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August 3, 2019

Films to be screened on Eidul Azha


August 3, 2019

Islamabad: As these lines go to the press, three Urdu films, subject to censor, are scheduled for Eid. The season of six or seven films on Eids from the past, now rests in peace. There were 700 screens in 1977, now reduced to around 200.

With this dismal figure, compensation comes with increase of daily shows from three to at times as many as six or more. There is more. It used to be fixed film for fixed cinema. Now a single screen runs more than one title each day and the shifting goes on. With the coming of digital age, and sadly, going away of Analog (35 mm) into part of film history, the screening patterns too have drastically changed- for better or worst.

Leaving lengthy introduction of theatrical screening pattern aside, the three Eid films are different, yet similar not just in content but as well as in production design and presentation.

Geo Films/IRK Films/Arif Lakhani Film Heer Maan Ja is a romantic comedy with Ali Rehman Khan and Hareem Farooq in leads, supported by Faizan Shaikh and Mojiz Hasan. Directed by Azfar Jafri (Parchi, Sherdil), Heer Mann Ja pretty much depends on its comic acts by the male lead Ali Rehman and his supporters, her runaway bride, along with musical numbers. It all begins on campus. Mehndi and Wedding musical numbers, with dozens of extras, do call for high-budget production effects and all of them here look impressive. None of this of course is part of the content and comes for glamour and gloss- a box office necessity now. Few hits and kicks have been added where Ali Rehman is seen with cuts and bruises as part of box office masalla. Nothing serious to worry about. Heer Maan Ja with good music should do well.

ARY Films Parey Hut Love is scripted by Imran Aslam, inspired (or ripped off) from Hollywood's Four Weddings and a Funeral. Directed by Asim Raza (Ho Mann Jahaan) who has vast experience in TV commercials and music videos, the film should bring a slick look on screen. Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali are seen in leads with Ahmad Ali Butt and Nadeem in supporting roles. Mahira Khan appears in glossy and glamour guest appearance.

From guest appearance to rich and main leading role, Mahira Khan would now be seen in Superstar, directed by Ehteshamuddin. Bilal Ashraf is our hero here, exposing both his cute looks and his body (read shirtless). This is all about the rise and fall of a celebrity .The glory, the prestige and the sacrifice. Director Ehteshamuddin with vast experience in direction, editing, scripting and acting, brings all that on screen with rich production effects, choreography, brisk editing, and above all, strong and dramatic performance by Mahira Khan.

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