2015 has so far been quite a busy year for Pakistani cinema and from how things are shaping, it seems the following year will outdo the ongoing calendar year in terms of the number of motion picture releases.
With Ho Mann Jahaan, Janaan, Waar 2 and Kambakht already slated for a 2016 release — cinemagoers can now mark another date on their calendars with yet another action-thriller-comedy, Two + Two, set to be released on the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
The film marks the feature film directorial debut of theatre and television personality, Shahid Shafaat. “I am aiming for a Valentine’s Day release because it is a marquee weekend and also because the movie has a romantic element which relates to the day,” he told The Express Tribune.
Shafaat described his upcoming project, formerly called Jhol, as a comedy of errors which cannot be classified into a particular genre.
With an ensemble cast of Ali Azmat, Saleem Mairaj, Urwa Hocane and Bilal Ashraf at his disposal, the director explained his motive behind his choices saying, “I wanted to keep a mix of experience and fresh faces in my debut film so I’ve decided to go with some veteran actors as well.”
The movie marks the return of these seasoned actors to the cinematic fold after a long time whereas Azmat would be making his second silver screen appearance following the 2013 film Waar. “The reason for casting Azmat as a cop was that once we had finished writing the film and discussing the role with casting directors, I felt he would be an ideal fit because of his real life personality,” he added.
He was reluctant to divulge other important details about the film, however stating that half of it has already been shot and the rest will be completed very soon. “Most of the filming is taking place in Karachi. However, we may film certain sequences in Hyderabad,” remarked the director.
Bilal Ashraf also to be seen in the film
Shafaat who has previously overseen several telefilms and stage productions, told of his own move to cinema. He added that he had already tried his hands on multiple genres on TV and stage so that helped him get a grasp of the film’s genre. And this isn’t his first time with comedy since he has experience of directing sitcoms, comedy theatre productions and telefilms before.
Shafaat revealed the producers are yet to decide who will take over as the composer for the film’s soundtrack. The movie is being produced under the banner of Epiction Films by Humza Ansari and Hassaan Azher. Written by Shafaat himself, it will be distributed by IMGC.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.