With Saqib Malik’s ‘Baaji’ gracing our cinemas and getting rave reviews for its portrayal of various eras of Lollywood, a particularly renewed interest in yesteryear cinema is noticeable amongst the cinema-goers of the current era.
Also the fact that the leading lady Meera has surprised many new cinema fans with her effortless portrayal of Shahmeera in ‘Baaji’, the film has no doubt attained a ‘one of a kind’ status due to its subject matter. While many of you may have enjoyed Meera jee’s acting skills in her cinematic comeback, we assure you that Meera has been a versatile actor even before her latest flick, ‘Baaji’.
Here are a few major films of Meera jee which prove her as multi-talented and which you must watch in your leisure time, provided you get a hold of them. Despite the obvious shortcomings in the production and other features, Meera managed to deliver commendable performances in the following films:
‘Kaanta’ remains Meera’s big screen debut and is one of Meera’s most memorable flicks. She played a second lead in the film but was noted for her glamorous looks and impressive acting. The film is available on YouTube.
‘Khilona’ was Meera’s big breakthrough after which she was taken seriously by filmmakers and cinema-goers of the 90s. It remains one of the most well-received works of director, Sangeeta. Playing an abused housewife who aspires for survival and a lasting relationship, Meera plays the demanding role with utmost ease. The film is amongst one of the many collaborations between Meera and Sangeeta who made feminist family-oriented cinema in the dwindling days of Lollywood.
‘Chief Sahab’, a Javed Sheikh directorial, revolved around land grabbing and slum settlements. It was a musical hit and one of its songs ‘Suno Suno, Bolo Bolo’, picturized on Meera and Saleem Sheikh, remained a chart buster. The song was also featured in one of the scenes of the recently released flick ‘Baaji’, where Shahmeera attends a talk show featuring Begum Nawazish.
Another underrated and forgotten flick starring Meera, alongside Babar Ali and Neeli, is ‘Harjaai’. It tells the story of a simple and loyal housewife who has to save her home from a rich, scheming woman who abuses her official and financial powers to break her home. ‘Harjaai’ also had melodious music like most of its hit contemporaries and remained a decent commercial success.
For Meera ‘Inteha’ is the ‘Baaji’ of the 90s, for it was the film that revived her career and got her many accolades and awards. It was veteran actor Sameena Peerzada’s directorial and superstar Humayun Saeed’s cinematic début. The film also has a reference in ‘Baaji’ where Humayun playing himself in a cameo mentions that he started his cinematic career with Shameera, referring to the role he played opposite Meera in this 1999 hit. Meera was praised not only for her looks, dances which were choreographed by famous Indian choreographer, Saroj Khan, but also her portrayal of a housewife in an abusive relationship and a failed love life. Sadly enough, the film never had a television premiere and you may struggle finding it online. A few songs from ‘Inteha’, however, are available on YouTube.
Khoye Ho Tum Kahan
Ajab Gul is a popular name in Urdu and Pashto cinema from the 90s and before. ‘Khoye Ho Tum Kahan’ was his dream project and directorial début that saw widespread commercial and critical acclaim when released around 18 years ago.
Starring Babar Ali and Ajab Gul himself in leads opposite Meera, the film is a romantic thriller that was heavily inspired from the Hollywood flick ‘A Perfect Murder’ .The same film also provided heavy inspiration to Bollywood flick called ‘Humraaz’ starring Amisha Patel, Bobby Deol and Akshay Khanna.
KHTK remained a popular film amongst cinema-goers for it has an interesting story, beautiful locations that included the northern areas as well as exotic locales of Balochistan and Sindh, and a melodious soundtrack. Meera surprised everyone with a character that changes shades as the film progresses to an equally surprising yet satisfying ending.
‘Rukhsati’ was an unusual film for its time. It was an aesthetically made art house film that followed the relationship of a loving couple who struggle with their marital life. Starring Moammar Rana and Resham alongside Meera, ‘Rukhsati’ was a long awaited directorial of the then-successful producer Shehzad Rafique (later known for Salakhen and the recently released Salute).
The film though bombed at the Box office but it was noted for beautiful direction and aesthetically created frames which by that time was almost gone from the rest of the cinema offerings.
A commercial success from Shehzad Rafique, the film was one of the most awaited films of its time and remained a big success. Meera played the second lead but it remained an equally strong role in a student action, crime drama that followed and centred around its male protagonists. The songs picturized on Meera also employed Indian choreographers and were shot in Nepal, an affair that was considered rather expensive at the time.
Very few people know that there are two Pakistani versions of the super hit pre-partition era Bengali novel of the same name by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay.
‘Devdas’ had seen its cinematic adaptations multiple times in the cousin industries of Bollywood and Lollywood that included 1956 (Dilip Kumar and Vyjayanthimala), 1966 (Aijaz and Shamim Ara), and 2002(Sharukh andAishwariya). The last one included a 2010 Iqbal Kashmiri directorial starring Zara Sheikh and Nadim Shah in the lead roles with Meera portraying the role of Chandarmukhi. The Meera version, however, remained a low budget affair and saw a very limited release. It still deserves a watch for how receding Lollywood cinema can treat a grand subject such as Devdas on a budget. Meera and Zaara Sheikh both stood out in the film and so did the supporting cast.
If you haven’t seen these movies, it’s about time you discover old Lollywood through Meera.