Pakistani Cinema In The Year 2017 – Is It True Revival?

The year 2017 started with a new hope for Pakistani cinema, just like the preceding year i.e. 2016; unfortunately, the graph of Pakistani films went down in terms of quality production, content plus performance and business. The entire hoopla of “Revival of Pakistani Cinema” will soon backfire and Pakistani film fraternity will once again face the adversities as black-sheeps have exploited the expectations of cine-goers multiple times in 2016 and not in 2017. Let’s have a quick glance at what the Revival of Pakistani Cinema looked like:

  1. Thoda Jee Le

Rafay Rashdi’s directorial debut “Thora Jee Le” was amongst the most promising films because it launched more than half a dozen actors, actresses and musicians. Unluckily because of alarmingly weak content and below average performances, the film busted at the box-office. Although, every actor got busy in TV dramas after they successfully managed to save their lives from the sinking ship i.e. Thora Jee Le. Interestingly, actors first get their break in dramas or ads and then take up filmy world; all the debutants took the reverse part and are now considered as busiest actors in drama world. This shows how cut-throat film industry is. The film got 1 / 5 rating. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Balu Mahi

Balu Mahi was amongst the decently made films but then again the film was hugely inspired from super-hit Bollywood films in terms of plots. Balu Mahi looked inspired from Jab We Met (first half) and Dil Bole Harippa (2nd half; replace cricket match with polo-match and Kanwal with Sherlyn Chopra). Osman Khalid Butt got a tailor made character which he performed decently. The script of the film was not as good as it could have been. Balu Mahi got 3/5 rating. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Whistle

Whistle was the most irritating film to release in 2017. The director (Ammad Azhar) and producer (Mian Yasin) brought half-baked, badly conceived and amateurishly executed film for the viewers of Pakistan. In one word Whistle was pathetic. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Raasta

On a serious note, people had not many expectations from Raasta mainly because of the fact that everyone knows about the stark similarity between Sahir Lodhi and Shahrukh Khan’s way of acting. Raasta got right away rejected by not only critics but the masses. The film was a pain for viewers because it was such a lousy attempt that it couldn’t offer good script, performance and entertainment to viewers. As a result Raasta bombed at the box office. The film got 1.5 / 5 rating. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Chalay Thay Saath

Umer Adil’s road trip turned romantic tale capsuled in the significance of family ties and bonding could be considered as a visual treat but in terms of content and performance, Chalay Thay Saath was a below average film. If anyone could get the mileage out of this film, it was Kent and Xhaley Sarhadi. Remaining cast was pretending to act a little too much to be remembered. The film absolutely has no recall value. Usually road-trips and romantic films have a great background score and music which lives on forever, unfortunately Chalay Thay Saath had nothing of that sort. The film got 2.5 / 5 rating.

  1. Mehrunisa V Lub U

After the success of Wrong No. the team came up with another family entertainer (which they claimed) but audience took it as their Naadaniyan (mistake) to call it the same. Mehrunisa V Lub U is a great example of how filmmaker wants to only play with one strong point i.e. “My film has the great message” and screws up everything else in the film i.e. music, acting, script and common-sense. Mehrunisa V Lub U was a sheer let-down in terms of the quality; many scenes and comic settings were (blatantly) copied from 1990’s and 2000’s Bollywood films. Mehrunisa V Lub U got 1.5 / 5 rating. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Yalghaar

Yalghaar was considered as one of the most awaited Pakistani films as it featured two megastars and biggest crowd pullers of Pakistani cinema Shaan Shahid and Humayun Saeed. The film had many other actors as well for short appearances. Yalghaar was a nice attempt if it had story, script, performances and a proper direction. Unfortunately, the film couldn’t impress the audience at the end of the day and no one remembers about it. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Geo Sar Utha Kay

Geo Sar Utha Kay faced a lot of criticism and the film couldn’t gather audience for itself. The film however had a decent story, good direction and a few good scenes by Babar Ali and Shafqat Cheema, apart from that Geo Sar Utha Kay couldn’t lift itself up to the expectations of the cine-goers. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Chain Aye Na

Syed Noor’s another fool’s paradise, that’s what Chain Aye Na was. Audience didn’t go to watch the film and those who went asked for the refund as it was nothing but a torture to watch. The film bombed at the box office because of obvious reasons. It looks like Noor forget to release the film in 1997 and after two decades he tried to work on the same script and presented it in front of the new-age audience – results were as expected. A flop! (Read detailed review here)

  1. Na Maloom Afraad 2

Na Maloom Afraad was a huge success and based on the success of the first part the team decided to come up with the 2nd instalment as Na Maloom Afraad 2. The film did a god business because of slapstick, toilet and adult (not obscene) humor along with the star-power associated with it and a few controversies as well, but it did not get as much hype as its prequel got. In the year 2017, Na Maloom Afraad 2 had done tremendously well at the box office and it’s announced as the hit Pakistani film of the year. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Punjab Nahi Jaungi

Punjab Nahi Jaungi is hands down one of the finest and entertaining Pakistani film which can fall under the category of complete package. Punjab Nahi Jaungi had great script with clap worthy dialogues, outstanding performances, melodious music and great direction. It is easily the most deserving blockbuster of Pakistani film of 2017. Films like Punjab Nahi Jaungi are the ones which qualify effortlessly for the revival of Pakistani cinema. Masses as well as critics loved PNJ. “Help Me Durdana” (a dialogue from the film) got trended on social media and memes were created on this – no Pakistani film in the last 30 years have seen such repeat value of the dialogues. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Saawan

Saawan was a great attempt but the way it was executed and filmed made it nothing but a letdown as a feature film. The film got a few international awards as well based on how conservative and orthodox Pakistani society is but that’s just it. Film offered no logic, no emotional attachment and no sympathy; which for a movie like Saawan is a must. Saawan was lost within a few days and audience didn’t show up to watch it, as it did not rain entertainment of any sort. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Verna

Shoaib Mansoor returned with his 3rd film with Mahira Khan in lead and remaining being the new-faces (comparatively) in Verna. The potpourri of rape victim, vengeance, polio affected husband, land-lord and political injustice the film offered anything but entertainment or sense. Everyone praised the movie based on the fact that Shoaib Mansoor showed what no one had shown on the silver screen in Pakistan but that’s not what a film is, a film is to show realistic stories with elements of good script, power-pack performances and some good music directed aesthetically. Verna didn’t offer anything. The film couldn’t do well despite being in controversy from release date till the last day. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Arth

Arth is one of the earnest efforts by Shaan Shahid till date. Arth can be described as the career defining film for Shaan Shahid, as a performer he takes you to another level. Ditto for Uzma Hassan. The film has some direction and technical issues but it’s one of the finest films of 2017 in terms of performance, music and audience-connect! Unfortunately, at the box office Arth couldn’t do well. Shaan should keep acting like the way he performed in Arth. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Ragreza

One of the most stylized disaster of 2017. The film has nothing substantial to offer to its viewers. What were filmmakers thinking when they made this film! Rating 1/5. (Read detailed review here)

  1. Chupan Chupai

Ray Khan’s and Mohsin Ali’s blatant copied venture Chupan Chupai might be a good entertainer for the audience of Pakistan but on a serious note, the film is a rip-off of South Indian Film titled Sodhu Kavvum. This unofficial scene to scene plagiarism had never seen in any remake throughout the world, yes Shamim Ara was known for copying 3 movies and trying to make it one back in 90’s but this level of intellectual theft is next level. Films like this will damage the image of Pakistani Cinema which is thriving; no one will ever appreciate this kind of plagiarism and unethical act, as even after the two weeks of the release no official statement has been received from the filmmakers. For them, “Wikipedia” is not as authentic as sharing a line in the film’s credit. (Read detailed review here)

In 2016, there were 5 to 6 films which impressed their viewers but in 2017, apart from 2 to 3 films remaining all were trash; they literally failed to engage the attention of those who paid for the tickets, forget about those who didn’t find a fraction of interest to watch them. If 2018 will not bring good films, this revival will soon face the nightmare for Pakistani cinema.