Kaptaan, a Pakistani production on the life of cricketer-politician Imran Khan, created a stir amongst Khan’s fans when the first trailer hit the small screen almost over a year ago. Anxiety grew about whether this film would ever make it to the big screen. As the wait was about to cross its threshold, an announcement regarding the film’s release dates was made on its Facebook page. A second trailer of the much-awaited film was released simultaneously to support the statement.
“Dear friends, we would like to begin with a long overdue apology we owe to our fans for not having the movie released or giving prompt updates regarding the film over time either,” read the post. The team explained there are numerous challenges independent film-makers face, not just in Pakistan but across the globe, and Kaptaan was no exception — indie film-makers are on a restricted budget and pool of resources.
“In the end, no matter what happens and no matter how hard people try to oppose us for their personal vested reasons — political or non political — we will never give up or stop,” the post continued. “Thank you all [for the support], whether you wished us well or you didn’t. May Allah have mercy on all of us.” The note ended with what the readers were hoping to hear, “The movie will be released this fall Inshallah — the exact dates will be announced later this month.”
The second trailer of Kaptaan differs from the first one and leaves the audience a little confused.
The first trailer revealed an interesting aspect to ex-cricketer Khan’s life — his struggle to fame and how he became the legend he is today. The vibes it gave off suggested the story would be about how a champion was created. This sparked immense interest from the audience as Khan is a shining star as far as cricket is concerned. It was shared by people on social media and received attention from media locally and globally. Khan’s name was involved and Pakistan was about to take a major political turn as elections drew close.
The latest trailer is altogether distinct from the image painted earlier. It leaves the viewer perplexed as it now seems to be more of a boring narrative-documentary. If this was what the director intended then it worked out well. But the fact that it leaves the viewer confused and clueless as to what to expect from the production cannot be ignored. The music provided by Farhan Zameer however, is one interesting thing to have come out.
Unfortunately, the performances seem a little amateur and the documentary-style shots that have been incorporated in the trailer also seem to have been forced just for its release. If what is shown in the trailer is not depicted in the actual movie, viewers will be disappointed.
Let’s hope Kaptaan’s boat sails smoothly and the film releases in fall as the producers claim. It’s still doubtful as many of its contemporaries have failed to keep their promises of releasing films in the past.
For instance, a project called Kolachi, a post-apocalyptic take on Karachi, left the audience waiting — only released a trailer and no final movie. In fact, the producers decided to move on to their next project Seedlings (Lamha) and release that. While the movie won several international awards, for the Pakistani audience, it’s still just a trailer as distribution in Pakistan is now an issue.
Bilal Lashari’s Waar is another project which was left incomplete. They released a promising trailer almost two years ago but the movie is still in its production stages. Nasir Tehrany and Omer Ikram’s Naach is another case — Shaan is shown dancing in the trailer. While it wasn’t that impressive and didn’t receive a positive response, this doesn’t justify the fact that the film was never released. For the survival of the film industry in Pakistan and for it to maintain its credibility in the audiences’ eye, it’s pertinent that all these films are released regardless of how good they are.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2013.
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