Heads or tails: Waar to finally release this fall

Published: August 6, 2013
Waar will allegedly hit screens two years since the release of trailer.

Waar will allegedly hit screens two years since the release of trailer.

Waar will allegedly hit screens two years since the release of trailer. Waar will allegedly hit screens two years since the release of trailer.

A terror plot, drama, action and a well-known and attractive cast — it is no surprise that with these key elements, Waar’s well-executed trailer generated excitement when it released two years ago. But that anticipation and fervor has died down, since the movie did not see a release and critics dismissed it as ‘just another project that won’t make it to the screen’. But there’s finally some good news — the film is tentatively scheduled to release late September or early October this year.

“I am the type of person who is never satisfied or happy,” says Waar’s director Bilal Lashari, who won the Best Music Video Director award at the Lux Style Awards and Best Pop Video at the MTV Pakistan Music Video Awards for Sajni in 2008.

“But the way it (Waar) has come together, I am sure it will raise the bar of cinema (film-making) in terms of what people are used to.” While he has directed several music videos in the past, this will be Lashari’s first attempt at making a film.

Waar is themed around the idea of counter-terrorism, revolving around a team of police officers, who are looking to stop a terrorist attack in the country.

Lashari feels that the film, which will be released under the banner of ARY Films/Mandviwalla Entertainment, is relevant to Pakistan’s current scenario.

“The cinematography, shooting and aesthetics will all be something new,” he adds. The film’s star-studded cast includes Shaan Shahid, Shamoon Abbasi, Ali Azmat, Ayesha Khan and Meesha Shafi.

“Initially, Ali and Ayesha had been given smaller guest appearances but (later), we decided to expand their roles,” he explains, adding that Ali is a natural performer and a great actor.

While making this film was a big challenge and delays were inevitable, Lashari says that he is certain Waar will provide the audience with something to think about.

“It’s been a crazy learning experience. It hasn’t been easy and it was a constant test of patience,” he says, adding that he didn’t have a real break in nearly three years. “We are attempting to do a lot of things that haven’t been done in Pakistan before.” The film is said to have 400 visual effects.

Focus groups and an English script

Assessment and feedback go a long way, and when it came down to judging how well the movie would do at the box office, writer and producer of Waar, Hassan Waqas Rana decided to do things the traditional way.

He conducted focus groups where people were shown only parts of the film. “Both of us, Bilal and I, are the biggest critics of ourselves. But I think we’ve been pretty amazed by the turnout of the project,” says Rana. “However, the real truth of how the film really is, can only be assessed when it reaches the audience.”

A major part of Waar’s script is in English, which the film-makers explain, has been done keeping Shaan’s character in mind. However, the idea of dubbing in Urdu did cross Rana’s mind. “I think the main worry was that the local audience wouldn’t be able to relate [to it] but our tests have revealed a good response,” he continues.

“We also looked at dubbing the film but resisted because we thought the main character would be compromised.”

After gaining positive feedback from the post-production and editing teams in the US, team Waar is all set for a Pakistan release this fall, with an international release to follow.



Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • S
    Aug 6, 2013 - 8:41PM

    Why make major part of the script in english? It is beyond me? Is it because director wants to impress international audience? to get international awards? Shame on you!

    Our film industry is full of beghairats nothing else


  • fuzzy logic
    Aug 6, 2013 - 8:44PM

    I can’t wait anymore. Release it now.


  • Umar Pervaiz
    Aug 6, 2013 - 8:47PM



  • PEMRA Avenger
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Finally… If you had difficulty getting it cinema’s booked, atleast release CAM version ;)


  • PEMRA Avenger
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:13PM

    the guys who were responsible to get this movie released were as slow as the moderator here… ET moderator, tumhara sabun (soap) slow hai kia?????


  • Another Pakistani
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:25PM

    //Why make major part of the script in english? It is beyond me? Is it because director wants to impress international audience? to get international awards? Shame on you!
    Our film industry is full of beghairats nothing else//

    Are we inherently under inferiority complex? apologies in advance if this goes beyond you too!


  • Schazad
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:40PM

    Why people object to English speaking and writing doing rant against it on English daily. Irony is unmistakable.


  • Pakistani Ostrich
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:49PM

    Good trailer. The movie seems to be well made. I will definitely watch it.


  • Silas
    Aug 6, 2013 - 9:56PM

    I have no idea why would ET mods let through a comment that is abusive.
    Et mods have lost their standards.

    You did read the whole article that it being in English has got something to do with Shaan’s character. And by the way, the whole world does not speak English so this isn’t an attempt to impress the ‘International Audience’.


  • Malik
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:18PM

    Trailer is looking good it is mouse or gold it will appear after release?????????????????


  • Malik
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:20PM

    Trailer is good……………………………………………..
    either is gold or Mouse…………………………………………….
    it will declared after release…………………………………………………


  • optimist
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:27PM

    Amazing film… have been waiting for it.
    Let’s ignore a jealous neighbour’s comment who wants to distract us from praising this wonderful film!!!


  • Salim
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:42PM

    If “waar” is releasing this Eid then why not delay the release of chennai express?


  • Faizan
    Aug 6, 2013 - 11:58PM

    Well i may not agree with you because this film is about terrorism and anti-terrorism activities in Pakistan and the world must see all this to believe what really is happening in Pakistan , they want to show the real picture to the world and in my view it is ok.
    You may not agree with me.


  • Aug 7, 2013 - 2:01AM

    I wish it competes and proves better than Salman Khan’s Aik tha Tiger and deliver the actual message to the world that We are an anti terrorist country and Islam Doesnt support the killings of innocent. What stops us to communicate our message in the language that world understand, lets jump out of the well.


  • Realist Tanoli
    Aug 7, 2013 - 2:05AM

    Release it alreadyyy!!!!!!!!


  • sensible
    Aug 7, 2013 - 5:12AM

    thank God… thought it wouldn’t release during my lifetime… :)


  • gp65
    Aug 7, 2013 - 6:37AM

    @Kashif Ajmal Malik: COntrary to what you were led to believe Ek Tha Tiger did not describe Pakistan as a terrorist country. In fact it is a love story between a RAW agent and an ISI agent who had to run away from both agencies once they decided to be with each other.

    Plus just because you make a movie in English – does it mean foreigners are going to turn up and see it? How many people turned up for The Reluctant Fundamentalist?

    The movie can and should be made for entertaining Pakistani audiences. If others watch that is a bonus. This is exactly the mindset with which Bollywood movies are made.Recommend

  • The Returning
    Aug 7, 2013 - 10:23AM

    @S: Btw you are reading an english paper and criticizing the english language in english LOL. No offense but just chill dude. :D


  • Aug 7, 2013 - 1:16PM

    @gp65: Ohho I never said Ek tha tiger was to show negative image of Pakistan, my was concern is only about the quality of production, sound track, story line and dialogues for the revival of Pakistani cinema and positive message to be delivered to the world in their own understandable language. We need to use our media as propaganda machine, demonstrating our actual problems and the need of the time while fighting with terrorists and it should also elaborate and discuss the global factors involved in the move of destabilizing our county. Any More questions would be appreciated. Thanks.


  • ummi bhai
    Aug 7, 2013 - 7:49PM
  • Aug 7, 2013 - 11:18PM

    @ummi bhai: exaggerator will be the first to run. Bhag mikha bhag, its not your country dam·mit


  • nomi
    Aug 11, 2013 - 1:24PM

    releasing date??


  • Swati
    Aug 18, 2013 - 6:50PM

    Guerrilla waar!
    attacks the opponent with a karate-like chop


  • Khan A
    Aug 25, 2013 - 4:20PM

    Regarding the comment on English as a major language, I am also critical of that approach. I personally wont have an issue with it, but I want Pakistani cinema to be for all pakistani’s including the vast majority who dont understand conversation-level english. Therefore I also believe that the film-makers should have made greater effort in that regard. As the films plot is a “hot” national issue, it will not fully live up to its full potential and get its message across, if people 20 miles outside Islamabad cannot understand most of it.

    PS: In almost all other countries in the world, major productions are almost exclusively in the national language. This goes from far-east, middle-east, Africa, Europe and Latin America. The elites their also understood english, but still do things in the national language. Only exception seems to be south asia.


  • Ali
    Aug 29, 2013 - 10:39PM

    so.. are we suppose to follow the bollywood always? and movie is not really abt entertainment always.. its a mass media.. and u can convy ur mesg as well
    c’mon guys.. m waiting too not actully when this film would release.. but when our nation’s mind set will change…


  • Ozzie
    Sep 8, 2013 - 10:02PM

    All I wanna say us that I have been waiting 2 yrs for it’s release. And I think that this much anticipated film is gonna start fading away soon as the producers and promoters are just delaying it for No apparent reason. The other thing would release it quickly in the Uk,USA Or foreign country before it gets pirated in its own country and then devaluates the poor hard work gone into this film. Wish all the best but please release it ASAP!


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