After waiting several minutes for the cast of Parchi to arrive for our interview, I was finally introduced to the actors and their camaraderie when Ali Rehman Khan entered the room uttering profanities (rightfully so; apparently the cast had some car trouble on the way). Ahmed Ali and newcomer Mojiz Hasan quietly, and more modestly, entered the conversation.
Eventually, Hareem Farooq and Usman Mukhtar also joined in and we began to discuss their upcoming film at lengths. “One thing we learned from Janaan, which we made sure not to do this time, was that it’s impossible to shoot a music video in just one day. It’s too stressful, there’s a lot that needs to be done and a day is simply not enough,” revealed Hareem, the lead star and co-producer of Parchi. The team took three days to shoot songs this time.
One thing that Usman Mukhtar learned this time around was that it’s very difficult to be the actor AND the Director of Photography of the same film. “I would never do it again. I was probably the most negative person on set because I was so stressed out all the time. Even I would be in a scene, my mind would be elsewhere and I would be thinking about the lights.”
But the most interesting statement was made by newcomer Mojiz Hasan, who is so comedic in real life that we’re actually excited to see how funny he can be on the big screen. “I’ve decided that on the day of the premiere, I’m just going to sit out and eat popcorn while the movie is playing out. I don’t even want to watch the movie,” he joked. Ali and Ahmed immediately agreed with him. “I just don’t watch to see myself on the big screen,” he elaborated.
Why wouldn’t an actor want to watch his own film after dedicating several months of hard work to a project? Don’t they want to see how it all comes together? “No actor in his right mind would see his own work and say ‘wow, that’s amazing.’ Every time I look at Janaan, I’m like, I could have done better. This is an actor’s internal conflict and it never really goes away,” said Ali Rehman.
Perhaps Ahmed Ali explained it the best. “Haven’t you ever heard your own recording on the phone or something and thought ‘Man, I sound terrible.’?”
Hareem assured that this discomfort is more about acting skills then the way the actors look on screen. “You have to trust your director and cinematographer to make you look good, plus looks aren’t the biggest concern for any serious actor. I’m always thinking that I could have made a better expression or sounded a little different in a certain scenario,” she added.
The Parchi team is filled with such serious actors who care about more than just looks and fame. Most of them have theatre and filmmaking backgrounds so for them, their craft is bigger than themselves. Hopefully, the film will also reflect their passion for films.
Parchi releases on January 5th, 2018, making it the first Pakistan film release of the new year.