The Pakistani cinema spectacle has seen great artists over the years but only a few can boast a career as well-rounded as Ghulam Mohiuddin. In the wake of a string of new film releases, he’s gearing up to contribute to the now fledgling film scene in the country with his upcoming film Sawaal 700 Crore Ka. On his recent return from Bangkok after wrapping up shooting for the movie, Mohiuddin tells us what the project entails and why Indian films should be kept at bay in order for local films to thrive.
“I expect Sawaal 700 Crore Ka to be a good addition to the Pakistani film industry,” said Mohiuddin, colloquially known as Gullu bhai. “It will hopefully contribute to the budding film industry, which, considering the big films being churned out, is set to emerge as a strong competitor in the global entertainment market,” he added.
He shared that the film, which also marks the debut of his son Ali, is an action-thriller and a sure-fire crowd-puller. Of his character, he revealed, “I play a prominent role in the movie and my son is the lead actor. Ali has tried to do his best and I hope this serves as a launch pad for his acting career.”
Mohiuddin holds that banning the import of Bollywood films is essential for the resurgence of the local film industry. “Indian films are a barrier in the way of Pakistani films. If we don’t offer screens to our own films and promote Bollywood movies, how can we mark our revival? As it is, we have limited resources,” he noted.
With the hope that Pakistani films will be once again considered among the best in the world, Mohiuddin lauded the new wave of film-makers and their recent releases. “Over the past few years, talented directors and well-made films have emerged to the fore. Films, such as Khuda Kay Liye, Waar, Wrong No. and Bin Roye, have given hope to others, who want to produce movies.”
Mohiuddin is among those acting veterans who’ve witnessed both the highs and lows of the local film industry. “Inflexibility towards adopting changing trends and lack of professionalism are among the reasons that led to the decline of the local film industry,” he said. “But we’ve learnt from our mistakes and it seems everyone realises now that only good films will do business.”
Naming the use of modern technology, strong storyline and good acting and music as some of the reasons behind a film’s success, he added, “Audiences will see all these elements in my upcoming film.” Directed by Jamshed Jan Muhammad, Sawaal 700 Crore Ka features a star-studded cast, including Mustafa Qureshi, Javed Sheikh, Ismail Tara, Nayyar Ejaz.
Mohiuddin, who has more than 400 Urdu and Punjabi films to his credit, has bagged multiple awards over the years. He set foot in the industry with the super-hit film Mera Naam Hai Muhabbat opposite Babra Sharif. Among his notable films are Karaz, Jeeva, Khandan, Hasinon Ki Barat and Maula Sain.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2015.