After a very deafening 2017, Pakistani cinema has seen a relatively sedate year.
Pakistan’s film industry quietly pushed out a whopping 21 films. Yep, 21 films. Did you notice?
Here’s a listicle of some of the 2018’s major releases so you can catch up on what you missed:
The cake was a film that deeply impressed its audience with a fresh take on the family drama. It took the melodrama out of a family emergency and instead used the situation to gently probe themes like the aging of parents, friction, and resentment between siblings and love over the class divide.
As expected, in Load Wedding, Nabeel Qureshi and Fiza Ali Meerza picked up a social issue, opened it up and exploited it to its full comedic potential. The film skewers dowry-taking and other damaging marriage-related practices that are prevalent in Pakistan. It entertained us with near-perfect performances by all involved (Fahad Mustafa, Mehwish Hayat, Samina Ahmed, Faiza Hasan.)
The JPNA sequel saw the rambunctious man-boys (Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Ali Butt) reunite in Turkey and their vacation quickly becomes a quest to ‘get the girl’.
Despite this cliched premise, the film is made enjoyable by the lots and lots of LOL moments it offers. The best part? Writer Vasay Chaudhry did display great sensitivity in navigating gender relations in the film, respecting the film’s female characters even though their roles are scant.
Motorcycle Girl had its heart in the right place. Director Adnan Sarwar exacted solid performances from his cast (Sohai Ali Abro, Ali Kazmi, Samina Peerzada, Sarmad Khoosat and more), which helped immerse audiences in this story of a daughter fulfilling her father’s dreaming of traveling through northern Pakistan on his motorbike.
The film touches on important themes like women’s mobility, the pressure to marry, the glass ceiling and even though one feels that the film tried to pack too much in, we left the cinema after a feel-good experience and awe for Zenith Irfan on whose life this film was loosely based.
Parwaaz Hai Junoon
Parwaaz Hai Junoon may have played out like a propaganda film but that doesn’t mean Pakistan didn’t lap it up. With a cast full of well-loved actors like Hamza Ali Abbasi, Ahad Raza Mir, Hania Aamir, Kubra Khan, and Shaz Khan, the film combined nationalism and some of TV’s favorite ingredients (romance, family drama, tragedy) with some very welcome comedy bits thrown in.
We could say there was something in Parwaaz for everyone. Overall, it’s the popularity of the actors that made the film a box office success.
While it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, Donkey King was a daring attempt at satire on the big screen and scored fairly high points in visual appeal, voice acting, and music.
Pinky Memsaab took a gamble with its focus on a relationship that wasn’t romantic. This film refrains from slotting Pinky and her Memsaab in easy-to-digest good/bad categories.
3 Bahadur: Revenge of the Warriors
The final installment of the 3 Bahadur franchise offered its young viewers more action and a stronger message about girl power.
Teefa In Trouble
The Ali Zafar-Maya Ali starrer Teefa in Trouble continues to break barriers for Pakistani cinema. This honor marks a first for a commercial Pakistani blockbuster to be invited to screen at the festival and its producer, co-writer, actor, and star Ali Zafar traveled to China to represent Pakistan.
Which one is your favorite? Share in the comment section below.