Any one following the behind-the-scenes pictures being posted by the cast and crew of Yalghaar is bound to feel a rush of blood to the head. The cast in military uniforms with extremely Schwarzenegger-esque physiques say a lot about the anticipated action quotient of the film. “It was no less than a mission,” says Dr Hassan Waqas Rana, the director of Yalghaar. With almost a three-year gap between Waar and Yalghaar, Doc ( Rana’s nickname in the media industry) Rana elaborated that he spent a considerable amount of time honing his filmmaking skills.“After Waar I spent the next three months abroad training in different film institutions to update my filmmaking skills,” says Doc. This helped him tackle tricky aesthetic calls such as shooting the film at up to 10 thousand frames per second.
Based on the Pakistani army’s Swat Operation, Rana’s had started working on its script before he had written Waar. “This operation received worldwide coverage and is regarded as an amazing feat of soldiering; which is even taught at military institutions.”Despite the widespread coverage the operation received Rana still terms it as a “forgotten milestone” due to the current turmoil within the country — something that he hopes to rectify with his upcoming film. Yalghaar which is halfway through the editing table is an epic in every sense as it stars some of the industries more established and renowned actors like Shaan, Humayun Saeed, Adnan Siddiqui, Ayub Khosa and Ayesha Omer. But more than anything it was the new and fresh crop of talent that Rana was keen on working with. “This was Shaan’s idea that we need new stars on the horizon. It is important to bring forth new kids with a lot of promise.”
Of the two (relatively) newbies part of the cast; the director reserved special praise for Umair Jaswal and Bilal Ashraf. “Both of them took to filming like a mission, Yalghaar was a very physically demanding movie. First they spent almost a year in the gym training and getting the right look and then went and stayed with the Special Forces. Plus each and every person in the movie is important because I couldn’t cast a B-Grade actor opposite Shaan or Humayun.”With more than a handful of similarities existing between Waar and Yalghaar, Doc reiterated that both of them were in fact very different films and how he, himself wanted to shed the weight of expectations created by his debut film.
“I am the biggest critic of my own work. Everything that I do has to be better than Waar, not by one step but by ten times.” Yalghaar was initially set for an Eid-ul-Fitr release, but with a series of Pakistani films expected to release in the coming few months, he postponed it, feeling that it was not the right time to compete with each other. “I’ve spoken to other producers and everybody is gracious enough to give each other time.”The film is now slated to release later in summer, most probably after Mahira Khan and Humayun Saeed’s Bin Roye completes its running at the box office.“I can even release my film on any Thursday and if it is good it will do well,” the Waar numbers seem to have made Doc more confident about the prospects of Yalghaar.
The first look for the movie is expected to release in June with an individual trailer being made for the main cast. The soundtrack for the movie will include eight songs by different artists, including Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat Ali and Abida Parveen whereas the background score has been done by Zulfiqar Jabbar ‘Xulfi’ Khan.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 2nd, 2015.
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