• 27 April 2022
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Should We Support Our Local Film Industry?

Should We Support Our Local Film Industry?

There used to be a time not too long ago when the cinemas in Bombay (now Mumbai) used to screen Pakistani films. The number of cinemas in Karachi alone was around 105. Actors like Waheed Murad was a popular actor not just in Pakistan, but in the whole of South Asia as well. Well-known singer Lata Mangeshkar was starting her legendary singing career by taking singing lessons from the great Madam Noor Jehan. But sadly, the situation is so dire, that our local producers, in the name of patriotism are begging Pakistanis to watch their films and support local cinema.

Recently in the Eid season of 2022 five Pakistani films were released, Dum Mastam, Parde Mai Rehne Do, Ghabrana Nahi Hai, Chakkar, and Tere Bajre Di Raakhi. Along with those films, the Hollywood blockbuster “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was also released in Pakistan. Doctor Strange easily beat out its local competition by getting a larger chunk of the Pakistani box office and the local films flopped badly commercially.

In my humble opinion, the reason all five of these flopped badly is because of these three letters: Content is King. If you sell good stuff even on the outskirts of the jungle, then the public will come to buy it. Examples like the Korean language “Squid Game”, Spanish Language “Money Heist”, Turkish language “Ertugrul” and Tamil language films like “KGF part 1 and 2”, “Baahubali part 1 and 2”, “Pushpa” and “RRR” are being watched in Pakistan with great zeal and enthusiasm. The reason for their success: is good content, no matter in which language you make the film, it will be watched if your content is of top quality. It doesn’t if you can’t understand the language, they are dubbed in their local language or the use of subtitles has also become very popular.

South Indian films are getting so popular in India that Bollywood is slowly dying due to a lack of quality content South Indians are producing hit by hit with every movie, and our local producers are forcing us to watch lame Pakistani movies in the name of patriotism. Even if our story makes no sense, no one is understanding what is happening in the movie, even if it’s a two-hour-long boring movie, cheap slapstick is being shown to us in the name of comedy, but still, we should watch it. Why? Because it’s made in Pakistan. Why should we watch these boring movies? A cinema ticket costs us around Rs 900, popcorn and drinks cost around Rs 500-600, as long as the popcorn is around, we can bear to watch the movie, as soon as the popcorn finishes, the film becomes unbearable and people leave the cinema. It’s no longer the 60s or 70s where you can force someone to do something. This is the era of globalism.

If that is the case, then we should also talk to the YouTube team to ban Indian channels in Pakistan so that the local YouTube content creators could grow. So the thing is this, even if your film is in Pashto language, Punjabi language, Saraiki Language, or Balochi Language, as long as your story is solid, it could be translated into your local language and the whole of Pakistan would watch it, not only in Pakistan, the whole world could watch it.

For the past twenty years, we are still hearing things like “revival of films in Pakistan” but it’s not happening. 90% of films are flops and then we are blamed that we do not want to watch local cinema, and it’s not like we haven’t made good films in the past two decades, we should make films like Laal Kabootar, Teefa in Trouble, Actor-in-Law, Namaloom Afraad, Khuda Ke Liye and Bol.

I do agree with one thing that the local producers have said when films like Maalik and Javed Iqbal are made, the censor board places a ban on them, which is quite unjust.

In the end, even if we place a ban on Hollywood films as we have done on Bollywood films, still the public won’t watch your local movies, because Content is King.

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