A lot of cine-goers might be oblivious to the fact that S. Suleman began his film career, before partition, as an actor (child star) in a film called Doosri Shadi. The movie was directed by Ram Aryani. In 1948, the director-to-be played a very vital role of young Dilip Kumar in the famous flick Mela. A couple of years subsequent to the partition, S. Suleman, along with his illustrious brothers, film icons, Santosh Kumar and Darpan, migrated to the newly incepted Pakistan. Here, the first film that Suleman sahib directed was the famous period drama, Gulfam released in 1961. To date, the movie is reckoned to be one of the finest pieces of filmmaking in Pakistan. However, later on, the master director’s reputation turned into someone who made movies based on strong social messages. For instance, apart from Gulfam, Suleman’s most talked about film falls into the category of a romantic social and had Darpan, Nayyar Sultana, Emmy Minwalla and Zeba as chief protagonists. According to the exegetes of cinema, Baji drew more females into cinema than men owing to its strong social romantic premise.
Lori enjoyed more or less the same reputation. Mohammed Ali, Zeba Santosh and Saloni starred in this great biopic.
Having made films like Baji and Lori, S Suleman didn’t want to be pigeonholed. He tried his hand at being eclectic. And Shararat is an ample testimony to that. The film was a rib-tickling treat that brought the cinema houses down with laughters. Legendary comedian Munawwar Zarif was particularly brilliant in Shararat.
In his career, Suleman sahib was responsible for some 45 films, most of which were huge box office successes. Some of them are: Baji, Pia Milan Ki Aas, Tangey Wali, Tasveer, Mehndi Walay Haath (Punjabi), Aag, Tamasha, Zeenat, Jaisey Jantey Nahin, Be Wafa, Lori, Teri Soorat Meri Aankhain, Sabaq, Tera Gham Rahey Salamat, Baharon Ki Manzil, Gumrah, Shararat, Aaj Aur Kal, Talaq and Insaniyat. Baji fetched 5 Nigar Awards, a mammoth feat.
The last film that the great craftsman directed was Very Good Dunia, Very Bad Loag (1997), which didn’t fare well at the box office. Lately, S Suleman has been directing drama serials and soap operas for different television channels. And going by his talent and record, his TV projects are also bound to make an impact.