The actor talks to Instep about his upcoming film, Parchi, and his take on cinema.
After making a mark with popular drama serial Diyar-e-Dil in 2015 and delivering a remarkable performance in movie Janaan, last year, Ali Rehman Khan returns to the big screen with Parchi, releasing on January 5, 2018.
Rehman was associated with theatre since 2004 and then transitioned to the silver screen in 2013 with his drama serial Rishtay Kuch Adhooray Se alongside Sohai Ali Abro. According to Rehman, he misses being on the stage performing live in front of the audience. “Every time I watch a theatrical play I feel like getting back on stage in a heartbeat,” he says.
Coming back to his upcoming cinematic venture, Parchi, the actor is currently busy promoting the film. In an interview with Instep he talks about his role, his take on Pakistani cinema and much more. Here are excerpts from our conversation with him...
Instep: What is your stance on the promotion spell that has now become a norm?
Ali Rehman Khan: I think promotions are crucial to put the film and cast out there. We have been promoting our movie and receiving great reviews. Basically, through promotions you are reaching out to the people directly. In my opinion, it is very useful when you are in direct contact with your audience. You can tell them why it is a good idea to come and watch the movie.
Instep: In Parchi Hareem Farooq plays a strong character and is the only female lead. Did you have any reservations while signing up for the project?
A.R.K: I had no reservations. I am very happy that this movie has such a strong female character. But I would also like to add that everybody has an equal part to play in the film. Hareem Farooq plays an important role in shaping the story later on. I would say that the movie has strong male and female characters. I won’t label it as female or male centric movie. Farooq doesn’t play a ‘damsel in distress’ kind of role - she’s in charge of her own life where she makes her own decisions. I am excited to play a part in a movie where the female character is so daring and strong.
Instep: Tell us about your character in Parchi?
A.R.K: I am playing the character of Bash. The whole plot revolves around him. He is a very street smart guy who has spent most of his life on the streets. He had to fend for himself for a very long time and has his own way of getting things done. Bash is a little bit selfish and gets himself into trouble most of the times. But because he is a quick thinker, he manages to get himself out of the predicaments as well. He is also this ‘khuddar’ type where he doesn’t want to let people know that he is in trouble. He doesn’t want to ask people for help because he thinks it is his problem and he should try to solve it himself. Well, you will have to watch the movie to find out more about Bash.
Instep: You were associated with the UN; tell us something about that?
A.R.K: I quit my UN jobs almost 5 months ago and now I am concentrating on my acting career.
Instep: You recently gave a statement that ‘It is the sensitive nature of our audiences, lack of acceptance that is holding our industry back.’ How do you think we can make the situation better?
A.R.K: Actually this statement was taken a little out of context. I meant that our audience is very sensitive and at the same time they are mature and intelligent. Our audience needs to be given benefit of the doubt, as they have all the right to decide what’s worth watching. Our audience is used to watching typical commercial ‘masala’ movies. If they are spending money to watch a two-hour movie in the cinema, they want to be entertained. And that is why serious subjects are not as appreciated as they should be. I believe that our viewers need to get used to the fact that we have a lot of hard-hitting stories to tell through movies; we just need to make them right. And hopefully this trend will change with time.
Cinema at large is moving very fast and it is improving rapidly. Our industry is still in its initial stages and we are observing and learning in terms of direction, script writing, acting and production.
Instep: Anything you want to say to the viewers about Parchi and why they should come to watch it?
A.R.K: Parchi is a full-fledged entertainer - a gangster movie and a comedy of errors that highlights the ‘parchi system’ prevalent in our country. It is a situational comedy where we have introduced 14 new faces, who are all theatre actors. I think acting is consistent in every role. In short, it has a powerful female character, a social message, amazing comic elements, great songs and dances to look forward to.