Thursday 4 October 2012

'Sher Dil': Kashmiri struggles to be different

04:47 By Lollywood Online

While the aftermath of violent protests on Ishq-e-Rasool day left cinemas in tatters in Karachi, it has inspired one film-maker to take on a project. Known for his films Jo Dar Gaya Woh Mar Gaya, Ghar Kab Aaoge and also for giving Sultan Rahi his first prominent role in Babul, director Iqbal Kashmiri explores the possibility of making a film on this controversial subject.
“The next film I will do will be about the recent incidents and events [riots across Pakistan] which damaged the image of the Holy Prophet (pbuh),” he told The Express Tribune. “The film’s title will beGhulam-e-Mustafa,” he added.
“The events have really inspired me. Currently, I have writers that are working on the script.When it’s done, I will decide how to proceed with the project.”
While he didn’t elaborate on script-details, he isn’t the first director to tackle such a controversial theme. The film International Gorillay, released in the ‘90s in context of The Satanic Verses controversy, portrayed Salman Rushdie as Islam’s main villain. It starred Mustafa Qureshi, Ghulam Mohiuddin and Javed Sheikh as mujahidsstruggling to save Pakistan from Satan’s evil forces. Kashmiri further explained how current events have insulted Muslim sentiments and have served as his source of inspiration to make the film. Other details will be provided once the script is complete, he said.
Project Sher Dil
While the general impression is that Lollywood is nearing its end, members of the industry beg to differ as this year’s third major Lollywood production is set to release this Eid – Iqbal Kashmiri’s Sher Dil. While the veteran director, who had a string of hit films up until the ‘90s, has lately had a bit of a rough patch, his expectations for his upcoming project are high. He hopes to connect with a wider audience via a more modern and non-conventional script.
Steering the conversation to his upcoming film Sher Dil, Kashmiri said that the star-studded cast includes Shaan, Saima, Silla Hussain and Shafqat Cheema. The script, on the other hand, has been written by three different writers which were chosen by Kashmiri, forming the final draft. He then said that it’s not a norm in the industry to use more than one writer but he has even used seven in the past. The story of Sher Dil centres around a modern political set up – two police officers are shown in heroic roles, one female and one male which, in effect, is a rare scenario in Pakistani films.
“I have always tried to be different with every film I have made in the past,” he said. “But my real search is for a good story.” In Sher Dil, Shaan will play the role of a DSP (deputy superintendent police) while Saima dons the role of a female police officer. While Silla Hussain will be seen as a news reporter, the glorified villain, Shafqat Cheema, will step into the role of a corrupt minister with Ahmed Butt as his son. “These characters are connected with the awaam’s voice. Addressing the current situation in the country, the police is shown in a positive light.”
He said that the story is different from the “Gujjar class” of films the audience is used to viewing. “The characters need to have some human sentiments – the thing that matters most is what the individual stands for and this is what the film should provide, no matter how special the story is,” he said. “Whether it’s a romantic hero, an action hero, a brother, a friend or anyone else – they should be characters we come across in everyday life.”
However, while he is excited about the film’s nationwide release, he is also regretful of the current circumstances film-makers are forced to endure – the burning down of cinemas, lack of government support and overall disregard for the film industry. “This has become a norm in the country, whether it’s the general public or anyone else,” he said. “Nothing can be said about whether any change will ever come.”
While the director was a box office attraction in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, he seems to have lost his charm in the recent decade. One hopes that Sher Dil has the magic of his best works.


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