Looks like Humayun Saeed’s stint with the big screen in Main Hoon Shahid Afridi was equally appreciated by the film-makers, as it was by the audience. Apart from doing good business on the box office, the film has already made him one of the most watched actors of the big screen — this has also led to his decreased interest in the small screen. The latest and most unexpected of them all is his casting as the lead character in Shaan Shahid’s remake of the 1982 Bollywood masterpiece Arth.
Shaan, the director of the film, was in talks with Humayun Saeed for quite some time, but from the looks of it, seems like things have now been finalised.
“Everything is pretty much finalised and now we are just waiting for the contractual formalities,” Saeed told The Express Tribune.
Saeed is thrilled about being part of the Pakistani remake of such a ground-breaking film in the history of Indian cinema and is looking forward to working with Shaan. He even shared some details of his character and what the film-maker aims to do with the remake.
“It’s certainly not a sequel as some people are saying, it’s a remake,” confirmed Saeed. “The script has obviously been altered to adjust to the present times and I’m just waiting for the formalities to get over before we get going,” he continued.
Interestingly, Humaima Malik has been cast as the female lead, and she on the other hand, is not perceiving Arth as a daunting task, but instead, she is taking it like just another film. However, the burden of filling Samita Patil’s shoes is a huge one.
“I’ll not take this as a challenge, I’ll just deliver whatever I can within my skill set,” said Malik. “If you start thinking about filling in the shoes of other artistes, then you’ll always realise that they are too big for you; it’s all a matter of giving your best shot,” she added.
She further revealed that this is her first time working with Shaan and that too as a director, so there is definitely a lot of excitement regarding this project.
Arth was a semi-autobiographical account of Mahesh Bhatt and his extra-marital affair with Parveen Babi. The film received great critical acclaim and is considered one of the must-watch Bollywood movies of all time. Bhatt, who is the writer and director of the original movie, showed interest in providing his services for writing the re-make; a cross border collaboration that was initiated by Shaan Shahid.
Bhatt Camp’s signature screen-writer Shagufta Rafique, who has written super hit films like Aashiqui 2, Awarapan and Jannat, to name a few, was initially supposed to write the film but apparently that isn’t happening anymore. Sources have revealed that Shaan is now relying on his all-time favourite, Pervez Kaleem, to write the screenplay for Arth. Kaleem is a well-known screenwriter from Lollywood, who has written widely-appreciated films like, Mujhay Chand Chahiye and Moosa Khan, under his belt.
The original version of the film had phenomenal actors like Shabana Azmi, Samita Patil and Kulbhushan Kharbanda in the lead roles and apart from the performances, the music by Jagjit and Chitra Singh also made the film stand out.
With Malik cast for Patil’s character and Saeed finalised for Kharbanda’s, one wonders who will be Shabana Azmi’s equivalent from Pakistani cinema.
The Express Tribune was unable reach Shaan for his input on these developments.
The first look of the film is scheduled to be unveiled on April 27, 2014, at a local awards show.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 4th, 2014.
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