An interesting exchange of ideas (actually a grouse-response session) happened on Twitter. Someone claimed that Pakistani dramas, compared to their international counterparts, lack creativity. Actress Ushna Shah took issue with the assertions and replied, “We are limited by budgets (you’d be shocked what we work with), a production monopoly and Pemra. Producers don’t want to risk spending money outside the ‘formula’ that works, usually when they invest outside the box it doesn’t pan out so well, we can thank the majority of the audience for that as well.” She does have a point. Why blame others if audiences still lap up the lack of creativity!
Has anyone noticed that, save for one production: Teri Meri Kahaniyaan, there isn’t much buzz around forthcoming Eid-ul-Azha films? And that one venture, too, is reportedly a creative collaboration among a few known writers and directors, so let’s see if it turns out to be a case of too many cooks or something worthwhile. This, again, goes to show the overall condition that the Pakistan film industry is in, both in terms of financial gains and making quality, entertaining cinema. The quicker the authorities concerned realise this, the better.
Every year, the Cannes Film Festival draws not only a big number of people associated with the world of moviemaking to the French city but almost all of art and culture covering media is transfixed on the event. So the showbiz glitterati, especially these days, doll up accordingly for the festival. The trend doesn’t seem to have gone down well with Indian actress and filmmaker Nandita Das. She has been quoted to have said, “Sadly missing Cannes this year. Sometimes people seem to forget that it is a festival of films and not of clothes.” Nandita D is right. And she should know: she’s also served on the Cannes film jury.
TINA TURNER DIES
On May 24, pop legend Tina Turner (born Anna Mae Bullock in Tennesee in the US) died in her home in Küsnacht in Switzerland. She was 83. She had been diagnosed with intestinal cancer and had had a kidney transplant six years ago. Although the singer had been performing since the 1960s, it was in the 1980s that she blossomed into a gigantic star with the album Private Dancer, having mega hit songs such as What’s love got to do with it. She had sold 100-150 million records and received 12 Grammy awards by the time she passed away. May she rest in peace.
TIPS FOR KEN
The movie Barbie — starring Margot Robbie in the titular role and Ryan Gosling as Ken — is being eagerly awaited. Last week, Ryan G revealed that, in order to know the nitty-gritty of his character, Margot R, on set, used to do the following: “She left a pink present with a pink bow, from Barbie to Ken, every day while we were filming. They were all beach-related. Like puka shells, or a sign that says ‘pray for surf.’ I’ve never quite figured out what that means. But I felt like she was trying to help Ken understand, through these gifts that she was giving.” Ryan G, hope you understood, and the film doesn’t turn out to be Barbie wire for you.
Ajay Devgn, over the years, has proved to be a decent actor. But his foray into directing hasn’t been a successful one. Since he and his wife Kajol have two kids, he feels filmmakers today should keep up with contemporary realities. “We need to understand that with changing times, feelings and emotions are also changing. These days when you have an argument with your child, you say it online and they get your point. You don’t have to give them a lecture like we had to earlier. This generation is watching films in 2X (double speed). They are mentally much faster than you. Our cinema has to catch up, otherwise they’ll get bored and we will be left behind.” Okay, Ajay D, put your director’s hat on, listen to yourself and take your own advice.
Published in Dawn, ICON, June 4th, 2023