Eleventh hour: Main Hoon Shahid Afridi won’t be bowling you over this Eid

Published: August 5, 2013
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The film’s release has been delayed till August 23 due to last minute problems. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

The film’s release has been delayed till August 23 due to last minute problems. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

KARACHI: 

This Eid, the drama is as hot behind the silver screen as it promises to be on screen. In a series of surprising events that have taken the film fraternity by surprise, the makers of Main Hoon Shahid Afridi (MHSA) have decided to delay the release of the film which was slated for Eid. Shehzad Rafique’s Ishq Khuda and Iram Parveen Bilal’s Josh are still scheduled for an Eid release, but the most anticipated Pakistani film this year, MHSA is taking its time to hit the box office.

While producer Humayun Saeed is currently not in Pakistan, the film’s writer Vasay Chaudhry tells The Express Tribune that some last minute problems arose. Azam Khan, a well-known film editor who owns the post production house Xperts, passed away during the fine-tuning of MHSA.

“It was really sad for everyone. To troubleshoot, we had to rush abroad to continue the post-production process but unfortunately, we wouldn’t have received the final prints on time,” says Chaudhry.

This, however, is not the only hurdle for MHSA. At the eleventh hour, the previous understanding between distributors and film-makers that no Indian film will be imported on Eid has suddenly been overruled.

While the newspaper ads of MHSA and Bollywood flick Chennai Express read “releasing on Eidul Fitr” and “coming soon” respectively, The Express Tribune has learnt that the latter will be taking MHSA’s slot during the Eid break.

Chaudhry admits that stiff competition from the Shahrukh Khan-starrer is a reason for the delay; Chennai Express has the killer combination of King Khan and Rohit Shetty, a director who has never flopped at the box office.

“Whether you like it or not, we are not ready or willing to compete with a big budget Shahrukh Khan film,” he says.  He adds that he is disappointed and shocked that no one from Lollywood has made an issue of this sudden move to allow Indian films.

“I am surprised that no one from Lollywood or the Film Producer’s Association has said anything about this issue — especially Mr Syed Noor, who is the biggest advocate of banning Indian films in Pakistan and often rambles about it on television,” says Chaudhry. When contacted, Syed Noor said he could be surprised if Indian films were screened on Eid as distributors had given him their word.

While IMGC Entertainment is bringing Chennai Express to Pakistan, Satish Anand of Eveready Pictures is importing yet another expected blockbuster, Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara, which is eventually expected to give MHSA a tough time at the box office.

“We want all these films to have good business because they are supporting the cause of Pakistani cinema,” says Satish Anand. “It is very unfortunate that Main Hoon Shahid Afridi will not be screening on Eid because it takes away the comfort and initial business that any film is supposed to receive on Eid.”

However, Nadeem Mandviwalla, who’s company Mandviwalla Entertainment is distributing MHSA, feels otherwise. “Eid has its advantages and disadvantages, so if a film has to do business it will do so before or after Eid,” he says. He also believes that, given the circumstances, delaying MHSA is the wisest decision as it now has more time for pre-release events and promotions.

“Pakistani films are very personal to the public and they want to see the stars talking about the film,” he continues. “All of this couldn’t have been possible by Eid. The anticipation for Main Hoon Shahid Afridi has already been built up. We can keep building it for another couple of weeks.”

The delay in MHSA has definitely disappointed many cinema goers, who were ready to buy tickets on Eid but will now have to wait for a few weeks. This delay may just be a blessing in disguise for Josh, but only if people treat it as a separate Pakistani film and not a secondary option to Chennai Express.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2013.

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Correction: The abbreviation MHSA was earlier misspelled as MHSH in the story. The error has been rectified.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Aug 5, 2013 - 8:26PM

    Well, I don’t see why anyone should have a problem with the decision to release the Indian films that were initially delayed for MHSA if these guys can’t release their film in time. This excessive complaining is quite irritating.

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  • LalaGee
    Aug 5, 2013 - 8:42PM

    But Pakistani films are international films…they are released all over the world….in more than 2500 prints…how come chennai express a B-grade film of a bollywood muslim hero only popular in a small nation like India which has a small heart according to biographic hero of MHSA get released in pakistan….

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  • Alann
    Aug 5, 2013 - 9:00PM

    Shouldn’t Main Hoon Shahid Afridi be MHSA? Unless Afridi has got his surname changed to Hafridi officially..

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  • basim
    Aug 5, 2013 - 9:22PM

    MHSH?! I could be wrong but shouldn’t the acronym be MHSA?

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  • Bilal
    Aug 5, 2013 - 9:29PM

    Release Zinda Bhaag…

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  • Sherry
    Aug 5, 2013 - 10:00PM

    Sad!

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  • Raz
    Aug 6, 2013 - 12:35AM

    What about Zinda Bhaag?

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  • Aftab Ali
    Aug 6, 2013 - 12:56AM

    It shows the immaturity of Pakistani filmmakers who announce they are coming with thinking if they can make the deadline. Waar is another example….now apparently its coming on Bakra Eid.

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  • Amina
    Aug 6, 2013 - 2:32AM

    SERIOUSLY DISSAPOINTING!! this is why so little work is coming out of the pakistani film industry,if these idiots need to stop importing such filth from bollywood and start supporting their own industry…really hope MHSA releases soon and that to with a fantastic responce at the BO… hope it releases in the UK aswell,im dying to watch a Pakistani film

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  • sensible
    Aug 6, 2013 - 4:40AM

    I think it is actually a blessing in disguise for makers. Since there are whole bunch of films releasing on eid, so it is better not to loose revenue by competing with biggies.

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  • just asking
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:07AM

    @Amina: No Bollywood films were being imported in Pakistan prior to 2008. Why were so few films coming out of Lollywood at that time?

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  • Raza
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:15AM

    I just don’t get it???? Why announce a film if you r not ready???? This guy is clearly saying that they are still to finish film? Exactly the same Waar has been doing for years.

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  • Aug 6, 2013 - 4:10PM

    All this seems forced.

    In India there are literally a dozen movie Industries and they live side by side, without anyone having to ban anything on anyday. They compete with each other and even provide talent to each other. This is the case of a healthy, culture-oriented, art-loving, vibrant society.

    In Pakistan you have to ban other movies(I don’t think Hollywood movies are banned), to somehow force people with a particular material. No wonder the arts are dying in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Aug 6, 2013 - 5:50PM

    I think Chennai Express distributors must have played some role to postpone the release date of MHSA to avoid the competition.

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  • Aug 6, 2013 - 6:06PM

    Mahnoor Baloch, Mathira Item Song (Leaked Video) of Movie Main Hoon Shahid Afridi

    http://topstars.com.pk/mahnoor-baloch-mathira-item-song-leaked-video-of-movie-main-hoon-shahid-afridi/

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  • Babar
    Aug 6, 2013 - 7:13PM

    Sad I nd my family were planning To watch MHSH on eid.. nd we were happy that there is ban on indian films this eid as we are so much tired of watchimg bollywood we wanna see our lollywoodRecommend

  • Boli Maga
    Aug 6, 2013 - 7:25PM

    @ BruteForce
    You are 100% right. This week, Paki star Veena mallik’s Kannada Movie is set to release and producers are not bothered any Chennai Express or Lahore Express release

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  • Babar
    Aug 6, 2013 - 8:26PM

    @Boli Maga: but the film is of Bollywood not lollywood :\

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  • Haider
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:48PM

    Didn’t expect MHSA to be postponed.All I want is entertainment this eid.whether from Main Hoon Shahid Afridi or from Shahrukh Khan starrer Chennai Express.

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  • np
    Aug 6, 2013 - 10:27PM

    @Babar: So if you are tired of watching Bollywood films you should not watch them. No one can force you to. Why do you need to enforce a ban? IT is this same crazy mindset which has also resulted in the youtube ban. Instead of people choosing not to watch what they do not like the nanny state has to intervene.

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  • khalid mahmood.
    Aug 7, 2013 - 5:04PM

    its not good. i and my all friends are tring to see this movie, bad bad bad bad bad bad

    all distributars you are hypocritics because not relesing pakistani movies.

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  • Aug 7, 2013 - 5:06PM

    its not good.

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  • jim
    Aug 9, 2013 - 4:50AM

    hope all the paki bollywood fanatics are happy now.

    While they drool all they want over Katrina’s item number, somehow Mahnoor Baloch’s item number triggers aggressive violent reactions, citing Islamic reasons of course.

    People of this country are hopeless, I’m sorry to say. But Mahnoor Baloch is <3 and I’ll always support her no matter what. Shame that we are losing such talented beautiful people who work tirelessly to promote soft image of our country, only to be denounced by their own people. #SAD!

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  • bil
    Aug 9, 2013 - 5:01AM

    When did we become such sell outs and to whom? Is anything in this country actually controlled internally? From our cinema to our water supply to terrorism, no one knows what the heck is going on. No wonder people resort to explanation of ‘foreign element’ to satisfy their curiosity.

    India always puts its country first. They have a 100% ban on Pakistani media in their country and here we exhibit their stuff openly. So what if some of our artists gain fame in their country-its not benefiting Pakistan but its surely benefiting Indian cinema. Taking our artists in their movies expands their markets and they generate higher revenue. So while one Pakistani does benefit, its the whole INDIAN industry benefiting in the end.

    And I just fail to understand that everyone knows the problem but no one dares implements solution? Why are we such a disunited confused nation? From the likes of Humayun Saeed, Atiqa Odho, Syed Noor, all pillars of Lollywood have spoken against the issue of showing Indian movies in Pakistan but nothing happens in the end.

    So obviously people are gonna believe the ‘foreign hand’ argument in every issue.
    what else do you expect people to believe in?

    When will we learn to put our country first and then our own personal stakes?

    My personal request to all those cinema business people in Pakistan that such a hugh boost of cinema has never happened in Pakistan before so in order to revive our cinemas we need to restrict foreign movies now. HIGH TIME!

    And to the people of Pakistan who have never appreciated their cinema, to please for God’s sake, open your eyes, learn about the struggle your industry has made for so long and the challenges they’ve overcome and to please support your cinema!

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