Cinema 2018 The Issues!

It’s more than sixty days before we know if our notable film, Cake will have a nomination at the Oscars or not! The film was, reportedly, liked by the academy jury, screened in Los Angeles. So, if this comes about, Cake will be the first Pakistani feature film just to get nominated at the Oscars.

I had, earlier, written that the success of Cake was the biggest showbiz news in 2018, because it was the first creative film of the new cinema brigade. I keep to my views, as it is, almost into the wintry air of the third week of the last month of this year. The issue, discussing the review of cinema 2018, looks very pertinent, as we are continuously making hit domestic drama serials, appreciated commercially and artistically across the border too, and yet, percentage-wise, we fail miserably at the silver screen, with all the domestic drama we can cook up. The only man to succeed at this level on the big purdah, is Humayun Saeed, with big earners like Bin Roey and Main Punjab Naheen Jaungi (PNJ)! Of course, Fasih Bari’s cute fun vehicle, Saat Din Mohabbat In was a great domestic fantasy, and the character-plotting had a lot to do in its triumph at the ticket window! That surely gives you an idea on how to adopt a 30-minute comedy plot to the big screen.

Cake, brilliantly proves the point that a great domestic tale can win accolades on the big screen, too. You can see how Aamir Khan’s production created such an engaging domestic plot, and made it work as a top hit, late last year, titled Secret Superstar! If you have an issue close to people’s heart, you can really create a powerful movie out of it. Well, since Oscars of 2019 have had some problems picking the hosts till now, the Awards could end up being presented early in March, or even later. So, just sit back and wait, folks!

This year, without doubt, our cinema earned in trawlers full! It’s been a really great year for cinema. Humayun’s films earned big, as usual, but Ali Zafar came in as one super entry, not only entertaining, but also looking like a genuine investor in local cinema. Then came Donkey King, exceeding 20 crore, late 2018, and immediately followed by Chinoy’s Teen Bahadur, which could make another big packet! Now, our Airforce movie, Parwaz Hai Junoon had a field day in UAE. And though Sheikh’s Wajood, and Momy’s Azadi earned middle of the road, our issue-oriented Load Wedding did quite well, despite the message part being only flaunted in the last ten minutes.

Talking of XX, I’d say I truly liked Mehwish Hayat and Fahad Mustafa together. They looked even better than their first film together, Actor-in-Law. Mehwish, who looked too high and mighty in PNJ, looked heavenly in some classy eastern colour combination here. Similarly, Fahad fitted the boy-next-door persona.

Granted we are advancing commercially, we need issues now. Some good scripts need to come in the next year. We can’t have halla gulla films all year round. You saw what happened to Na Band Na Barati, Jackpot, Shore Sharaba etc. You’ll be expected to slot in solid, serious scenarios on the silver screen, too. We are not out of the woods yet, as some senior film people have come out last week. They feel the industry as a whole is in loss, this year, even if top 10 films have scored individually. So, if we aren’t able to produce fifty to seventy films a year, the film companies and institutions will not prosper as a whole. But, they also admitted that the cinemas aren’t taking their films, basically Lollywood films, and that’s why they are suffering. Now, that’s a different issue altogether.