Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pashto Movies: Pollywood industry entertains Peshawarites despite odds

Pashto film industry this time produced five movies as compared to only three flicks last year on the auspices occasion of Eid. A few years ago the Pashto movie-business had gone down the drain owing to many factors including vulgarity, substandard contents, weak storylines, and inappropriate casts bringing a very bad name to representation of pure Pashtun culture on the big screen. Pashto films based on social themes launched in early 70s had heralded a golden era for the industry as senior poets like Ali Haider Joshi a popular folk poet, Amir Hamza Baba a Sufi Pashto proponent poet, his only son Murad Shinwari- song writer/fictionist, Amir Ghulam Sadiq, Ghazi Sial and a few other noted men of letters were associated with the Pashto film industry -pollywood as they called it now who had penned down scripts, scenes and best storylines for the Pashto flicks. Mega stars like Badar Munir, Yasmeen Khan, Asif Khan, Suriya Khan, Baidar Bakht and Jamil Babar became instant households for Pashtuns across the globe. Film Producers, directors, payback singers - Khayal Mohammad, Gulnar Begum, Kishwar Sultan and Mashooq Sultan became trade marks of Pashto movies of which music and storylines were great business strength. Seasoned music directors Rafiq Shinwari, ST Sunny and Rahdat Hussain's music arrangement would drive romantic scenes. There was no miscast, porn dialogue delivery or any substandard stuff on big screen. Cinegoers would throng cinema houses in cities after new runs roll up on the silver screens and even old runs would do better business for years. Most had bagged huge business and has had never encountered a single flop. But then vested interests entered the film scene and plagued the pollywood with obscenity, suggestive dialogues and so called music and forced many to quit Pashto silver screen forever. Of late extremism, CD, cable culture, militancy coupled with philistinism and cinemas razing trend accelerated the process of erosion of cinegoing culture. But everything was not lost. Some individuals took some steps and success came its way, though pollywood still has a long to do list. Despite all odds the Pashto entertainment industry is still rumbling through its thorny track. Shahid Khan noted Pashto film star while talking to the Frontier Post on Wednesday said: "I have received a very encouraging response from cinegoers and this is a sign that Pashto flicks have once again to have good days. Bad Amla and Har dam Khair grabbed run -of the mill response because they are based on social themes. The former is a story of a gambler who gambles out everything and is reduced to a scoundrel thus faces worst consequences of his bad actions while the latter is a romantic subject that we need today to get rid of increasing depression , anxiety caused by violence , corruption and other numerous social problems." He added that Shamaa cinema was screening a Pashto flick for the first time after a long time based on a social theme that has a reformative aspect. It is pertinent to mention that the said cine-theatre has had earlier allegedly a bad reputation for showing clips of porno videos. "I enjoy watching movies on the big screen as it has a unique flavour, this time Pashto flicks are significant by dance choreography and music arrangement. I don't enjoy Pashto movies on CDs because they are loaded with excessive violence and irrelevant dialogues and most often don't have even a distant relationship to our Pashtun culture," commented. Bilal Khan 10th grader hailing from district Kohat. 14 -year old Kamran Khan belonging to district Nowshera while sharing his views said that he had a special taste for watching films on the big screen adding movies and telefilms should not screen violence as he observed it had been casting very bad impression on the minds of the youngsters. "We are fed with guns culture in the movies, I have my personal computer, its music folders are full of such stuffs but being tired of it I drained it out and now plan to upload flicks containing good music and reformative aspect," he maintained. Arbaz Khan told The Frontier Post: "I took courage and instant success came my way I think vulgarity and violence are deemed to doom and never to get victory. Pashtun flick avid now know that violence cannot be their culture. Peace runs through Pashtun's blood. A medley of the strong characterization, action and soothing music tunes are the strengths of my film 'Qasam'." Soon after Eid prayers and enjoying eateries, cine buffs flocked to the different city cine-theatres to watch new Pashto runs. Great rush was witnessed outside cine houses with tight security arrangements. "I feel secure when I enter cinema house as there is proper security, also this time I have brought my children so that they could enjoy watching a big silver screen for which during my school days I used to secretly scale up wall boundary to get to last show of Pashto movie in a city cine-theatre. Pollywood's hey-days could return if good stuff comes on the market," 50-year old Atlas Khan -resident of Chasarada recalled and suggested.

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