Something Haute catches a few minutes with Mahira Khan on what she expects from the latest sensation, Manto.
SH: Manto is very different from your average feature film. What are your hopes from the film?
Mahira Khan: Okay, let me just digress. I saw Shah and I was like, wow man. When someone likes what the story is, or believes in it, or has a lot of heart in it, it’s amazing that you see it as an audience, I think. That’s what ShahÂ is. You forget that it’s a low budget film and that it may not be as beautiful as the others; you see heart and you feel it on the screen. I hope that even though Manto is technically great and sounds and looks beautiful, people manage to see that it has been made from the heart. Â I mean, there’s always going to be a Manto and there’s always going to be a Shah, but should we only keep making these sort of films? No, I believe if you like a story, you should make it. As a director, it’s very important to believe in the script.
SH: Do you like the direction that cinema is taking in Pakistan?
Mahira Khan: What we’re doing is finding ourselves. There is a whole generation that is inspired by Bollywood because it’s the closest to home. So anything that’s close to home, you inspire to be. Then there’s our old school of cinema, then there are our dramas also. All these people who are inspired by so many different things, and everyone, including actors, directors, producers… they are trying to find their grounding and they will be successful. Should every film be a Shah or a Manto? No, there should be all sorts of cinema.
SH: Do you feel that one should be soft, kind and forgiving, or one should be brutal and honest when appraising these young films?
Mahira Khan: I don’t think anyone should be too soft, but if you’re a film critic, you MUST write a review that you want to. There are reviews that are logical and constructive even when they point out the flaws. And then there are some reviews that are baseless. You see that the journalist is not making any sense but that is world over isn’t it? But no, I don’t think they should be soft. Its okay for them to judge these films and write reviews, but yes let’s not tear them apart. Let’s not be too harsh.
Mahira Khan can be seen in Manto as she features in two of the writer’s popular stories. Tell us what you think!