KARACHI, Aug 19: The superhero known for his courage, cape and cowl is back. There is commotion in Gotham City. A beautiful but sly cat burglar has filled the air with mystery; and a masked, merciless madman, Bane, is up to no good. He wants to destroy everything. Bruce Wayne, sorry Batman, will have to reassume his superhero avtar — after a hiatus of eight years. Otherwise Gotham City is doomed.
This Eid the final chapter of the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is the most talked about film that movie-goers will get to see in cinemas. Cineplexes and one of the city’s known cinema houses are screening the Christopher Nolan-directed movie. It was released in the US and some other parts of the world in July and Pakistani distributors thought it appropriate to showcase it on the festive occasion of Eid. So far The Dark Knight Rises has done a roaring business in the US, despite the ugly incident of a shooting spree on July 20 during the film’s first show in Aurora, Colorado. If movie reviews are anything to go by, Christian Bale as Batman is good, but it is Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle (Catwoman) and Tom Hardy as Bane who have impressed cinephiles the most. Bearing in mind that they were working alongside the likes of Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman, it speaks volumes for Hathaway and Hardy’s performances.
The other big Hollywood catch of Eid is The Expendables 2. It is the sequel to its 2010 edition. Helmed by Simon West the film stars the erstwhile macho man Sylvester Stallone. The rest of the cast includes Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren and Bruce Willis — all of whom are famous for their action-packed antics. Stallone has also co-written the screenplay for the film.
Sadly, this Eid no new Urdu or Punjabi film will entertain cine-goers. There were reports not too long ago that at least a couple of Urdu films and a few Punjabi movies were on the anvil. None of them will see the light of day on Eid. The only new picture that’s on show is Syed Noor’s ‘Shareeka’, which is going to be shown only in Lahore.
On the other hand, movie buffs can see not one but three Pushto films in Karachi’s cinemas. They are Toofan (starring Shahid Khan, Jehangir Khan, Sono Lal and Sahiba Noor); Fakhr-i-Afghan (with Shahid Khan, Asma Lata and Dua Qureshi as cast members); and Ghaddar (starring Arbaz Khan, Jehangir Khan and Sobia Khan). All of them will run in one cinema each, which is not too bad. Three cinemas catering to a sizable Pushtun population are good enough given that such facilities in the city are being shut down to make room for shopping centres and for some other unmentionable reasons.
Apart from cinemplexes, The Dark Knight Rises will also be shown at Nishat Cinema. Hasan, an old man, has been working here for a long time. He has an interesting view on how the movie business has changed over the years. “English films on this patti (strip of road) are not watched with eagerness anymore.
This happened after 9/11. Before that Hollywood movies were a rage. Now only Indian films are received with excitement. For example, recently Bol Bachchan did very well at the box office. I’m not talking about cineplexes. That’s a different world.”
What about Pakistani films? Hasan replies, “They are no good. They don’t have content or anything else to impress the viewers with. Last year Bhai Loag was screened. I don’t think many people liked it.”
Hasan may have a point. By the way, the cat burglar may also have a point. Let’s see what she’s trying to prove.