ISLAMABAD: Screening of classic film ‘Armaan’ at the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage or Lok Virsa on Saturday evening relived the memory of cinema culture of 1960s and the most liberal period of our country.
The audience were dressed up in 60s theme to create an ambiance of the era. Men with narrow ties and pointed shoes and women with puffed-up hairdos, brightly-coloured clothing, beret hats and silk scarves everywhere brought back the fond memories of the golden era of Pakistani film industry.
The venue was also adorned in old fashion, including black and white panaflex screen shots of the movie’s stars — Waheed Murad and Zeba. An artist also painted a colorful poster of the film in vibrant hues.
The audience danced to the movie’s timeless hit songs ‘Ko ko Koreena’, ‘Akele Na Jaana’ and ‘Jab Pyaar Mein Dou Dil Miltey Hein’, adding a newfound life to the anthems. Sohail Rana composed the music of the super hit songs, winning several awards including Best Film award.
Armaan was directed by Pervaiz Malik, one of the few talented directors of Pakistani film industry, and produced by Waheed Murad.
Released in 1966, it was the first Pakistani movie to complete 75 weeks in the cinema, earning it a platinum jubilee title.
It remains deeply popular even today, because of its original screenplay, star-studded cast and a gripping story full of romantic comedy and lots of twists and turns.
It starts off in a Cinderella-like way, when Najma (Zeba) is introduced as an orphaned child, raised by her rich relatives in Murree, where she is treated as something of a maid’s child by her two cousins.
The story then moves to Nasir (Murad), playing a rich spoilt bachelor from Karachi. When Nasir’s father gets fed up of his only son’s antics, he decides it’s time for him to settle down with a girl from Murree who happens to be Najma’s cousin, Seema.
Seema happens to have a deep dark secret from the past, an old affair from where she has a son, who returns to haunt her present. The inevitable happens when Nasir and Najma meet in peculiar circumstances and fall in love.
Armaan was made during Pakistan’s most liberal years, when the whole world seemed to be at the height of its creativity. Topics that may be considered taboo today were openly covered in the film, bestowing it a timeless kind of truth which is relevant even decades later.
“The event is an appreciation of beauty in simplicity as there was no violence in those days, simple stories, simple humor and fabulous music,” said an official of Lok Virsa.
The Mandwa Film Club hosts screenings of classic movies every Saturday at Lok Virsa.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2015.