Asim Raza’s Parey Hut Love and Mohammed Ehteshamuddin’s Superstar both came into theatres in New York City and New Jersey around Eid time. The show times in New Jersey were few and far between, and those too at inconvenient times. Promotions for both movies were on the low end and it was more word of mouth marketing amongst the Pakistani community that led to people watching these movies.
I was eager to know what the general consensus, the verdict was on both the films and in an effort to catch some movie goers after the movie, I rushed out, missing some of the end credits, which really is a pity because one wants to stay and read the credits to give the entire movie making team the respect and applause that they deserve.
Here’s what some of the moviegoers had to say about the movies.
Parey Hut Love
“Parey Hut Love was an extremely entertaining movie! My goal to expose my niece and daughter to Pakistani weddings was achieved by watching this movie. I loved the sets, the beautiful clothes, and the good looking actors. I know of Maya Ali and Mahira Khan from the dramas and it was fun to watch them in a theatre. The story was a bit weak but that’s the expectation we came with, so there was no disappointment.”
– Naila Siddique, Operations analyst in NJ, originally from Bangladesh.
Parey Hut Love was her first Pakistani movie ever. She enjoys Pakistani dramas; Sadqay Tumharay being one of her favourites. “Being a big supporter of Pakistani movies, I encouraged my friend to come and watch Parey Hut Love with me. I really enjoyed the sets, the lovely clothes, the songs and the dances. Maya Ali’s acting was good.”
– Tahira, originally from Lahore, owner of Tahira Beauty Salon in New Jersey
“Colorful movie! Sets, clothes, songs, and dances were all full of color and very enjoyable to watch. All of that made up for the lack of story. I didn’t like to see Pakistanis drinking alcohol.”
– Nabila Gull, Clinical
Coordinator, New Jersey
The show times for this movie in a central New Jersey theatre were 3 pm and 9.30 pm on a weeknight and the movie was not being played on the weekend. It was surprising to see even 50 people in the theatre for the 9.30 pm show on a Tuesday night.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to chat with a friendly family who had driven almost an hour from Staten Island in New York to watch Superstar. Their sister visiting from California had expressed her interest in watching the movie and they had trekked up to New Jersey for it.
Here’s what they had to say:
“Superstar was a very good movie and the acting seemed natural. It had a lot of entertainment value and was family oriented. It was refreshing to see Pakistanis speaking softly and for a change we were not embarrassed by the loud volume of Pakistani actors. Great caste, and good costumes. It was more of a movie and not like a drama unlike some other Pakistani movies that we have seen”
– Naveen Hadi,
originally from Lucknow in India
“Being a Raees fan and having seen Mahira Khan in that, I wanted to see Superstar when I heard Mahira Khan was in this as well. It was a movie and a stage show in one and that was unique. At times I felt like I was watching a Broadway Show and not a movie and that was an interesting, and entertaining experience.”
– Sunny Hadi,
office worker in New York City, originally from Lucknow, India
“It was a fun movie and one of the things that made my trip from California memorable. Watching a Pakistani movie, and that too an entertaining one with my family in New Jersey has been a great experience. I enjoyed the acting, the story, and the songs a lot.”
– Nasreen Ali, Director in Freemont,
“I’m all for supporting Pakistani cinema, and try to catch the first show on the first day wherever I may be! Superstar sadly didn’t come up to par with my expectations. It lacked a good script. However, credit needs to be given where it’s due – Mahira Khan’s and Bilal Ashraf’s acting was commendable and they performed their best. I loved all the songs! Hoping for Pakistani movies to do better from the feedback they receive.”
– Tabinda Atif, a Pakistani movie supporter visiting from Saudi Arabia
All in all, watching the movies in theatres in New Jersey was a source of pride for the South East Asian community overall. Regardless of their affinity with their countries in Asia, it’s clear that people are starved for good entertainment that is reminiscent of their backgrounds and cultures. It was rather lovely to talk to people from Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. Movies are boundary agnostic after all.
My favorite part was when people clapped during the movies! Definitely took me down a lovely memory lane.
Superstar got applauded at intermission, at the beginning of Atif Aslam’s song and at the point when Mahira Khan is stepping into her vanity.
Parey Hut Love got applause at the beginning of the very catchy song ‘Haye Dil Bichara’ sung by Jimmy Khan, a whistle or two was heard when Meera appeared in the song, and, at Mahira Khan’s appearance and dance to the melodious tune of ‘Morey Saiyan’ sung beautifully by Zeb Bangash.
We wish Pakistan good luck in all the movies that are being shot for the coming year.
– Eemaan Siddiqi is a new Jersey based free lance writer who works at Princeton University where she leads the software technology. team.
She loves to read, write, cook, and travel with her husband and three wonderful kids.
Eemaan can be contacted on: [email protected]