Unravelling the jalaibee

Published: January 28, 2015
Initially expected to release during the summer of 2014, Jalaibee will is now set to hit the cinemas in March this year. PHOTO: PUBLCIITY

Initially expected to release during the summer of 2014, Jalaibee will is now set to hit the cinemas in March this year. PHOTO: PUBLCIITY


One of the highlights of the upcoming film Jalaibee is that, along with boasting a cast of young and fresh faces both in front of, and behind, the camera, it is being helmed by the versatile Yasir Jaswal. The young writer-director spoke to The Express Tribune about his soon-to-be released film and the amount of time and effort that was invested into making a film in a growing film industry like that of Pakistan.

Jalaibee is a film about eight people and how their lives are intertwined after a sequence of events,” says Jaswal. “Two of the major characters in the film are Billu (Danish Taimoor) and Bugga (Ali Safina), friends who get entangled in a debt with the local mafia called The Unit,” he adds, specifying that a central theme of the film is greed and how it wields its sledgehammer on those involved.

Describing the movie as a “caper film,” he says that the teaser of the film, which was released a year ago, reminded people of Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino movies. “Many genres in Pakistan have not been explored before and one of them is that of caper films.”

He states, “Directors like Ritchie and Tarantino are kings of the caper genre, with movies such as Snatch and Pulp Fiction under their belts,” so he feels people can be excused if they notice that his film bears a resemblance with such films. But despite comparisons, he reiterates that the movie is entirely original, clarifying, “There are many artistes with similar ideas but what helps make artistes’ work stand out is how they grasp and project the subject under a different light.”

On the casting process of the film, he says is grateful to work with a talented group of actors. Defining his vision for the role of Bugga and how he only had Safina in mind for it, he says, “His energy just made him a perfect fit for the role.” He shares that many people had been approached for the role of Billu before Taimoor, but “his audition for the part blew everyone away.” Jaswal states that Taimoor’s performance in the film will be different from the kind of roles he usually portrays on television.

One person whose performance Jaswal reserved special praise for was that of Wiqar Ali Khan. Khan will be essaying the role of a British-Pakistani in the film. “While looking for people to play the part, we considered several international actors but decided on him because of his charm, charismatic personality and, above all, the slick vibe he emits. That made him perfect for the role.”

As to whether the film carries the quintessential item number, which is gradually becoming a staple in Pakistani films, Jaswal laughingly reveals, “There are two ‘performance songs’ in Jalaibee but no ‘item numbers’ as such.” Stating that he finds item numbers ‘derogatory’, he says, “None of the female characters in the film are showing any skin as I don’t like the idea of that.” He likens the role of Zhalay Sarhadi to that of Jessica Alba’s from Sin City, but clarifies that there is “absolutely no vulgarity in the film.”

Initially expected to release during the summer of 2014, Jalaibee will is now set to hit the cinemas in March this year. Explaining the reason for the delay, Jaswal says “The production team had run out of funds and the reason behind releasing the teaser was strategic. Wanting to get financers on board, we worked on the pre-production of the film quite extensively, which resulted in delay of the film’s release.”

Apart from writing and directing Jalaibee, Jaswal has taken up the role of a music director. He describes the soundtrack of the film as ‘extreme’ due to the diverse range of artistes featuring in it. His brothers Umair Jaswal and Uzair Jaswal along with artistes, such as Shizzio, Zohaib Kazi and underground band Lahu, have contributed to the film’s soundtrack.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • CD
    Jan 29, 2015 - 8:33AM

    Thank you for no item songs!!!


  • Rafiq
    Jan 29, 2015 - 9:44AM

    Sounds like another re-hash of Hollywood Bollywood flicks. Why do we only have to make copies after copies. Where is the Pakistani film identity.


  • pakistani
    Jan 29, 2015 - 9:49AM

    It depends on the movie, some movies can benefit from an item song, but some movies don’t need one. Usually, the more serious the movie, the less likely it needs an item song.

    Think of item songs as pretty much an extra trailer for the movie. A well-done item song can stay popular much longer than the movie itself.


  • Jan 29, 2015 - 10:27AM

    THis is not a rehash but a genre of film medium.


  • Jan 31, 2015 - 7:35PM

    people who are yelling that young Pakistani Filmmakers are making or Rehashing the bollywood or Hollywood flicks kindly note this thing that our Film industry was going through a bad and the dark Era from mid 80s till 2000. We were having GUJJER Arain Maliks Chaudary as Mc in many movies . After the bold steps of Shoaib Mansoor with Khuda K liye Bilal Lashari’s directorial debute War Nabeel Qureshi with NMA and many others . This is something revolutionary . We don’t have well trained technicians and technices..We are not well equipped but still these Films give some life to cinema culture in Pakistan .
    There are only 3 characters in whole story making .. The King Queen and the Jocker .. King wins Queen and Kill the Jocker . Hero,Heroine and the Villain
    Best part is we are having 80% simmiler issues like Bollywood. We look like Indians .. We are having environment like india . Lahore Karachi /Delhi Bombay . That is why many movies looks like indian movies in trailer . Another reason we haven’t seen our actors in 4K or 5K mood . They looks more dynamic .
    Our Filmmakers are work without Govt Support . They can’t use any location in our own country until unless they get the permission letter and that’s what they got after under table deals .they work under different threads and circumtenses . #Respect
    Kindly stop shouting copy copy you’ve just watched the trailer . Support the Young Pakistani Filmmakers . Our last generation was a Cine Generation thanks to young filmmaker for making us again a cinema lover nation ❤️Good Luck Uzair Jaswal❤️


  • sarah asghar
    Feb 2, 2015 - 3:41AM

    I m sure the movie will leave a great influence on the audience minds.. thank god there is no item number and no vulgarity cuz its the beauty of pakistani movies that we make movies with huge respect and traditional interference in our routines..THANK U JASWAL for such an incradible work


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