After having given Pakistan the script for its most successful film, Punjab Nahi Jaungi (PNJ), the writer talks to Instep about his next project, Kaaf Kangana, for which he is returning to the director’s chair.
There were barely any Pakistani films last year that brought joy. In fact, it was conveniently the weakest year in cinema post-revival. What was even more disappointing was the poignant turnout of seemingly well-crafted films that failed to live up to their potential. Blame the exaggerated promotions or the weak performances, but what really went wrong was the cohesiveness of narratives, and the lack thereof.
We can only hope that 2018 breaks the unlucky streak and brings about entailing change. A promising addition to the plethora of films that are slated to release this year is seasoned writer, Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar’s peculiarly titled Kaaf Kangana. After having given Pakistan the script for its most successful film yet, Punjab Nahi Jaungi (PNJ) last year, he now collaborates with the ISPR. The film will not only be penned by Qamar, but he also takes the director’s chair simultaneously, marking his second cinematic directorial.
A love-triangle of sorts, the film naturally has a patriotic peg to it, but going by Qamar’s previous work, the film will be far from just propaganda. Over a telephonic conversation with Instep, Qamar gave us an insight into the film’s plot.
“I’d say the story is an incomplete love story of 1947, which is likely to be completed in 2018,” he, very philosophically shared. “It’s about people who never met then, during partition, but their offspring(s) meet up now.”
The leading trio comprises Sohai Ali Abro, who has just returned from her two-year-long hiatus and shot for Adnan Sarwar’s Motorcycle Girl; Sami Khan, who was last seen on the silver screen over a decade ago and the Rangreza-famed Ghana Ali. The supporting star cast is perhaps even more exciting as it features veteran actors; Asif Raza Mir, Sajid Hasan, Khursheed Shahid, Shamim Hilali, Saba Faisal and Qavi Khan, along with debutant, Abi Khan and cameo appearances by Vasay Chaudhry and Ahmad Ali Butt.
Speaking of her next outing, Ghana chose to keep her lips sealed when asked about what one may expect, but disclosed that the film will be an amalgamation of genres, bringing raw emotion to celluloid. “After hearing the story, I was surprised since it’s such an out-of-the-box script. When Khalil Sahab writes, it’s nothing short of magical,” she told Instep. “Look at PNJ, and its detailing. He incorporates romance, comedy, conflict and intensity, so it’s always something very diverse when he writes.”
Opening up about working alongside her contemporary peer, Ghana seemed ecstatic to share the screen space with Sohai. “When you work together, as a team, you naturally develop certain camaraderie and become a family. Apart from that I feel Sohai is a great actress, and I’m sure I’ll get to learn from her,” she shared before adding, “We have actors who are known for their acting abilities alone. And Khalil Sahab does justice with his actors; I know he’s somebody who’s very fair with his dealings.”
Though some criticism came Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar’s way with the release of PNJ for having a bit too prolonged a narrative, the seasoned writer promises the ideal cinematic experience with Kaaf Kangana. “I identify myself as a film writer first, and then I became a drama writer. When I wrote Qarz (1997), I received two national and multiple other awards. A film should be a film,” he maintained. “There is a thesis of film that I believe needs to be learnt by everybody. Even when I wrote PNJ, I knew people would come out of the cinemas calling it a ‘film’. It had the important ingredients that are needed.”
Slated to go on floors later this month only, Kaaf Kangana is tentatively scheduled to come out within this year, aiming at a release this fall.