The past ten years can be considered a journey in the revival of Pakistani cinema. In 2018 we can say that the journey has culminated and Pakistan is in a place where we’re producing some noteworthy films. This Eid alone there are four films coming out, from a romantic comedy to a thriller and an action film. In this space, it’s heartening to know that veteran actors from television such as Mehmood Aslam are also returning to the the silver screen after decades.
The upcoming Teefa in Trouble will see him playing the character of “Butt Sahab” after 28 years of a hiatus from films. We asked him why he chose to wait almost three decades before taking up a film. “I started being offered films in ‘88 after Waqt but the truth is that I learnt a lot from TV. When I moved to film, the directors were not great at the time and neither were the scripts,” Aslam told Instep. “There were mostly formula films so I decided to respectfully stick to TV. Although, I was being offered them I didn’t want to go down that road.”
He changed his mind when Ahsan Rahim, director of Teefa in Trouble came to his house and told him about the film. “I felt that if I don’t work in the revival of our cinema it would be my loss and it’s our duty to do it as veteran actors,” he claimed.
The role he is essaying is of Butt Sahab; a Punjabi food loving, family man; a man to be feared and revered! “The character was right up my alley because I am Punjabi and I knew it would be a good production when I heard of the people involved.”
Directed by Ahsan Rahim, the film also features Ali Zafar in the titular role as well as Maya Ali as the leading lady, Javed Sheikh, Faisal Qureshi, Fia Khan and emerging actor Mahenur Haider. Ali Zafar also talked about what an honour it is for the team that Mehmood Aslam, an actor with experience, decided to return to films with theirs.
Aslam shared that he’s been working for 39 years since ‘77 and has done many negative, positive and comedic roles, most prominent of them being Bulbulay which he did for 8 years. “For 8 years, people thought I was a comedian but I’m an actor who is versatile. The Khaani director, Anjum Shahzad, recognized my potential for the serious role with my past characters and thought that I’d be well suited to it. For the politician’s role, the producer and director gave me a lot of paraphernalia to work with and it was a big budget production. I feel that helping the actor come into a role that way really helps the acting experience and the impact is visible to the audiences.”
He will be seen in Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar’s Kaaf Kangana next; a love story between an Indian girl and a Pakistani boy. Aslam will be playing the role of Rathor Sb, a father and RAW agent which he is looking forward to being on the big screen.