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23 Mar

Does ‘Cake’ want to be a commercial success like ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi?’

box office

With the success of film Punjab Nahi Jaungi marking a new record of box office collections in Pakistan, it has given filmmakers a fool-proof list of ingredients to make their films successful. However, unlike some, there are films – and filmmakers – who have chosen a separate path to tell their narratives. One such example is the upcoming film Cake, which does away with dance and song as the centre of its narrative.

Can it also look at the box office with the same glimmer of hope?

“We hope the film will have the same type of impact on the audiences,” Asim Abbasi, the director of Cake said about the film, comparing it to PNJ’s impact. “We want it to succeed. We want it to be something that paves the way for me personally along with a lot of other directors who want to make a lot of different things but are too afraid to do it and end up making commercial films.”

Cake, which explores drama within a contemporary family has set out to differentiate itself from films such as PNJ from the get-go. To an extent, the concept has remained simple – there will be no ‘dancing around the trees’ montages in the film.

“My thinking is, if not us then who?” Asim questioned. “We’re a small industry, the legacy that we create is going to hopefully hold some meaning in 5-10 years’ time. I’m hoping that when people look back at the history of Pakistani cinema, Cake would be an important point in that, irrespective of what happens in the next six months at the box office.”

Aamina Sheikh, who stars alongside Sanam Saeed as the elder sibling in the sister-act, also feels that apart from just box office collections, many films don’t look at the impact they have on the audience.

“I think that maybe a lot of these films don’t look at what they are giving back,” Aamina said.  “Cake, in its intention, has that knitted into the craft of the way the film has been made, because this is the kind of the film that we can use in our film schools as a case study – in every department. You can’t say that about your ‘Wrong Numbers’ and ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungis’ – you can to some extent maybe, but not really.”

Starring Adnan Malik, Sanam Saeed, and Aamina Sheikh in lead roles, Cake is all set to release on March 30th in Pakistan.

Shahjehan Saleem

The author is Deputy Editor at Something Haute as well as a professor in the Media Sciences department at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.