It would be an understatement if I was to say that the Pakistani film industry till the recent past was going through a downward spiral. Talking about horrific, Pakistani cinema was nothing more than a disconcerting collage of buxom women breaking into dance numbers in the most incongruous fashion, perplexing action moves by heroes that resembled antagonists, and scripts that needed an extraterrestrial mind to decipher.
The once-thriving commercial film scene comprising respectable scripts and commendable actors in the 1970s appeared to have deceased and been forgotten, with movie buffs opting for Indian cinema and Hollywood for an entertainment refuge. And why not? Bollywood clearly has earned a reputation for crafting meaningful productions and graceful art forms that hit a chord somewhere. From Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Pakistanis were left enticed with films that reflected family values, elegant actresses and expressive heroes we wished we could find in the real world. Our own cinema, on the other hand was a no-go zone.
Last year though, the gruesome trends featured in local movies began a slow reversal. One of the year’s biggest hits was Namaloom Afrad, a film about a trio of friends who try to rob a bank. However, there is still much room for upgrading and development.
One factor that surely will play a pivotal role in rejuvenating our cinema is young blood. With the entrance of young producers, directors and actors, the Pakistani industry has hopes for better things to come. Crowds are feeling confident about going to cinemas to watch local movies like Bin Roye and Wrong No. with their families without regretting the purchase of movie tickets after. Though these films still can’t entirely compare with Bollywood delights, they could be branded as somewhat decent — which is, in fact, a massive improvement for our rickety production ethics.
With more ‘decent-looking’ local movies infiltrating theatres, we can conclude that we’re heading in the right direction in terms of public entertainment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2015.