The exhibitors confirmed that each of the films had between 18-40% occupancy at best.

Meanwhile, Shaan Shahid (justifiably) paints a different picture of Arth, retweeting several positive comments from his fans who liked the film. Not just that, he also suffered a meltdown defending the film and even sharing what are, according to him, the words of a journalist he “just posted”.

The original post which is allegedly from Shaan’s official Facebook page has now been deleted but screenshots have been circulating across social media. The post triggers a Karachi vs Lahore mentality, pitting “Karachiwalas” against Arth just because it was “released from Lahore”. The letter, shared by Shaan, even calls it a conspiracy to discourage Pakistani cinema.

Interestingly, comedian Ali Gul Pir’s tweet, which wasn’t even tweeted directly at Shaan, further irked him. “Our so-called artists need to grow up. Ever heard of Meryl Streep or Christian Bale bitching about critics on their social media. No because they believe in their art and don’t care about others. Unlike our celebs who haven’t even done half as good work but act like they invented film form,” tweeted Pir.

Shaan popped up and said, “And with all due respect, I will not compare you to any artists anywhere because I can’t find a suitable comparison anywhere. I hope you understand.” He continued, “We are grown-ups but not for lies. And the choice of words is loathed with arsenic, hate and disrespect. It’s time we strike back at not criticism but lack of knowledge.”

He even pointed that ‘critics’ were misinforming the audience that the film is three hours in duration when it’s actually two hours and 13 minutes.

Twitter aside, on his personal Facebook account, Shaan even shared a public post appreciating those who supported him in making the film. “Thank you to all the loved ones for their support in making Arth a success, the people of Pakistan I’m always humbled by their love,” he wrote.

However, Arth has received a mixed public response at best. Sure enough, it can’t be called a success with attendance barely crossly 50% on average.

Speaking with The Express Tribune, Atrium Cinemas managing director Nadeem Mandviwalla said, “Both Rangreza and Arth haven’t gained over 50% occupancy in any show. Jumanji is leading the pack, with the highest attendance, with Fukrey Returns in the second position.” It’s to be noted Fukrey Returns, in its third week in the theatres, is attracting more audience than the two new local releases.

Nueplex director of media and marketing Kamran Yar Khan noted that Arth has had about 40% occupancy (with Rangreza at 41%). “We have dedicated entire screens to these two films but of course, the response has been disappointing. They got great release dates but didn’t attract enough people to theatres.”



In fact, Arth has received disappointing response in Lahore as well, which is possibly surprising considering Shaan was once the superstar ruling Lollywood. Super Cinemas general manager Khorem Gultasab said both Arth and Rangreza have about 18-25% occupancy at average. “We thought the combination of Arth, Rangreza and Jumanji would give audiences enough variety to attract them to the theatres, but it has been disappointing to say the least.”

Therefore, all reports point to Arth being neither a box office or a critical success. In his Facebook post, the star called his “haters” out too. “To all the haters who are trying so hard to write and spread negativity, if you guys understood the film techniques, you would be making films and I would be writing columns in the newspapers,” he wrote. “A film has its own flight, a flight of belief on the hard work, prayers, and the love of the people who don’t have access to write but to see and enjoy the film.”


He concluded the post, saying, “Croak as much as you can with your hate words and analysis. It helps us rise above. But seriously I wish you had a better job. Losers.”

Shaan’s tirade isn’t surprising as it has become a growing trend among Pakistani celebrities whose films fail to make a mark. Earlier this year, Sahir Lodhi did the same, in an attempt to salvage Raasta. Syed Noor also lashed on to the audience and journalists alike after Chain Aye Na bombed.



This growing frustration and lashing out of film-makers signals a bigger problem. A film-maker, and one such as a veteran like Shaan, makes a mediocre film and expects people to admire it. If they don’t, he bursts out defending it rather than accepting his failings and promising to bounce with a better result the next time. It clearly shows such film-makers’ incompetence, self-obsession and lack of vision for the overall film industry.

Instead, their mindset is that of a spoiled brat, who feels entitled to success and appreciation no matter what product he puts out in the market. This hurts the industry more than it benefits it.

Shaan’s outburst in the failure of Arth proves it yet again. And if his efforts and dedication in making the film were even close to how much efforts he has made in defending it, he would be reaping the rewards now.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • vinsin
    Dec 27, 2017 - 3:26PM

    As far as I got to know people find the film to be too bold and felt that shown glamour and Alcohol misrepresented Pakistani society (as those are not part of society). Anyway, they are churning out good songs though.Recommend

  • Striver
    Dec 27, 2017 - 7:58PM

    Shaan has my total support.

    Pakistan film industry has my total support.

    Those who have been brought up on Bollywood are emotionally immature. They make good film critics. Recommend

  • Rehan
    Dec 28, 2017 - 10:46AM

    pakistan film industry produce only 20 – 25 films in year ..pakistani audience love lite comedy masala films ( jawani pir nahi ani ,punjab nahi jao gi, na maloom afrad ,Rong Number , khuda ky liye) rather then art and serious topic movies ( moor . verna , ect ) these movies not a bad films but number of audience is very few .. so make masala and and romantic lite comedy films .Recommend

  • XoF
    Dec 28, 2017 - 12:57PM

    I agree with Shan. Our people currently understand low i.q cheap themes as they had this expousre since childhood. Mature stuff is hard to digest for them. They have to hard work over their brains in order to understand complex story lines.Recommend

  • TZ
    Dec 28, 2017 - 2:14PM

    I totally agree with the writer and his views in the end. Yes the industry needs to act in a mature and more professional manner. There were much bigger flops of some of the leading veterans of Bollywood but they don’t bully the audience and critics alike. The actor may have a different perspective while signing and becoming a part of a failed box-office offering but lashing out at your audience (who spends considerably in watching a 3 hours or lets say 2hrs 13 minutes nightmare) wont take you anywhere. At least take some lesson from the Bollywood legend who is still acting at an age of over 70 years and still becoming part of movies which are not box office successes and still not lashing at the audience or critics. Have some sportsman spirit and tolerance to the so-called veteran film makers and actors of Lollywood or lets say revived Pakistani cinema.Recommend

  • Sameer
    Dec 29, 2017 - 12:28PM

    Great movie. Will watch again!Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jan 1, 2018 - 3:35PM

    SS is good at Jat gujjar movies filled with hate India formulas. such offbeat roles are not for him. Recommend

  • Mars7
    Jan 3, 2018 - 11:24AM

    A very well written account of Pakistani Actor who thinks so highly of himself compromising art and film making. Recommend

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