Riding the wave of revival


LAHORE:  Director Jarrar Rizvi is gearing up for his latest venture Jab Tak Hain Hum — a film that touches upon terrorism and the security situation in Pakistan. According to Rizvi, shooting for the film is complete and he is eying an Eidul Fitr release.
Undoubtedly, 40 years worth of experience in the film industry has honed Rizvi’s eye for business. After working on numerous commercial films — namely, Agent 009, Jeete Hain Shaan Se, Son of Pakistan and the Pashto hit, Pata Khazana — previously, the director thinks the time is ripe for him to get back into the game. “Talented directors and producers from Karachi are doing some wonderful work and making super hit films. Main Hoon Shahid Afridi and Na Maloom Afraad were both great in terms of direction and story,” he told The Express Tribune. “Change has finally come to the industry; we have enough digital cinemas now. I hope this will be the last year of crisis and Lollywood will emerge stronger by the end of it.”

Rizvi also cited actors Humayun Saeed, Faisal Qureshi and Fizza Ali for showing the world that Pakistan is capable of producing films of an international standard.  “I always prefer good quality work and that is why I decided to work on a mega-budget project such as Jab Tak Hain Hum as it will attract viewers,” he explained. “The cast of the film includes Sana, Shamil Khan, Meera, Babrik Shah, Saroor, Durdana Rahman, Mahar Akhtar and Shafqat Cheema so I hope it will be a good addition to Pakistani entertainment,” added Rizvi.

Jab Tak Hain Hum follows a compelling storyline penned by Tariq Sahli and Ahsan Khan, with music composed by Nazeer Bakhtyar. It revolves around the role played by security forces in society and shows both the army and police officials fulfilling their duties. The film also implores viewers to cooperate with law-enforcement officials, in return for their services. “In the past, I have produced Son of Pakistan, which was also about the services of our security forces. In Jab Tak Hain Hum, I am showing the role they are playing in the current security situation of the country,” revealed Rizvi.

Although he has come to be known for having given stars such as Veena Malik, Meera, Nirma, Ahsan Khan and Faisal Qureshi their big breaks, Rizvi has stuck to experienced actors this time. “I may be famous for introducing new talent to the film world but it is true that the cast members of Jab Tak Hain Hum are all old faces,” said the film-maker, who also launched writers such as Sahli and Suraj Baba. “But this will be the last time. I will be starting work on two more films — Aik Dil Hi To Hai and Tumne Chaha Hi Nahin — soon. Nowadays, I am busy with these new projects, working on their scripts and casting. I will start with them after Jab Tak Hain Hum is released.”

With the upcoming film, Rizvi aims to reverse some of the damage done to Lollywood by “uneducated directors” and their subpar film-making. “Trends have changed and audiences want good quality entertainment. Those old, gangster films are just not acceptable now,” he claimed. “It is tragic that the film industry was struggling ever since the creation of Pakistan and now, decades later, we are starting from scratch again. There is no shortage of talent here but wouldn’t it be better if we focused on heroes instead of gangsters in our films?”