The ‘Shaan theory’ for Punjabi films

Shaan is to Pakistan film industry, what Leonardo DiCaprio or Brad Pitt is to Hollywood. When someone is regarded this big somewhere, you expect him or her to be smart, logical and sort of game changer.

Shaan too carries a bunch of his own logic, when he speaks he seems to be a smart guy and Khuda kay Liye or Waar are (or going to be) two of his game changing projects in the industry. Considered to be the only superstar in Pakistan film industry, Shaan at the same time disappoints many when he talks about Punjabi films.

According to the actor, the two big reasons he is still part of the Punjabi cinema are, first, that he cares too much about the other daily waged people who are attached with this business and secondly, the rural-beings of this country, where a man works 14 hours a day at his crop field, having no or very little knowledge and interest for films like The Avengers or Transformers; when at the end of his day seeks entertainment and relaxation, prefers these Punjabi films as they are intellectually more close to them, making him part of the biggest market for industry as a whole.

In my opinion, when Shaan talks about the non-cast lives attached to a film, he forgets two things, first the simple fact that it is not necessary that these non-cast people would only survive when substandard Punjabi films will be made, they just need work that could be either in form of Khuda Kay Liye or Budha Gujjar. Secondly, Shaan also forgets about the power and influence he holds, he can easily use his influence to urge filmmakers to start producing films with certain standards if they want him to be part of the cast, one certainly can’t ignore the face value Shaan holds in any kind of film market (rural or urban) in the country and filmmakers would surely bend themselves for this.

A good move in this regard was seen when Shaan announced his retirement from the industry due to the substandard work prevailing day by day there. It was already understood that Shaan can’t just take retirement this way and will surely comeback, but this time hopefully with more quality projects. God knows how many would have had been forced to bend down and start improving their work quality by this action of the superstar, but Shaan couldn’t hold it long and denounced his retirement statement soon, and we still receive numerous reports about him signing one after another those films on daily basis.

The second justification presented by Shaan is that the rural class of the country or specifically of Punjab province holds the biggest market for industry and cannot be just ignored as it would be financially not feasible for the already dying film-making industry.

Well, just a very simple question arises in my mind after hearing such a comment. If Punjabi films hold the biggest market for industry and its financially not feasible for our industry people to try bring more quality to work as the rural class of the country would no longer be able to relate to it, then ‘what sorcery makes films like Mujhey Chaand Chahiye, Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa, Khuda Kay Liye and Bol financially the most successful films of all the time in Pakistan’?

The argument here is not about whether one should support or work in Punjabi cinema or not, but is actually about bringing quality to our films as a whole. A big change in this regard would come only when people having influence in industry would tighten themselves up and take a strong stance against it.

Fact to be analysed is that rural-to-urban migration is on its highest point and will increase further in future times, market for high quality Indian and Hollywood films is tend to increase with this rapid urbanization, and if no serious measures are taken now, it might leave the local industry with nothing.

Syed Noor very rightly says that people have tuned their eyes according to the visual and sound quality they experience in multiplexes, the answer to this is not by banning and stealing this high quality entertainment from people but to compete with it by bringing yourself at par with it. And ‘At par’ here does not mean at all to produce a film with mammoth budgets, that is neither possible nor feasible in Pakistan — at least in today’s time– but it actually means at least produce something on the standards set by films like Yeh Dil Aapka Huwa, Ramchand Pakistani and Bol.

Note: The opinion(s) and views presented by the writer in this article do not necessarily depict the views and policies of Galaxy Lollywood as an independent site/blog. The article was written by the writer in order to present his own view-point.

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Just your average writer/editor based in Karachi, who has the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) to use commas (Oxford Commas, especially), and edit the heck out of editable pieces. Also, love movies, TV shows more than the movies, and books over everything else. If you find editorial mistakes or have any other feedback over the content of the website, I would appreciate if you email me at: aayanmughal@gmail.com

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