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Lollywood: An analysis through the decades

Lollywood has gone through many phases since its inception. The 60s marked as the glorious years for Lollywood then going dying out in 70s due to Zia’s Islamism and the trend of low cost films.  Today we see the Pakistani film cinema being revived through social issues.

I remember my mom talking about the Lollywood industry back in the 60s. Pakistani cinema were gold when stars like Waheed Murad, Shabnam, Nadeem, Mohammad Ali, Rafi Khawar,  stole the spotlight in each film. The soundtrack made the movies much more meaningful. Melodies like Akele Na Jana and Koko Korina were on the lips of every one present during the time.  Armaan actually became one of the platinum films in Pakistan, running for 75 weeks straight. Other films like Aag Ka Darya and Aulaad were one of the best that Pakistani cinema has ever produced.

Zia’s regime affected the industry to a great extent. Due to strict Islamic policies, the themes such as love and affection between the central characters could not be entertained in flicks. The trend of low budget films also came to a rise in the 70s. Punjabi scripts along with macho portrayal of the society did not cater the audience. Lack of themes, scripts and most importantly budget, marred the beauty of the industry, which used to be house-full for months.

The emergence of Bollywood and Hollywood also became a big blow for Lollywood. Actors like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Amrish Puri became prominent in the viewers. Hollywood made its impact in cinemas with sci-fi specials such as the Terminator series. Sci-Fi and action flicks like Die Hard and Rambo was favored among the local audience. The trend of English films is still popular today.

In the 90s, Pakistani cinema was trying to be revived. Actors like Shaan Shahid, Babar Ali and Reema Khan. Urdu scripts were being used once again in the films. Music became popular such as Larri Adda by Sajjad Ali. Jinnah, the biography of Quaid-e-Azam, was produced in the 90s and was marred with controversy surrounding the starring of Christopher Lee as Quaid-e-Azam. There was not much of success in those films.

The era under Musharraf gave some hope for the revival of Lollywood in the country due to scripts related to our society. Khuda Kay Liye was produced in 2007, which became a sensational hit in the country. Ramchand Pakistani was produced in 2008 which showed the international collaboration with stars sucg as Nandita Das. This reflected that Lollywood can produce quality scripts based on social issues. Bol and Main Hoon Shahid Afridi were also well recieved by critics and fans alike.

The upcoming releasing of Waar, which is going to be the most anticipated film in Pakistan’s history is sure to revive the industry with its direction and production. Zinda Bhaag, will also promote the industry overseas as it is being considered for an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Foreign Film.

The Pakistani cinemas have been in a topsy-turvy ride since decades. 60s golden era, the decline in the 70s and the revival in 2000s has always been affected by the society of the country. The recent revival of cinemas in Pakistan will surely boost the confidence of film makers and script writers in making films in different genres.

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