“As much as I may not like the word, people like masala films so we decided to give them that. We’re adamant on bringing back cinema going culture so whatever makes people pay for the tickets,” says Hareem Farooq.
Having started her career with theatre, actor-producer Hareem Farooq ventured into television and film almost five years ago. Since then, some of her notable projects include Janaan, Parchi, Mein Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka and Diyar-e-Dil. All of them, she shares with co-star Ali Rehman. As Hareem and Imran Raza Kazmi release a video teaser for their upcoming film titled Heer Maan Ja announcing that the duo is partnering up for a fourth project, Instep catches up with the actor to learn more about the film.
The news was bound to raise some eyebrows for going down the predictable pairing route. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously so we thought we’d roast ourselves because we knew we’d get a lot of questions about the casting. The aim was to put those to rest with this video and have fun while at it,” begins Hareem.
She admits that there was a point where both Hareem and Ali thought they’d done one too many projects together but also recognized the comfort that comes from working together for so long.
“Ali and I have different chemistry on and off screen, we are like friends and we take our characters very seriously and play the desired role. The funniest part was when we were deciding on casting, Imran Raza Kazmi won all the votes when he showed us countless messages he receives in a day to cast us together and the fact that people actually want us to be married tells me as an actor that Ali and I have a very strong presence together,” she says.
The film titled Heer Maan Ja is slated to be a “packaged film” says Hareem. “Action, tragedy, romance, which revolves around a Punjabi family. As much as I may not like the word, people like masala films so we decided to give them that. We’re adamant on bringing back cinema going culture so whatever makes people pay for the tickets.”
The director of the movie is Azfar Jafri who previously worked on Janaan and Parchi while the script is written by Owais Korai Baloch.
On what keeps Hareem going back to IRK Films she says, “It is the only production house that has experimented with different genres in filmmaking. Siyaah was a psychological thriller, Janaan was a pukhtoon culture based rom-com, Parchi was an action comedy based on a fictional city Debal where street crime was the major problem and now we are back with a rom-com based on Punjabi culture.”
She reveals that the film will have multiple cameos, including some who haven’t been active in new age cinema. “We were genuinely surprised about some of the people who agreed to come on board and worked around their dates just to accommodate them.” Expanding on her own character, Hareem reveals, “My character Heer is a textile designer with a sweet soul. After a strong character in Parchi as Eman, I’m playing Heer who’s helpless but has a great heart. For an actor to be playing two diversified characters in a very short span of time is an exhilarating experience and I got that with Eman and now Heer - in our latest film.”
The film is scheduled for release on Eid-ul-Azha.