The past two years have witnessed a surge in local releases especially after the ban on Bollywood films. While it’s debatable whether the ban has been beneficial as a whole for Pakistani cinema or not, lack of competition from across the border has surely encouraged local filmmakers to be more prolific. This phenomenon is not limited to the mainstream with Pakistan’s parallel cinema also becoming more active as of late.
Just few weeks ago, Saramad Khoosat announced the release date for his upcoming social drama Zindagi Tamasha. The film which was well received at the Busan International film festival, explores the conflicting social fabric of Pakistani society. Then there was Kamal Khan’s Laal Kabootar which was released last march. Despite its gritty undertone, the film to a certain degree managed to cross over into the mainstream.
It can be safely assumed that the films with alternative narratives have been well-received and could encourage a fresh wave of indie filmmakers to push the envelope even further. This brings us to Madaari, an upcoming thriller by director and screenwriter, Serajus Salikin. The teaser which was recently launched, unveils a psychological thriller with a darker and ugly side of Karachi, set as its backdrop. Much like Laal Kabootar, which was also set in Karachi, the story is essentially a quest for revenge.
However, where the former sets to unearth a broader conspiracy motivated by power and greed, Maadari explores the psychology behind retribution as it questions the very idea of vengeance.
“The film is set in two phase; 2008 and 2012. Madaari is the story of revenge. But it is actually an exploration on the dichotomy of revenge with respect to socio economic classes.
"Is revenge supposed to be an eye for an eye? Or could it evolved into something else, especially when you live in a lawless city that only caters to the powerful? It is a character driven story that would make you see the world we live in under the web of anarchy and how these power systems make the life of a common man miserable and distort his dreams,”Salikin told The Express Tribune.
According to the director, the film will also portray the chaos Karachi was riddled with at the time of political violence during the late 2000s. “The film will take you down the memory lane; showing the City of Lights in late 2000s. The mean and gritty streets of Karachi, the ruthless battle of political parties and the enthusiastic party workers as presented in the film will feel organic to audiences I believe,” continued Salikin.
Madaari will star newcomer Ibad Alam Sher in the lead role with Paras Mansoor who last starred in Na Maloom Afraad and Mah e Mir. Although the cast and crew consists of primarily fresh faces, it has veteran director Asad ul Haque as the executive producer on board. However, it is still unknown when the film will be up for a commercial release.
Watch the teaser here
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