The entertainment Industry adopts the New Trends for its Survival in the Present Era
The revival of Pakistani cinema is due to the making of quality films in the present era. Putting a glance at the film industry's history, it is affected by ups and downs throughout since the creation of Pakistan. Today, the industry has shown the willingness to adopt new developments in cinema which have added fuel to its growth. Additionally, the cinema has chosen to present meaningful, thoughtful, genuine relatable stories that are also a part of its acceptance among the audience. For recognition, publicity, and bolstering the cinema's effectiveness, award shows such as Hum Awards, and Lux Style Awards have gathered millions of rupees in revenue by attracting a huge viewership.
However, Covid-19 restrictions also affected the performance of Pakistani cinema, but it is showing the slow and steady performance to entertain in capturing the audience’s interest with captivating relatable storylines with prominent and good performers/actors. During the pandemic phase, only 60 sites were operating with 154 screens all over the country giving the impression of future cinema investments in jeopardy as single screen average cost is $500,000 approximately. Cinema is seen struggling again to come up with the expectation of its audience after the pandemic when cinemas were shut down with postponement of shooting. If the same rhythm of fresh consistent content prevails, there is no doubt of the completion of another golden age by the cinema.
Today, the industry releases films not only in Pakistan but has also taken another step forward of releasing them abroad. Pakistani actors are seen working in Hollywood and Bollywood by taking a step forward on international platforms. Our cinema history has shown us performances of wonderful actors in different eras, who have marked their presence with their brilliant acting skills.
In the present era of Pakistani cinema, the film, ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2’ has been able to gather Rs.70 crore ($5.75 million) and making its place the highest-grossing film so far. The size of the Pakistani cinema industry is not that too huge. The limited cinema film shows or no film shows during the pandemic and the ban on Indian content reduced the performance of Pakistani cinema to excel. It was observed with the gradual shifting of cinema to Karachi in the present era under the banner of ARY Films has promoted its growth with impressive films like ‘Bol’ and Waar’. The film like 3 Bahadur with its two more sequels was the first 3D computer-animated film that was praised and accepted by the audience. It shows the willingness of the film industry of embracing the new technological developments. Movies like ‘Actor in Law’ highlighted the justice system problems and ‘Ho Mann Jahaan’ represented the age drama, which are relatable stories to our real surroundings and are highly praised. It shows the audience's maturity and interest in acceptance of genuine stories related to the context.
Putting the glance at the history of Pakistani cinema, started with Kardar and Ismael setting up a studio production company under the name ‘United Players Corporation’ back in 1928 at the Ravi Road, Lahore. During the 1947-1957 era, the cinema industry faced declining consequences due to the partition which caused the shifting of the huge industry to the Indian side with actors due to political pressure and with a shortage of equipment. Though at that time, there was no restriction on Indian movies that were made cinemas running. The prominent migrants from India to Pakistan included Nazir, Daud Chand, Sabtain Fazli as directors and producers, while Noor Jahan, Shamim Bano, Mohammad Ali, Santosh Kumar, etc. were prominent performers of this era. During the era 1957-1966, actor Waheed Murad became a sensational hero among the audience and his film ‘Armaan’ became the first film that completed its silver jubilee in the cinema -75 weeks in cinema (history of Lollywood, 2008). While Mohd. Ali led the cinema in same era as a hero with his outstanding performances. He started his career from 1962 from the the film ‘Chiragh Jalta Raha’, and ‘Dum Must Qalander (1995) was his last film.
The era of 1967-1976 is dedicated to actor Nadeem with his film ‘Chakori’, who was taken as Dilip Kumar in resemblance and skills. The fall of Dacca is another major jolt to Pakistani cinema, where actors and singers like Runa Laila,
Shahnaz Begum and Habib migrated to Bangladesh and proved a vacuum in cinema. It was not only loosing Dacca, 55% of cinema viewers were also reduced. A film like ‘Dosti’ completed its Diamond Jubilee (100 weeks) in cinemas which was produced by Ijaz Durrani with a cast of Shabnum, Rahman, and Husna. Censorship was also observed in the film ‘Tehzeeb’ where a song containing a reference to ‘Miss’ Egypt. The rationale given was that there were chances of spoiling diplomatic relations with Egypt. It was altered as suggested later on.
The era of 1977-1986 is known as the era of dictatorship under Gen Zia-ul Haq. At the beginning of 1977, the film ‘Aina’ is known as the most popular film in which Nadeem and Shabnum were in the lead roles. The decline in the film industry faced censorship and restrictions by Gen Zia’s regime that affected every section of performing arts (Aslam, 2015). As result, several directors were disqualified and the output was 98 films in 1979, and 58 films in 1980. In 1979, the Punjabi film ‘Maula Jatt’, directed by Younas Malik, and Sultan Rahi in the lead role became a huge hit as portrayed Punjabi culture. With time, the taste of the audience also changed and the same storylines were no more acceptable. However, VCR also became a household name with the import of Bollywood and Hollywood movies. The era of 1987- 1999 is a revived industry with the acceptance of special effects in films. In this regard, ‘Shanni’ was the first science fiction film produced by Saeed Rizvi in 1987. In the late 1990s, the annual film output dropped again to 40 films only by one studio. The film ‘Inteha’ and ‘Jeeva’ in the mid-90s showed a revival period for a short span.
New hope arousal in the 21st century with new ideas with a film like ‘Yeh Dil Aap Ka Huwa’ by Javed Sheikh grossing over 200 million rupees across Pakistan. ‘Salakhain’ released in 2004 was an action thriller was another success. Bollywood films were seen screening for a short frame in Pakistani cinemas but later on, it was banned due to political reasons. The directorial debut of Shoiab Mansoor ‘Khuda Ke Liye’ was released in 2007 that changed history by being showcased in over 100 cinemas in 20 cities of India. Another film ‘Zibahkhana aka Hell’ in 2007 was presented at international film festivals which also marked the appreciation and acceptance of the horror genre in Pakistani cinema.
However, the study shows the decline of Pakistani cinema was due to dissatisfaction with audience needs, directors, actors, music, lyrics, political instability, ineffectiveness, and unrepresentativeness of the Pakistani society. The Pakistani film industry has a lot of talent but due to various reasons, successful combinations have not been able to sustain in one go. No doubt, as apparent, the media liberation Act of 2002 has allowed the film industry to experiment with a range of subjects. The year 2018 has been recorded as a phenomenal year for cinema so far with a growth of 4.45 billion rupees. The spokesperson from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting also acknowledged the performance of cinema with the determination of its restoration as a part of national policy.