Shamoon Abbasi Screen Quake!

I admit that I am not terribly excited about Shamoon’s coming film Gumm. Mostly a new cast and a seemingly bad trailer isn’t too great for a debut film direction. But, at the moment, just put it aside. I want to talk about his powerful picture that may cause a screen quake next year. It’s called Durj, meaning the casket. It is based on true incidents of a group of people living in Punjab and Karachi, who are cannibals.

When the private television took roots in Pakistan, in the 90’s, and new drama serials started to appear on the idiot box, many youngsters came to fore, whose talent and capabilities won applause from the audiences and critics. Some have survived this far, while others are already history. When Shamoon appeared on the screen, he was immediately impressive. Even during his acting days, his utter commitment to the art was inspiring. But, the way he was so enthusiastic about the technical side of the making, showed him to be a person jo aik din bohot aagey jaega. When he launched himself as a private production director, he almost flew off the ceiling! I distinctly remember that he challenged himself even in the beginning with a huge undertaking of directing a story based on a haunting palace.

When the serial was aired (I forget the title), it was awe-inspiring work. The screenplay, the lighting, the camera work, the production values, the special effects, and the direction, all were impressive for a young maker. But, the camera was his obsession, and he did a marvellous job of it. Despite some faults of the script, the serial was liked.

But, I fail to understand what happened to Shamoon after that? Granted that his controversial marriage didn’t work, he suddenly jumped into routine serials like Band Dareechon ke Peeche etc. For such an enterprising chap, it was too long a hibernation period. Were sponsors not forthcoming, or was he busy doing a foreign course of direction? What caused him to stop dead like that? In Waar, he appeared prominent, but again his announcement of Gidh remained just that, despite the release of a teaser!

After watching the trailer of Durj, I believe all that stagnant water will dissipate, and this truthful cinema will be akin to a screen quake that’ll be representative cinema for us, at last. The jhalak proves that the taking is just first class. The camera work is nifty, as one expects from Shamoon. And the appearance of Shamoon takes your breath away! Huge bearded face, blood-shot eyes, the makeup, the whole mood gives you a lot of hope. If we launch into true stories, we’ll soon see, as India came out of its sleep since the 90’s, that only representative cinema is the cinema of the 21st century!