It is a clash of the titans as four mega budget Pakistani films (7 Din Mohabbat In, Azaadi, Na Band Na Baraati, and Wajood) are all set to battle it out at the box office this Eid-ul-Fitr. Interestingly, they are not the only players, as three Hollywood biggies(Hereditary, Jurassic World, and Ocean’s 8) will also be joining the party which takes the total number of new films coming out this Eid to seven.
Galaxy Lollywood’s Momin Ali Munshi met up with the cast of all four Pakistani releases to know more about the films, discuss release date strategies and to find out what all was keeping the actors on their toes.
Here is our fourth, and the last interview of the series, where we talked to the cast of Wajood, a film which marks the directorial comeback of Jawed Sheikh after a hiatus of nearly a decade. Starring Danish Taimoor alongside newbies Saeeda Imtiaz, and Aditi Singh the film has been shot on an extravagant scale which is visible from the promos which not only make the film look grand but give it a filmy feel. But while the film has been praised for its cinematic qualities the same cannot be said about the dialogues and the script which look a bit cheesy. We talked to the cast and asked them about this and more. Here are excerpts from the conversation
Jawed Sheikh is making a comeback as a director after a good nine, ten years. In the last few years, a lot of our veteran directors like Syed Noor etc. have tried making comebacks but couldn’t succeed because of the old school Lollywood feel they brought along with their films. With Wajood, do you think Jawed sir will be able to conquer on this front?
Saeeda Imtiaz: Hopefully, Insh’Allah why not! Aap dekhain app ko kya lagta hai?
Danish Taimoor: How did you find the trailer?
Aditi Singh: Did it seem old school to you?
If we are talking about the visuals, the film looks fantastic but if we bring into discussion the dialogues they are a bit too melodramatic. Wouldn’t you agree?
Aditi: Right now maybe you are feeling that because you’ve just seen the trailer and you’re probably just thinking they have randomly been put in the film, but when you watch the film you will understand the real meaning of the dialogue.
Danish: Momin, I have done four to five films now and I think dialogues for a film should actually be a bit more like the ones in our film. I feel this is something our industry currently lacks. We make films for multiplexes but the thing is when I personally went to visit single screen cinemas to see the reactions and jahan bhi koi aik aisa dialogue hota tha na wahan clapping aati thi and people would go like kya dialogue bola hay. See, it might not appeal to the multiplex audiences but we wanted to please the single screen audience as well, so we kept that in mind too.
I had another question for Jawaid Sheikh sahab but since he is not here I hope you guys can answer this for me. Jawed Sheikh films generally tend to be star-studded affairs, be it ‘Yeh Dil Aap Ka Hua’ or ‘Khulay Aasman Ke Neechay’ but this time around, barring you Danish the film is all new actors and there is no established face. Was there some particular reason?
Saeeda: From what I know, he basically didn’t want drama faces, he wanted fresh faces. Although I did do one drama about four-five years back, but since I didn’t pursue television after that so I guess it worked in my favor.
But don’t you think it’s super risky given it’s a mega-budget film? I am sorry for being a bit blunt here I feel if there was at least one established female lead the film would have gotten a push.
Danish: Film is always a risky medium. But talking particularly about our film I feel that the USP of the film is Sheikh sahab and the content which he is bringing to the silver screen.
So there were rumors that the film has a lot of bold content and it has run into trouble with the censors?
Aditi: Not a single shot has been censored! No cuts at all.
There were rumors of a lip lock being cut?
Aditi: There is no lip lock. It is just a rumor.
Danish: (laughs) Kiya re! Just to clarify, there is going to be no lip-lock in any of my film in my entire life.
Aditi: Waisay agar us bahanay ana hay toh ajayain. Though you will get disappointed at the end.
Aditi what made you sign a Pakistani film?
Aditi: The character and an opportunity to work with Jawed Sheikh. I remember I was a child and I saw this Bollywood film, won’t name the film or else it will kill the suspense, where an actor I idolize, played this fantastic character and I was so much in awe of the character that I always wanted to do something similar. When this film came to me I was like this is just the right amount of strong and intense, rather this one has more essence and an emotional touch so why not. Also, Jawed Sheikh is a legend not only in Pakistan but also in Bollywood, and to get an opportunity to be directed by him felt like the perfect opportunity for me to learn from the best.
So were you girls a bit hesitant signing the film because generally with two-heroine films, things get tricky concerning screen time and all?
Aditi: No, not at all and I believe screen timing means nothing. At times the most impactful people in the film have the smallest time, like for instance, Nawazudin Siddiqui doesn’t get the same screen time as the hero but when people come out of the cinema they talk more about his character. At times you can be in the entire film and not shine, and then at times you can even be in a small part of the film and you can shine brighter than the main actors. It depends on how you perform.
Danish your previous two outings at the local box office were comedy films and this time it is a thriller. Do you think the audiences and your fans will be able to connect with the film?
Danish: It’s not actually a thriller, it’s a suspense movie with a love story which is backed by good music and some comic relief too. There is one thing I always say, you can never predict what the audience wants, unhay kabhi bhi koi bhi cheez achi lag sakti hai. So I hope they are able to connect with this film.
You were doing a film titled ‘Tum Hee Ho’ is it coming anytime soon?
Danish: I have no idea about it.
Danish, I remember a few years back you had this stance that you will only focus on films and won’t do television but currently, you are appearing in a television serial so are you back to television or will use both the mediums or is it a one-time thing?
Danish: I think I will do a little bit of television, and as for film I already do only one every year, so I’ll focus more on quality. The reason I went back to television was that I loved the script and then I felt I was missing from the screen for quite some time. See, I am no Salman Khan who comes once a year and people flock to cinemas. And television is a more impactful platform compared to films in Pakistan. So maybe one film and one drama every year.
Let us end with the most cliched question, why should people go see Wajood?Answer in one line or less.
Danish: If you want to get entertained this Eid, Wajood is your film! The music of the film, Sheikh sahab’s comeback, two beautiful leading ladies, great story, well-written dialogues, what else do you want?
Saeeda: The climax! Plus there’s also a great message at the end.