ISLAMABAD: “Acting is behaving truthfully under imaginary circumstances” – Stanford Meisner. And not many understand that. Not many are truthful in their portrayals, and hence, settle for mediocrity. 2018 is a new year for television and cinema with a number of exciting performances in store. The Express Tribune lists five actors that are on our radar this year and why they managed to make the cut.
1. Saba Qamar
Saba Qamar truly owned 2017! She made waves with her foray into Indian cinema with Hindi Medium opposite Irrfan Khan and won herself several accolades, including a nomination at the prestigious Filmfare Awards this year in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role. Back home, she dared to pursue Baaghi, a biopic on the late social media sensation Qandeel Baloch. Though the serial is problematic on a whole, Saba essays the vulnerability and the strength, both with sincerity.
This year, Qamar takes a plunge into production and is all set to create some powerful female characters for her and other actresses. Despite the ban that’s been placed on Pakistani actors from working in Bollywood, Saba recently revealed that she’s been offered a couple of films from across the border and has already taken up a few. Not much can be said about the shooting spells yet, but we know that like 2017, Saba will surprise and win us all over again.
2. Fahad Mustafa
My personal favourite and one of Pakistan’s most loved game show host and actor, Fahad Mustafa is everything that a cinematic ‘hero’ must be. He’s often said that he relies on his determination, but he’s somebody who’s as sure of himself as Shah Rukh Khan is. Yes, Fahad reminds me of him and mind you, I am a fan of both. With the commercial acclaim of Na Maloom Afraad 2 last year, Mustafa’s lucky streak with the film-maker duo of Nabeel and Fizza continues as he shoots for Load Wedding opposite Mehwish Hayat.
He’s also expected to wind up the sequel to Jawani Phir Nahi Ani soon in Dubai. Joining the successful franchise with Fahad is Mawra Hocane and two will be shaking a leg to a peppy track we cannot wait to see. Coincidently, both of Fahad’s films are slated for Eidul Azha. Which one does better? Let’s wait and watch.
3. Mahira Khan
The starlet has been a constant on this list for a couple of years now. She is a bonafide superstar in the real sense of the word. Though Khan had a rocky 2017, starting off with the Indo-Pak tension that not only banned her Bollywood debut, Raees from making its way to Pakistani theatres, but the rumor mill was abuzz that another actress would have to re-shoot the scenes replacing Khan. On top of which, her pictures with Ranbir Kapoor smoking went viral for all the wrong reasons and her solo-film, Verna garnered negative reviews and an average box office turnout.
Nonetheless, it’s a new year and here’s to a new beginning. Though Mahira announced that she’d be taking some time off to focus on her family, she will be seen in two major flicks. Mahira will be seen bringing ‘Mukkho Jatti’ back to life in the highly anticipated Bilal Lashari reboot of Maula Jatt opposite Fawad Khan. She also takes the lead with Sheheryar Munawar in Meenu and Farjad’s peculiarly titled Saat Din Mohabbat In. Actors Mira Sethi, Ayesha Omar, Javed Sheikh and Hina Dilpazeer are also cast in the film. Once a superstar, always a superstar!
4. Ahad Raza Mir
Ahad Raza Mir aka Dr Asfandyar of possibly 2017’s biggest hit on TV, Yakeen Ka Safar, has truly established himself as the newest heartthrob in town. Grandson of the late film-maker Raza Mir and son of actor Asif Raza Mir, Ahad rose above the nepotistic accusations and proved his mettle and the fact that he is here to stay.
This year, the actor will be seen in the pre-partition period play Aangan alongside an ensemble star cast comprising of Sajal Aly, Mawra Hocane, Ahsan Khan and Sonya Hussyn. Ahad takes the lead with Hamza Ali Abbasi and Hania Amir in Air Force’s Parwaaz Hay Junoon, while he’s also partnered with his father’s banner to pen and work on not one, but two cinematic productions. Exciting times ahead!
5. Sohai Ali Abro
Sohai Ali Abro recurred on television last year with two television assignments after a two-year-long sabbatical, however; this year we’ll see her making her much-awaited cinematic comeback. She established herself as the silver screen’s darling in 2015, but took some time-off to reflect back at her choices and made a conscious effort to take up more substantial scripts.
She will be seen leading Adnan Sarwar’s Motorcycle Girl that is based on the life of biking prodigy, Zenith Irfan – the first Pakistani female to have made a solo journey across the Himalayas. The starlet has also recently begun filming for veteran writer and director Khalilur Rehman Qamar’s Kaaf Kangana in association with the ISPR. Though little is known about the latter, except for the fact that Sami Khan will take the male lead, we can surely say that Sohai is back with a bang!
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