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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Son of Pakistan - A break away from Lollywood

LAHORE - A new Lollywood film, by Jarrar Rizvi, was launched on Thursday night at PAF cinema in an event attended by several actors. The film ‘Son of Pakistan’ has been produced by Chaudhry Hameed Alam, and directed by Jarrar Rizvi, while the cast has many Lollywood stars playing different roles including Shamyl Khan, Babrik Shah, Laila, Sana, Meera and Chaudhry Hameed himself. Among one of the heroes was TV actor Bilal Khan, who died last year on August 11, as a result of a Fire Broke out in the hotel situated in Islamabad.

The film is a step away from typical Lollywood practices. For one, the director’s idea of the message was far more open minded and secular than are most of others. In an interview with Pakistan Today he said that he wanted to portray Pakistan in the film as a peaceful and tolerant nation.

“The world is calling us a terrorist nation, and they are wrong,” says Rizvi, who has extensive experience in film making in the Pakistani cinema, and is known to have a unique vision. He said the film industry is suffering more because of the attitude of many of the stars rather than anything else. “It is sad that when India produces a new film, they travel all around the world trying to promote it. Here, unfortunately, they don’t even come to promote their own film, because they are busy doing something else,” he said. “We are not to blame for the films doing badly at the box office; it is not India’s fault on whom many people within the industry conveniently lay the blame. It is our own fault. If India does a Punjabi film and asks our own actress Sana to come, she will readily go, but she won’t have time for our Punjabi film projects,” he said slightly annoyed.

Film actresses, Meera, Sana and Laila were not seen at the red carpet, neither were film stars Babar Ali and Shafqat Cheema. The only actress present was new comer Silla Hussain and Shamyl Khan. Shamyl Khan expressed his happiness at the film’s release to Pakistan Today: “I am sure that the film will do well at the box office and I feel happy and proud to be associated with such a project,” he said.
‘Son of Pakistan’ was also unique in the aspect that it promoted nationalism, rather than radical and volatile Islamism, which goes against India. In fact, Sikhs and Christian characters were shown in the film, and both of whom were protagonists. Rizvi tried his best to depict Pakistan as a hub of religious harmony. Not many would agree, but in a fictional film being produced by Lollywood, which often blames India for everything, and upholds an all-Muslim ideologue, this is original and if this trend catches on, it may push for change among people.

The most important part was that of the militants who live on the Pak-Afghan border, and are the true villains of the film. Abu Zayed (played by Babar Ali) who had the support of the West, Isaac (played by Shafqat Cheema). Also rather than the Pak Army as the tradition and typical heroes, Rizvi has shown ordinary cops to be the heroes. These ‘sons of Pakistan’ were SP Islam played by Chaudhry Hameed, and his brother Hussain played by Shamyl Khan. Of course there is a strong pun intended with regard to their names.
The songs and music of the film were also laudable. Though the film could not do without its typical song and dance routine, the songs were much less erotic and vulgar than for example a Pervaiz Rana film. The shots were much less suggestive, and in fact the music also seemed to be a progression in terms of composition, and arrangement.

Once again, though the camera work was shaky, and in some points in the film the horizon was tilting, it was impressive that almost all the shots were framed very well, with excellent lighting in all areas, indoors and outdoors.

The lighting was smooth and soft, rather than harsh or overly dim.

If there was one area where the film did not make it, it was the script and the screenplay. The script and dialogues were extremely tedious, using long formal words and language, which were overly bookish, and not colloquial enough; many long speeches were not delivered properly by actors, while at one point the film dragged because of being stretched too much. All in all, the film was a commendable effort by Rizvi and his crew at least for a start.

Rizvi is hoping to work on another film with a nationalist twist called ‘Maili Aankh’.

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