LAHORE: This very tract marks my Golden Jubilee in-print – it had to be worthwhile for myself and the readers; hence I decided to travel to Lahore where I set up an interview with the lead-pair of Nadeem Beyg’s anticipated release, Punjab Nahi Jaungi.
I remember feeling slightly stung, yet hysterical. Pakistani cinema this year has only managed to disappoint – critically as well as commercially – contenders this Eid, however, promise differently.
Exactly four years ago the revival of local cinema and protagonist cum co-producer on the film, Humayun Saeed’s first cinematic production, Main Hoon Shahid Afridi inspired me to write and lend my support to the recovering fraternity.
Proceed to today: I coincidently find myself hopping onto the same elevator as Humayun as we reach the offices’ floor from the hotel lobby where we were expected to be joined by the sultry and charismatic leading lady, Mehwish Hayat. It feels like coming a full circle. I know for a fact that I’m not the journalist, or even the person I was, but it was a pleasant surprise seeing the two evolve as artists as well (more-so, Humayun as a film-maker).
“I think criticism comes with appreciation. Again, that very situation in Na Maloom Afraad was a goons’ after-party. Billi was a character – she represented the lust of a certain class and none of it was forced,” she justified. “Look at yesteryear cinema in our country, they even had mujras. It’s not that we’ve been inspired by India or we’ve started something new; it’s been a part of our cinema for ages. Then again, it shouldn’t be vulgar, it should appear sensual and appealing, but there’s a fine line between the two,” she stated.