KARACHI: Two years have gone into the making of Bin Roye. And now that the film is a little over a month away from releasing, the cast and crew seem to be as excited, if not more, than they perhaps were on the first day of shooting.
Bin Roye stars Mahira Khan, Humayun Saeed and Armeena Khan in lead roles. It is a romantic drama based on Farhat Ishtiaq's popular novel Bin Roye Ansoo. The story is essentially a love triangle with Mahira and Armeena playing sisters. What's unique about the project is that it will first be released as a feature film and a few months later, will be telecast as a drama serial on TV featuring the same cast.
"The novel has a huge fan following. People are really attached to the characters in the book; so, we did not want to change the essence of these characters but of course we also wanted to surprise those who have read the book so that the movie isn't completely predictable to them," director Momina Duraid, who is known for producing many successful drama serials, such as Humsafar and Zindagi Gulzar Hai, told The Express Tribune.
Bin Roye marks Momina's debut as a film director. Interestingly though, she isn't the only person who has directed it. The film was initially being directed by Haissam Hussain who left the project soon after he joined. It was then taken over by Shehzad Kashmiri who has co-directed it alongside Momina. Sarmad Khoosat and Asim Raza have also contributed to the film by directing a song each.
"I cannot credit just one person for the eventual completion of the film. Mahira and I became part of this project together. It's as much my baby as it is hers. Once, I was so frustrated, I said 'pack up'. But Humayun saved the day. Every person who is attached with the film has contributed to it," Momina said when asked what kept her going during the two years that involved plenty of changes in the cast and crew of her film.
As mentioned before, Bin Roye will also be released as a TV serial. When asked why fans would want to watch the drama if they already saw the film, Humayun said, "If you compare the number of people who go to the cinema with the television audience, you would know that just a fraction of those who watch TV also watch films."
The superstar added that with the kind of story Bin Roye is, there was a substantial part that had to be chopped to fit it into an hour-and-half time frame for the big screen. "This is happening for the first time here (film being released as a drama). I don't think that it (double release) would make much of a difference to the audience," he said.
Humayun also noted that scenes are written differently for film and for TV. "People might think the two mediums require actors to work differently. That's not the case. The scenes are different; acting remains the same."
Bin Roye also stars newcomer Armeena Khan who has already worked in two Bollywood films but is making her big screen debut in Pakistan. Armeena is Pakistani-Canadian but lives in the UK where she is running a business. The making of the film took a toll on her in particular because she had to make 10 trips between the UK and Pakistan specifically for the filming. "I would come to Pakistan in short bursts. Do my work and leave. It required a lot of planning," she said.
"The perfectionist in me requires me to finish a project once I start it. The fact that people owned me through my work and were so supportive, I felt the inspiration to keep going," Armeena answered when asked what kept her going.
Surprisingly though, neither Humayun nor Armeena (she couldn't read Urdu when the shoot started and has only recently started taking Urdu classes) have read the novel their film is based on. Mahira, however, has. "Absolutely. I have read it about 10 times," she said. "We used to discuss it all the time. I have also read Humsafar and I think Bin Roye is a superior novel. It grips you. I loved it."
Talking about her character in Bin Roye, Mahira said she is playing an immature girl in love. "It's first love, and it's obsessive first love. This is it and this is what she wants. Everything follows after this feeling takes over her."
This is also the first time we will be seeing Mahira singing and dancing. "I didn't do it with abandon but if I say so myself, I am a good dancer. I am so glad that Asim (Raza) did this (the song Ballay Ballay)."
The actress, who is currently busy working on Raees with Shah Rukh Khan and Asim Raza's Ho Mann Jahan, said Bin Roye is probably the only film and will probably be the only film (because she doesn't want any other project to run into the same difficulties) that has so many directors who have contributed to it. "We have Haissam Hussain, Momina, Shehzad Kashmiri, Sarmad Khoosat and Asim Raza. It's a rare thing to happen. You can't imagine how much fun we had."
When asked if she ever thought of leaving the project during the two years it was under production, Mahira said, "Never. As a matter of principle, I would never do it. Also, I am so attached to my character; she is in my DNA now. I am too emotionally attached."
Bin Roye releases on Eid ul Fitr. And we sincerely hope that the effort and hard work of the entire team pays off.
Watch the trailer of the movie below: