A few years ago, most studio floors were occupied for film shootings. Today they stand deserted. Producers have retreated from production because their films aren’t doing well. Even recovering cost has become a wish. Making films in Pakistan is perceived to be a fool’s job. Yes, Shahzad Rafique’s Salakhein did a good job on the circuit but there was still the fear of a loss. The circuit has been constantly shrinking as cinemas close down. It takes guts to make a film these days and Ajab Gul is a brave man. He’s finally released his long awaited film Kyun Tum Say Itna Pyar Hey.
Gul’s debut Khoey Ho Tum Kahan proved to be a mega hit thanks to great music, a fresh story and a well etched out screenplay. Several producers threw offers to him for both acting and directing films but he tuned them down with the simple answer that then he would not justify his next venture.
Kyun Tum Say Itna Pyar Heywas shrouded in secrecy. Throughout the production Gul never opened his lips about its story or music to others. Even the great Talat Hussain complained that the complete script was not given to him.
Pakistani viewers have abandoned going to cinema houses due to several reasons: dingy cinema houses, poor production, home facility of cable network. The major task before Ajab Gul was to bring back the audience to Pakistani cinema. Several films like Sohni Mahiwal by Rasheed Dogar, Naag aur Nagin by Jamshed Naqvi, Ek Gunah Aur Sahi by Altaf Hussain were delayed just to check the mood of the viewer after Ajab Gul’s second film. Such were the great expectations the industry from this venture.
Rahim Khan (Nadeem) is a retired judge with two wives in separate houses. He has a son Aryan (Ajab Gul) from the first, rather neglected, wife and Shayan an ASP from the second more prosperous one. Shayan enjoys a good life as police officer while Aryan struggles for bread and butter. Both half brothers hate each other.
One day when Aryan’s friends are making merry Shayan passes through and beats them up, knowing them to be friends of Aryan. In retaliation, Aryan breaks the window glasses of Shayan’s house. To make matters worse, Aryan’s lover Ishmal (Veena Malik) marries Shayan.
In a strange twist of events, Rahim Khan is appointed inquiry judge over the corruption charges against Ishmal’s father Shahjahan Chaudhary (Talat Hussain) a powerful politician and ex-chief minister. Shahjahan tries his best to convince Rahim Khan to be lenient in his decision but the honest judge emphatically refuses to cooperate. Shahjahan Chaudhary plans to kill the present chief minister, an honest man who supports Rahim Khan.
Between this jumble of lies, deceit and intense family politics, the feud between fathers and brothers is played out.
A film without vulgarity is a breath fresh air. The script has fair share of depth and it is made even more intense by the presence of stalwarts like Nadeem and Talat Hussain.
However, the best part of the film is probably the music and dance in Indian style. Udit Narayan, Sadhna Sargam from India and Maya Ramdin from Mauritius have done a wonderful job. Almost all songs were recorded at Krishna studio in Mumbai. Ek Larki Nay Mera Dil Churaya Hai and Chhun Chhun Meri Payal Boley have to potential to hold you spellbound. The snow capped mountains of Skardu and Hunza add to the panorama. Finally, a filmmaker has figured out how to picturize a song. Ajab Gul has also been helped out in the dance department by a new Star Group, whose style is totally different from that of staple Lollywood dance directors like Pappu Samrat and Ashraf Shirazi. Using fresh angles and some of the innovative edge of India, Star Group (bless them!) are a welcome addition to the jaded choreography sector of a fading Lollywood.
Some action packed chases also feature in the deserts of Balochistan. The film also contains some excellent dialogues regarding nationalism. Apart from stalwarts like Nadeem and Talat Hussain who have turned in excellent performances, full points to Ajab Gul for introducing several new faces Babrak Shah, Priya, Tahira Wasti, Rasheed Naz etc, who are a good addition to the old faces repeated ad nauseam in our films. Priya performed exceptionally well for a newcomer.
Ajab Gul has also turned in a great performance and as a director has a tight grip over all the characters. He now can be regarded a powerful director in Lollywood even above or equal rank to Syed Noor.
Certainly the film has its demerits too. The major one is its complicated story where the viewer remains constantly confused. Secondly the film’s title Kyun Tum Say Itna Pyar Hey has nothing to do much with story that is full of action, suspense and thrill. There is no long love story that could justify the title. Thirdly the film suffers from the continuity issue that has for so long plagued our cinema. In some scenes Ajab is shown with grown shave but very next moment he is clean shaven. To overcome such flaws it would be far better if Lollywood makers could follow the footstep of Hollywood using storyboard for this purpose. And if as Talat Hussain had been given a script on time, alongwith other actors, maybe they could have picked out the flaws in the plot and told the director who could have then made a tighter, better, product.
At a time when Pakistani films have lost their ability to pull in the audience because of weak subjects, music and production, Ajab Gul and his team deserve appreciation. The film is bringing viewers to the cinema. Director Shahzad Rafique of Salakhein has lot of shabash for Ajab Gul’s attempt to save the industry from the clutches of the gujjar mafia. ‘He proved a gigantic and talented director and actor. Ajab should not focus on its materialistic results but good production he brought”, remarked Rafique.
Any producer who is willing to draw huge profit out of film should remember that only films that will bring in profit within the limited cinema circuit in Pakistan are ones that have repeat value like Choorian and these films will only be the ones that appeal to the female audience as much as they do to the male – M. Saeed Awan
Cast and Production Credits
Year – 2005, Genre – Action, Country – Pakistan, Language – Urdu, Producer – Ajab Gul, Director – Ajab Gul, Music Director – N/A, Cast – Veena Malik, Ajab Gul, Arbaz Khan, Babrak Shah, Asif Khan, Tahira Wasti, Nighat Chodhary, Priya, Raza, Rasheed Naz, Anita, Talat Hussain & Nadeem