Though many talented directors, producers and actors jumped on to the bandwagon which apparently promised a revival of the Pakistani film industry, it seems that the revival rate is certainly not what we expected.
So what are reasons that may be attributed to this slow revival? However, it is important to note here no one single reason can be attributed to it as there are a number of reasons that stand in the way of a fast paced revival of the Pakistan cinema industry.
- First thing first, gone are the days when families especially women and children would go to cinema to watch cinemas. The golden era of the Pakistani cinema which boosted starts like Muhammad Ali, Zeba Begum, Nadeem, Shabnam, Shahid, Babra Shareef, Waheed Murad and many more attracted a large number of spectators to cinemas as families and women were a regular attendance is but long over. Today, women especially from the middle class section of the society cannot even think of venturing to the cinemas. There are several reasons why it is not feasible any more however, the foremost of these is the environment of the cinema halls which is no longer suitable for families especially women.
- A few years in the memory lane and there were drive-ins where families could watch movies in a family friendly environment. However, drive-ins seem to have become a thing of the past and at least in a city like Karachi which has become the hub of both T.V and film industry there is not even a single drive-in.
- Let’s face it film medium is different than the television medium. With the exception of just a few, by and large the present Pakistani movies are being directed by commercial and music video directors and the result is that the final product looks more like a drama than a movie.
- Though some absolutely artistic movies have also been produced in the recent past which were nothing short of a master piece, these failed to resonate with the section of the audiences who go the cinemas. Therefore, any room for artistic creativity and great subjects are nipped in the bird seeing the fate of these movies. No doubt directors and producers refrain from venturing into the artistic ventures once they experience that the crowd who is coming to watch movies has little to no taste for such movies and prefer commercial cinema.
- Then it is also the star value that has a role in pulling the crowd to the movie theatres. The present revival is witnessing the TV stars acting in the movies, which is proving to be of little to no help in pulling the crowds to the cinema. Movies also have star values and star power to them as an important crowd pulling factor and the current revival seems to be lacking in this important aspect of the cinema.
- Then there is this problem that aspiring directors find it difficult to find financers for their ventures and thus the dearth of finances is also stands in the way of revival of cinema in Pakistan.
- Another hindrance which stands in the way of success of the Pakistan movies is the promotion factor. Since the promotion rights is taken by a certain channel as media partners the rest of the channels thus refrain from talking about that movie.
- Similarly, the producers of the movie also complain about not getting adequate returns on their investment even if the movie turns out to be a success.
However, despite of all these factors certain movies have managed to rake in success and make it big with their strong story line and their content.
- Shoaib Mansoor who is known to excel in whatever he does has so far managed to make 2 movies both of which were an astounding success and were watched across the border as well. It is encouraging to note that Shoaib Mansoor is in the process of making another movie which will be released this year. Though both of the Shoaib Mansoor movies dealt with rather controversial subjects, yet there were but success.
- Similarly, the revival of Pakistani cinema has also managed to rope in certain acclaimed Indian actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri. However, this was not one sided as Pakistan TV actors like Mahira Khan and Fawad Khan popularity had managed to cross borders and both these actors were casted in high profile Indian movies.
The Impact of Pakistan India Tension on Pakistan Cinema: Pakistan Cinema Owner’s Stance
Soon after the Pakistani artists and Pakistani content was banned in India ban on the Indian content also followed in Pakistan. TV channels were banned from showing Indian content and the cinema owners followed and thus Indian movies were no longer released in Pakistan movie theatres.
However, the cinema owners soon took a U turn announcing that they would release Indian movies. Though this is highly unacceptable for nation Pakistan whose artists had to face a lot of humiliation in India the cinema owners came up with an excuse.
Elaborating on their point of view they suggested that the number of Pakistani movies which are released in a year are not enough to sustain the cinemas in Pakistan and they have no option but to release Indian movies once again. However, things are not going exactly as the cinema owners had intended and till today certain hindrances stand in the way of release of Indian movies in Pakistan.
It seems that Pakistan cinema still has a long way to go as far as sustaining the cinemas are concerned and if Pakistan is to protect itself from falling prey to Indian culture. Though several Pakistani movies are being released and many are in the pipeline it seems that the revival of the film industry is still in the infancy stage and there is a lot to be desired both in terms of quality and quantity.