KARACHI: Actor Shaz Khan is soaring high after the success of Parwaaz Hai Junoon and what’s more, he’s got no plans of slowing down anytime soon. The actor admits that he’s flying high enough to not feel guilty about a mini vacation.
“Seriously though, when anything you have worked hard on is appreciated, you realise how grateful and privileged you are to do what you love. So, I will ride this straight into my next project,” he told The Express Tribune.
Vacation aside, Khan is starring in a TV drama titled Lamhe and has already started working on his next film project. “I have some patchwork left for Lamhe and then I’ll be onto training for the film I have been writing over the past few years with a very talent playwright in Toronto,” he revealed. “The film is called The Martial Artist. It‘s about a Desi-American martial arts fighter and his older brother Ali, who is also his trainer. As a Pakistani who has spent considerable amount of time in the West, I feel a responsibility to tell our stories to the global audience because no one else is going to do it for us.”
Khan first rose to fame with Jami’s critically acclaimed 2015 drama Moor. Talking about why he chose a film such as Moor, which inclines towards parallel cinema, and then a more mainstream one like Parwaaz Hai Junoon, he said the mindset is basically the same for both: to make the characters believable.
“Now genre-wise, both films are very different so you have to understand the playground you’re in. In Parwaaz, it’s larger than life so the acting has to fit into that operatic type of expression. Moor was an exercise in restraint; the character required a lot more internal preparation. But both were equally fulfilling for an artist.”
Khan believes the involvement of the armed forces in the entertainment industry is acceptable as long as the creatives are doing the part of delivering an engaging story with well-rounded characters, as was seen in Parwaaz Hai Junoon. “It was always about the story of the pilots and the cadets so the patriotic factor was there. But we focused on their personal lives which inherently draws the audience more into the orbit of the characters as opposed to some theme we are trying to shove on you,” he explained.
The Yaqeen Ka Safar star also reflected on the state of the Pakistani film industry, which still faces a lot of problems in every aspect. “We are all figuring it out as we go,” he said. “As artists, we must understand that we are working in showbiz. Audiences can tap a button on their phone and watch thousands of hours of content – whether good or bad is irrelevant. We need to ask what will make people spend money at the theatre. We need to ask what story is worth the cinematic experience for them? This process should start before we even write the script.”
The Dobara Phir Se actor further stated the rom-coms are working well in Pakistan but we must make them better. “The script should have a singular focus and specifically the story structure, which is an art of its own.”
Khan believes truly passionate film-makers will figure out a way to get their work out because of their unstoppable desire. “Let’s support that as long as we all keep learning,” he said. “And the best way to learn how to make films is to stand on the shoulders of the giants of the past who have made the classics. Too often we are busy with marketing meetings but not actually watching films and observing the masters at work.”
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