Will 2017 turn out to be a better year for Pakistani films or will local cinema sink even further than it did in 2016? Here’s an overview of all the films scheduled to release in 2017 (which does not certify that they actually will) that should help us evaluate what the year will actually be like…
January – Thora Jee Le
The first film to kick start the year in Pakistan will be Thora Jee Le (January 20), a coming of age film for a director who wants it to be the new beginning of Pakistani films. Rafay Rashdi’s claim to fame is that he is the son of veteran TV personality Mehtab Akbar Rashdi (who also provides the voice-over of the trailer) and he has made the film with newcomers who haven’t done much on TV either. It does look like a film from the camp of Karan Johar (story wise) and one hopes it does well so that the youth can relate to it.
February – Balu Mahi
Balu Mahi (February 10) seems like another ‘Made as Bollywood’ flick in Pakistan; the love triangle and the runaway bride have been tried and tested subjects in Bollywood (and last year in Ishq Positive as well) yet the fresh feel, the grand cinematography and the excellent chemistry between the lead Osman Khalid Butt and Ainy Jaffri just might click with the audience. We’re hopeful of this one.
February – Raasta
No fresh Bollywood film has been screened in Pakistan since September and when that happens, you get films with Sahir Lodhi as the leading man. His Raasta (February 24) is all set to clear his path towards filmdom because he acts, writes, directs, co-produces and does everything else in the movie that has a newcomer as his love interest and follows ‘Gerua’ as the blueprint for success. We don’t expect much from this flick and that can be the secret ingredient the director is banking on for success!
Films with unconfirmed releases dates
That’s most of them! As always, there are many films in production phase but not too many have a confirmed date of released yet.
There is writer-turned-director Mohsin Ali’s Chupan Chupai where Ahsan Khan returns to Urdu films as a leading man after more than a decade (Sultanat not counted) and romances TV actress Neelam Munir. Veteran actress Sakina Samo will make a return to films (she acted in Siyasat and Ruby in mid 80s) while upcoming TV actor Faizan Khawaja will appear in a film for the first time through this movie. According to the director, the film is all set to hit the screens on Eid ul Azha and one hopes that it turns out to be true this time around.
Then there are a few flicks that might get completed and released this year such as director Hassan Waqas Rana’s Yalghaar and Shaan Shahid’s Arth 2 and Zarrar, Shahid Shafaat’s Jhol (formerly Two Plus Two), Moammer Rana’s directorial venture Sikandar, Mateela Films’ Gardaab, Rehan Sheikh’s Azaad, Rabi Peerzada’s Shor Sharaba and Syed Noor’s Bhai Wanted. Most of these films were expected to release during the last 12 months but the sudden decline in cinema-going might be one of the reasons why the producers didn’t go for a release.
Did you know that TV anchor Kamran Shahid is actually the son of Shahid Hameed, the yesteryear film actor? Well, he is following his father’s footsteps by directing and producing a film The Trial, which also has a filmi cast featuring Mikaal Zulfiqar, Sadia Khan and Shamoon Abbasi. Then there is Jawed Sheikh’s Wujood that features Kubra Khan and Danish Taimoor, Shoaib Mansoor’s Verna (Mahira Khan’s first film after Ho Mann Jahaan), Haseeb Hasan’s Air Force movie Parwaaz Hai Junoon having Hamza Ali Abbasi and Osman Khalid Butt as leading men, Irfan Malik’s Azaadi with Moammer Rana and Soniya Hussain, Amin Iqbal’s Rehbra featuring Ahsan Khan and Ayesha Omar, the Pak-China friendship flick Chalay Thay Saath and Yasir Nawaz’s Mehrunisa V Lub U through which renowned Bollywood lyricist Gulzar makes his debut on this side of the Wagah.
Humayun Saeed and Nadeem Baig – the team behind Jawani Phir Nahi Aani – will be back with Punjab Nahi Jaungi that also features Mehwish Hayat and Ahmed Ali Butt. The flick is being shot currently and has been penned by the legendary Khalil ur Rehman Qamar; the movie will be on screen hopefully on one of the Eids. Humayun Saeed and Sheheryar Munawwar will appear on screen as super heroes when Project Ghazi is released later in the year; this flick will be the second film involving a super hero (after Shanee in 1989).
Amir Mohiuddin’s Rangreza (featuring Bilal Ashraf, Urwa Farhan née Hocane and Gohar Rasheed) has been under development for some time now and if all goes well, it might also see the light of the day. Shoaib Khan’s Jackpot also introduces Noor Hasan to the cinema but the film doesn’t have a release date like Saleem Murad’s creepily named Pyar Ki FIR, which might or might not appeal to the audience, considering they don’t have any love for the police.
Until next year then!