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20 Aug

‘Unproductive’ product placements we could have done without

We love this energetic new wave that Pakistani cinema is riding on these days. This is a wave that has boarded all sorts of diverse subjects, from boxers to bankers, rickshaw-walas to corrupt railway officials and cricketers to con-girls. It’s diverse, it’s promising and though it may still be miles away from its destination, it is getting there slow and steady. In a nutshell, we love films. What we don’t love, however, is the inclusion of unwanted ads in the midst of these films. You thought that ad-breaks were only going to haunt you amidst your favourite TV shows, right? Wrong! One thing regrettable in this new age of cinema is product placement, which is actually as strong as any...
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8 Aug

Manto – the game changer

  The much-awaited biopic on Saadat Hassan Manto will release on September 11, 2015, it was announced at a bustling event.   It was a gathering of literary minds, assembled to witness the first look of Manto the Film, a biopic made on one of South Asia’s most controversial and brilliant writers, Saadat Hassan Manto. Held at the Neuplex Cinemas in Karachi, the event, hosted by GEO with Sarmad Sultan Khoosat (Director), Baber Javed (Producer) and Nadeem Shahid (Writer) was bustling with TV and literary personalities (many of whom make up the stellar cast) from Mohammad Hanif, Nimra Bucha and HM Naqvi to Sania Saeed, Marina Khan, Hina Bayat, Ali Sethi, Meesha Shafi and Savera Nadeem. The film was introduced by director Sarmad...
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6 Aug

Shaan e Pakistan is a very mixed bag

    The highlight of the evening was the baritone presence of Amjad Sabri and when he sang a few lines from “Bhar De Jholi” he brought the house down. Amjad Sabri was, in fact, the strongest element in the Shaan e Pakistan introductory press conference that took place at the Pearl Continental last evening. The fact that Sabri will inaugurate the Shaan e Pakistan gala on September 10 in Delhi with an evening titled ‘Ek Shaam Pakistan Ke Naam’ is very promising. What better way to introduce Pakistan to India (not that the two need an introduction) than through powerful qawalis! The second impressive act was Akhtar Chanal (featured in pic above) who performed his classic Balochi song and dance.   [caption id="attachment_4903" align="aligncenter"...
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5 Aug

A moment with Amjad Sabri

  Where: At the Shaan-e-Pakistan introductory press conference in Karachi   The highlight of the evening was the baritone presence of Amjad Sabri and when he sang a few lines from “Bhar De Jholi” he brought the house down. Amjad Sabri was, in fact, the strongest element in the Shaan e Pakistan introductory press conference that took place at the Pearl Continental this evening. The fact that Sabri will inaugurate the Shaan e Pakistan gala on September 10 in Delhi with an evening titled ‘Ek Shaam Pakistan Ke Naam’ is very promising. What better way to introduce Pakistan to India (not that the two need an introduction) than through powerful qawalis.     "Pakistan and India unite over two thing: nuclear technology and music," Sabri said...
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2 Aug

Karachi Se Lahore: the light side of a challenging journey

  Karachi Se Lahore makes a brave attempt at a film that is driven by humour but stunted by lack of storyline.   As a film, Karachi Se Lahore works because of its humour.   Zaheem (Shahzad Shaikh) is portrayed as a loser of a struggling banker who is dumped by his girlfriend in favour of a secure life with a successful cousin. In an uncharacteristic show of backbone, egged on by his friends Sam (Ahmed Ali) and Moti (Yasir Hussain), he decides to take a trip to Lahore to stop her wedding. The films unravels as the road trip between both cities, in which they are accompanied by their neighbor Mariam (Ayesha Omar) and her brother Zeezu (Aasher Wajahat) whose father’s blue jeep they...
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25 Jul

Shaan on Yalghaar and Patriotism

  “Why do people have a problem with us being patriotic?” - Shaan talks about the upcoming war film, Yalghaar that is scheduled to release later this year.    The first teaser of upcoming war film, Yalghaar, is out and despite the obvious militancy and action it looks slick and well shot. Simply put, it looks like a film made for the large screen – unlike the many smaller films that are defining the new age of cinema in Pakistan – but the question is: is the story-telling just as good? Will Yalghaar entertain or will it be two-and-a-half-hours of cinema that aims to violently provoke nationalism in a sleeping nation?     Shaan with Dr Hassan Raza     “We are a nation at war; we...
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24 Jul

Catching Up with Mahira Khan

   The verdict is in and in the words of Saqib Malik, “Bin Mahira there is no Bin Roye.”   Anyone making an educated guess would have predicted the overwhelming response Mahira Khan was about to receive in the first feature film marking her debut in lead role. Yes, her big screen debut was Bol in 2011 but hers was a small role back then; it was a role that got overshadowed by Khirad in Humsafar and how!   It would be fair to say that Mahira Khan is no longer Humsafar’s tragic heroine Khirad. Mahira Khan is no longer television’s darling. Mahira is now a film star!   Catching her right before she set out for her international premieres, as she stopped to catch her breath...
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19 Jul

A Man for All Reasons

  Humayun Saeed talks about work, women, the scandals that follow him and his upcoming films that will jolt him out of the comfort zone of romantic hero, as seen in Bin Roye.   Humayun Saeed’s house shares an insight to the star he is; at least his den – in the basement of his home in a posh Karachi locale – does just that. You walk down to be welcomed by a wall decorated with awards; that’s a mantle that exhibits his successes as an actor. One room boasts a massive billiards table; it’s a room lined with articles, shoots and features that have celebrated his existence over the years. His lounge, another palatial space decorated in shades of wood with the...
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16 Jul

First Look: Dekh Magar Pyaar Say

Three reasons why the trailer of DMPS leaves us looking forward to the film.    ‘Look, but with Love’, the title literally means. And one can’t help watching the first trailer of the film with interest and affection. It’s a good looking two minutes, featuring what seems like a film revolving around two characters. And while both of them provide a pleasant dose of eye candy, it has to be said that Humaima Malick completely dominates the screen.   DMPS appears to be a film led by a female protagonist, which is quite refreshing. It’s also great for Humaima, who rose to unprecedented heights with her award-winning debut in Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol in 2011. It showed the world that Humaima can act, she has...
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16 Jun

Ho Mann Jahan…in Chitral

At the risk of sounding like a TV Channel, I have to say - with delight - that Asim Raza has shared these fantastic images of a Ho Mann Jahan shoot in Chitral exclusively with us.   Asim Raza with his team of young co-directors   The weather is perfect, crisp and it promises to inspire all of us to head out Up-North when the film releases on Eid ul Azha.   Mahira and Adeel   In what looks like a romantic frolic in wheat fields, you can see Mahira and Adeel in action. The shooting was for the song, "Dil Pagla" by Zebunnisa Bangash, which promises to be a fantastic track.   Love the location!   Please do not steal...
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