By Omair Alavi
The year 2017 didn’t take the struggling Pakistani industry forward but backward as only 16 Urdu language films were released as compared to the 25 in 2016. More films flopped than succeeded resulting in another overrated year for the local film industry. Let’s analyze the 16 films released in the last 12 months to find out how they fared and which film ended in hits, and which films didn’t.
Thora Jee Le (January) FLOP
Rafay Rashdi’s directorial debut featured new faces yet with a flawed script and bad editing, it did no favour to the struggling industry and fared badly at the box office.
Balu Mahi (February) FLOP
Fans of Osman Khalid Butt were waiting for his first feature film which turned out to be the plagiarized version of Bollywood flicks Jab We Met and Dil Bolay Hadippa.
Whistle (February) FLOP
One of those films that shouldn’t have been released at all – below average and pathetic. Some cinemas even had no audience in the opening shows, prompting them to give the slot to some other flick.
Raasta (March) FLOP
Sahir Lodhi’s debut directorial venture in which he played the lead lasted just one week and he blamed the critics for his film’s dismissal performance.
Chalay Thay Saath (April) AVERAGE
The film introduced TV actors Syra Shehroz, Mansha Pasha to films and had a Chinese American actor Kent S. Leung in the lead. An improved script could have made this film the first hit of the year.
Yalghaar (June) FLOP
The war film – based on a real-life incident – failed to do well at the box office simply because it was claimed to be the most expensive film and failed to retrieve the investment both locally and internationally.
Mehrunisa V Lub U (June) HIT
Yasir Nawaz’s social comedy managed to recover its investment but had it been clean of vulgar dialogues, double meaning jokes and had an improved screenplay, it would surely have done well.
Geo Sar Utha Kay (August) FLOP
The film reintroduced Babar Ali to the cinema but stale acting from the lead as well as overacting from the villains ensured that the film tanked without a trace.
Chain Aye Na (August) FLOP
Syed Noor labeled all those who didn’t like his films as Indian agents but didn’t take a second look at his film which seemed like a blast from the 90s. Shehroze Sabzwari’s defense also didn’t help much!
Punjab Nahi Jaungi (September) HIT
PNJ was to 2017 what Jawani Phir Nahi Ani was to 2015. The first hit of the year was a result of Humayun Saeed – Nadeem Baig collaboration and made the audience fall in love with Mehwish Hayat.
Na Maloom Afraad 2 (September) HIT
The quick-paced Na Maloom Afraad 2 by Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza became the second biggest hit of the year despite being banned in the Gulf States as well as in Punjab (for a day).
Saawan (September) AVERAGE
The only Pakistani film in 2017 to shine at international festivals; however it failed at the box office due to its non-commercial value.
Verna (November) AVERAGE
Shoaib Mansoor’s first film since 2011 was a disaster as it tackled the sensitive subject of rape in a stupid manner. Not even Mahira Khan’s star value was enough to save the film from being a disaster.
Rangreza (December) CURRENTLY IN CINEMAS
Aamir Mohiuddin’s long-awaited movie was released ahead of the Christmas weekend but fared badly due to technical issues, hopeless story, and too-loud-to-be-true acting.
Arth (December) CURRENTLY IN CINEMAS
Shaan Shahid’s first directorial venture since Zille Shah did well in Punjab but wasn’t appreciated in other cities; it was expected to change the game, being the updated remake of Mahesh Bhatt’s classic of the same name.
Chupan Chupai (December) CURRENTLY IN CINEMAS
Ahsan Khan makes a welcome return to films and manages to win over the audience with the help of Neelam Munir, Faizan Khawaja, Ali Rizvi as well as new entrants into filmdom from NAPA.
Story first published: 2nd January 2018