After about two months of suspense, Wajahat Rauf finally announced that his third film will be titled, “Chhalawa.” The announcement came earlier today when an introductory video was released, featuring the main cast of the film along with a part in the end regarding the title and the release date.
Featuring Mehwish Hayat, Azfar Rehman, Zara Noor Abbas, Asad Siddiqui, Ashir Wajahat, and Mehmood Aslam, all introducing each other; the video that is set in a decorated wedding-like set, reiterated Wajahat’s earlier announcement that his third film will release on Eid ul Fitr 2019.
Although delighted, the confirmation on the release date reminded us that back when the makers of Wrong No. 2 had also announced that they will be coming on choti Eid, we had asked its producer Hassan Zia about the possible competition from Wajahat’s third.
To our query, Zia had said, “…since our distributor is the same (Distribution Club), they will most likely not release that film on Eid. According to our distributors, Wajahat’s film might get pushed to 19th July.”
With the official word in on the release date, we decided to contact Wajahat and ask him about not only the film, but also the mega-clash that it faces against Wrong No. 2 and The Legend of Maula Jatt.
Talking about the film, Wajahat said “While my last two were complete comedies, we are bringing a family rom-com this time. There is a big family-centric theme in the film with a lot of focus on the relationship between siblings and between a father and a daughter. Romance will also be a big element, but my signature style comedy will, of course, be there too.”
Responding to our query regarding the Eid clash, Wajahat said, “I think there is a space for three films at least. We have had Eids where there were even four films head-to-head, but I think with three films where one is an outright action film, the second is a complete comedy, while ours is a family rom-com, all should work fine if they are good products.”
The Other Side Reacts
While Wajahat seemed quite positive about the space for all the films this Eid, the director of Wrong No. 2, Yasir Nawaz, didn’t seem one bit happy.
“I have heard that this has happened and I genuinely believe it’s a wrong decision on Wajahat’s part,” Yasir said, “It is typically the right of the person who announces first to be provided that space and I had made my announcement not verbally, but with a poster of the film that got widely shared.
“The problem is that we all start fighting where we should be giving space to each other. This is not good and happened even the last time too. We had carefully decided on this date since we had got to know that Salman’s Bharat will probably be releasing a week later, whereas we don’t have any direct competition with Maula Jatt because of the genre.”
Yasir also said that he is in UAE these days and will talk to Wajahat once he returns. “There is no legal compulsion on us, but I can only talk to him nicely which I will do once I return and request that he adjusts his film ten days after the date so that we both get to earn our fair share,” Yasir added.
Pie Big Enough for All: Ammara Hikmat
Unlike Yasir, the Legend of Maula Jatt team believes that the pie is big enough, especially when you combine the foreign collections along with the local ones, and that it should be fine for all three.
Commenting on who announced first and who should pull back, producer of The Legend of Maula Jatt, Ammara Hikmat said, “See, when we announced our film, Wajahat’s Karachi Se Lahore 3 had already been scheduled, months in advance, for an Eid ul Fitr Release. In fact, Wajahat was the first one I spoke to before announcing our Eid release.”
“We were never expecting to have a solo release on Eid. It’s an ideal release date for the producers and distributors in the subcontinent so there will always be competition on this occasion. But I also feel the pie is big enough for our movies, domestic and foreign market combined, so all three films shall do well, Inshallah,” she added.
Well, the fact is that Eids do have a big attraction for our filmmakers. Coupled that with the fact that a big film is releasing which will expectedly have an audience overflow that will benefit the other films in the cinema, the situation has become all the more enticing.
Whether Yasir will be able to convince Wajahat on a delay remains to be seen. For now, despite a yet another cluster-release, we wish all three films godspeed.