April the fourth month of the year 2017 has started. This month has no official holiday means no long weekend window for prolonged cinema business. This is the month in which summer starts in most parts of our country. Though no official holiday falls in this month, but the encouraging sign for the cinema industry is the absence of any major sporting event. In February and March cinema business is impacted due to the Pakistan Super League.
So far this year has been disappointing for Urdu films. All four Urdu films released in the first three months of 2017 so far have failed to leave much impact. Two Urdu films are releasing in April 2017.
Tum Hee Ho (تم ہی ہو)
Tum Hee Ho is the comeback of veteran film director Sangeeta on big screen. Sangeeta has been the most successful female director of our country directing more than 70 films in Urdu, Punjabi and Pashto. Sangeeta’s first film as a director was Society Girl in 1976 which proved successful.Till late 1980s Sangeeta was known for experimenting and making films with different subject. However with the decline in the production of Urdu films, she also directed many Punjabi films which easily falls in the category of Pulp cinema.
Tum Hee Ho is a story based on youth, romance of college students where Danish Tamoor and Quratulain are playing the lead roles. After the successful film Wrong No. in July 2015 it is the first film of Danish Tamoor. Quratulain last appeared in Swaal 700 Crore Dollar Ka (SSCDK) in July 2016. SSCDK failed at box office and Quratulain also struggled to register her presence.
The second lead artists in the film is Sheraz Sikandar and Mathira. Sheraz Sikandar has worked in few low budget films released last year like Fiker Not (March 2016) and Jazba (December 2016).
Mathira whose last film Blind Love (August 2016) bombed at the box office is back in action from Tum Hee Ho. Like her previous two films Mein Hoon Shahid Afridi (2013) and Blind Love (2016), Mathira is again performing in a flashy song.
Other prominent names playing the supporting roles in this film are Sajid Hassan, Umber Khan, Sangeeta, Ghana Ali.
Tum Hee Ho was under production for past two years and is shot entirely in Pakistan. Its trailer was released on 8th March 2017 and the film is releasing on 14th April 2017.
From the trailer anyone following Sangeeta’s work can easily conclude that it is far below her past work. The music of the film (apart from one song by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)is not impressive, acting looks below par, story looks disjointed and the unnecessary steamy song on Mathira is beyond distasteful. The promotion of the film has also been quite dull, apart from releasing the trailer Geo Films and Sangeeta has not done any considerable marketing.
Film: Tum Hee Ho (تم ہی ہو)
Release Date: 14th April 2017
Genre: Romance, Drama
Cast: Danish Tamoor, Quratulain, Sheraz Sikandar, Mathira, Umber Khan, Sangeeta, Sajid Hassan
Music: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Farooq Rao, Ali Sajid
Written by: Suraj Baba
Directed by: Sangeeta
Executive Producer: Raza Ali
Produced by: Sangeeta, Tariq Hafeez
Production House: Sangeeta Films
Distributor: Geo Films
Chalay Thay Saath (چلے تھے ساتھ)
Chalay Thay Saath (CTS) is the first film of Syra Shehroz in a lead role where her first film was Ho Mann Jahan (January 2016) in which she had a small cameo appearance. The unique aspect of the CTS is the male lead played by Canadian (of Chinese origin) artist Kent S Leong.
China is known as an all weather friend of Pakistan and it is the first film based on the romance of a Chinese and Pakistani. Previously Pakistan Television (PTV) has produced two tele films back in the 1980s based on the Pak-China friendship. One of these telefilms featured Behroz Sabzwari who is also playing an important role in CTS.
CTS also stars Zhalay Sarhadi, Mansha Pasha, Faris Khalid and Shamim Hilali. CTS is shot on the scenic locations of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) the area along the border with China. GB is known for its scenic locations and plenty of these from the Hunza valley can be seen in CTS.
The trailer of CTS was released in March 2016 and instantly get noticed due to its relatively fresh treatment. From the trailer the film looks decent, understated and subtle. But it somewhat lacks the ingredient termed as filminess, a must have aspect of films of sub-continent.
The music of the film is composed by Abbas Ali Khan and is quite light if evaluated on the scale of film music. It will be interesting to see how CTS performs on the box office. The success of such films can bring the element of subtlety in our films which at times became too loud to absorb.
Film: Chalay Thay Saath (چلے تھے ساتھ)
Release Date: 21st April 2017
Genre: Romance, Drama
Cast: Saira Shahroz, Mansha Pasha, Osama Tahir, Zhalay Sarhadi, Kent S. Leung, Behroz Sabzwari, Faris Khalid, Sherbaaz Kaleem and Shamim Halai
Music: Abbas Ali Khan, Mooroo
Written by: Atiya Zaidi
Directed by: Umer Adil
Produced by: Beenish Umer
Production House: We Think Films & Hot Water Bottle Films
So this sums up the Urdu films releasing in April 2017. So far no Urdu film is announced to be released in the next month i.e. May 2017, so after April, further Urdu films are lined up in the end of June 2017 on Eidul Fitr.
Do share your thoughts and thanks for your time.
Rashid Nazir Ali