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Bitter Words!! No Necessary Criticism

The recent minor conflicts between the likes of Shaan and Ali Zafar and Meera and Sangeeta have raised several eyebrows in the industry, weirdly enough though it is safe to say that each person including the controversial Meera has not only a fair point but to an extent is right.

Shaan recently on the ARY Film Awards 2014 made a point of stating that our talent shouldn’t go abroad and be as he was quoted become “cheap sell outs” especially in Bollywood. A huge number of Pakistani stars actors and singers wise have gone to neighbouring India to become part of Bollywood films, these span from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Ali Zafar to more recently Mathira and Veena Malik. But to be fair is it really classed as unreasonable to go abroad and work in Bollywood, and even more why is the question mark raised only with Bollywood, did Adnan Siddiqui and Mahnoor Baloch not act in American films recently. Ali Zafar is one of the biggest stars to come out of Pakistan and the fact that he is in such high demand in Bollywood highlights the sheer talent of Ali Zafar. None the less Shaan’s words should not be taken brutally in fact one should look at the bigger picture, yes Bollywood is bigger then our emerging Pakistani cinema and yes there is an opportunity to become a star but there is also a very blossoming Pakistani film industry which now more then ever requires everyone to pull together to work for its success.

Ali Zafar made a point of stating that “we hide our weaknesses, sometimes, in the name of patriotism, sometimes, in the name of other things” which all in all is true. Unfortunately take for example since the year 2000, 14 years of films were released with only a very small few making a notable change, we had a weakness which stemmed from bad storylines and vulgarity to lack of quality technology and evolution. While the world was booming into a world of high definition we were and some still are using the same cameras that were being used in the 1980’s. We up till last year didn’t really have many quality films Bol, Khuda Kay Liye, Salakhain, Mohabbatan Sachiyan, Majajan, Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa amongst others were just some of the quality films which had been released since 2000, they all are amazing in their own way but unfortunately the trend wasn’t continued enough to make a difference to the cinema world.

Sangeeta stated in a recent interview that Meera is no longer heroine material and should now pursue a career playing the hero’s sister. The media gripped and threw the statement and turned a controversy over a sheer statement which held nothing but the truth to an extent. Meera may not be the young dancing queen we saw in Chief Saab or the damsel of Khoay Ho Tum Kahan, so she may not be able to play those roles anymore. But the cinema industry has grown to so much more and we have detached ourselves from the love filled storylines that had bombarded cinemas for years. Yes Meera is no longer typical heroine material but Pakistani cinema is not the typical Pakistani cinema we was use to seeing (Lollywood), there are still so many roles for her to pursue and roles which are suitable for her. Acting does not have an age limit certain characters do.

Meera retaliated to this statement stating Sangeeta shouldn’t be acting childlike and that Sangeeta is partially the reason for the down fall of the industry. Rightfully so, we have to give credit where credit is due and Madam Sangeeta played a huge part in the success of Pakistani cinema, this stems from her acting notables like her role in Mehndi to her directional greats like Nikkah. But unfortunately she fell into the horrible world of vulgarity and violence, the two genres that crippled and killed Lollywood. Shere Azam, Shere Lahore, Border and Foja Amrat Sariya, films which Sangeeta made with all the statement, they were different, they were family films and they would succeed. The only part of the films that did succeed were the vulgar songs which ended up being favourites on stage shows. Meera was right Madam Sangeeta played a pivotal role in the downfall and the killing of the Pakistani cinema, not alone don’t get me wrong, this is not an attack but a sheer observation. Directors like Madam Sangeeta, Pervez Rana, Altaf Hussain and even Syed Noor to an extent hadn’t evolved their cinema ways at all in fact all played a crucial role in killing the cinema of Pakistan.

The rebirth of Pakistani cinema stems from the pivotal and media driven Karachi, diverse and challenging storylines with equally dramatic and real acting are just some of the identities forming from the rebirth of Pakistani cinema. All the views above can and should be observed as criticisms and should not be an invitation to create a war of words. Positive criticism is defiant and necessary in any world to create a path of success. Each of the views above highlighted a fact that as a country weather your an actor, actress, singer or director everyone has something to say about the film industry that hopefully would lead to the success of the film industry. Our actors and talent have a huge opportunity to work in Pakistan in this revival of cinema, but that doesn’t mean they can’t and shouldn’t work in Bollywood or Hollywood, in fact if anything they can share the skills and lessons learnt abroad in shaping Pakistani cinema. Our actors just like our directors though need to evolve with the times and films need to be made according to the current climate and keeping Pakistani identity in mind at all times. Let us work together constantly for the evolution and success of Pakistani cinema.

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