Monday, May 23, 2022

2018 entertainment round up: The rise of Neelam Muneer and fall of Khans


As the year draws to a close, we look at what Pakistanis saw, liked or disliked both on mini-screen and the silver screen.

On the silver screen, this year too proved great for the rise of Pakistani cinema as movies like ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ and ‘Parchi‘ saw a huge number of country men thronging cinemas with the former becoming one of the greatest hits in the history of Pakistani cinema.

On the mini-screen, this year can rightly be termed ‘The Year of Neelam Muneer’ as she won hearts by playing a character everyone loved to hate in ARY Digital’s ‘DIl Mom Ka Diya’. The play became the biggest hit in the channel’s history by beating 2013′s massively successful Pyare Afzal.

TV- The Year of Neelam Muneer

It would be unfair to neglect the fact that the year saw several dramas that challenged stereotypes and started debate on some hard-hitting topics.

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As Aakhri Station shed light upon the various issues faced by women by narrating tales of seven women in seven different episodes, ‘Meri Guriya’ brought to mini-screen the ugly reality of child abuse and the delays victims’ families face while trying to get justice for their children.

‘Meri Guriya‘ saw Mohsin Abbas and Sania Saeed ace their roles as a child abuser and a victim’s mother respectively. The drama ended with sexual abuser getting death sentence.

Other than Meri Guriya and Akhri Station, Bay Dardi earned applauds for narrating the story of HIV (AIDS) patients.

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Came August and ARY Digital saw what viewers termed the “best drama of the year” as Neelam Muneer made almost every TV fan, her fan, with the portrayal of Ulfat, the greedy and ambitious girl who ruins her own life in the pursuit of her unattainable dreams.

‘Dil Mom Ka Diya’ broke all records and became the most viewed drama ever on ARY Digital.

People just took to social media to express her admiration for Neelam who just set the mini-screen on fire with her performance.

The play made even the naysayers watch dramas remained on top of ratings chart throughout its 30-episode run.

The last episode just broke all records.

Fans watched with awe and attachment, the end of the women they all loved to hate, and many said they were completely taken away by the flow of emotions when Ulfat had to come back to Afzal for help in the very same office where she insulted him and demanded divorce.

They say they cried when Afzal expressed remorse and said (to Ulfat’s picture) that he never ever stopped loving her.

As ARY Digital once caught up with Neelam about the effort she put in to come up as Ulfat, she revealed that she choose bright dresses and tied her hair in a certain manner to give herself a chic look to play the character.

“I chose a simple three strand braid and picked bright colours to wear; normally I don’t wear such colors,” said Neelum Muneer.

She added that she put in a lot of effort to make Ulfat appear real and the dialogues helped her quite a bit in her journey.

“I am in love with Ulfat and I think everyone loves Ulfat,”the actress had said.

As we write these lines, Ushna Shah is ruling the airwaves with her villainous role in ‘Balaa’ but it won’t be an overstatement to say that the year belonged to Neelam Muneer.

FILMS- The fall of Khans and rise of Pakistani Cinema

As Pakistans’ ‘Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2’ wowed fans home and abroad and broke records, Bollywood saw the fall of big names and heavy budget movies leaving space for parallel cinema to save the grace of world’s top movie industry.

Directed by Nadeem Baig and Written by Vasay Chaudhry, the year’s most successful Pakistani movie, JPNA 2’s star cast included Humayun Saeed, Kubra Khan, Fahad Mustafa, Mawra Hocane, Uzma Khan, Sarwat Gilani and Ahmed Butt. The romantic comedy took place three years after the original JPNA ended.

Jawani Phir Nahi Ani

The movie which hit the 50-crore mark in just 18 days after its release become the highest grossing film to ever hit the country’s screens as its box office collection rose to Rs53.45 crores the very other day.

The movie also broke the record of second day collection and became the first local production to collect Rs10Crore at the box office in just two days.

The year also saw other hits like ‘Parchi’, ‘Allahyar & The Legend of Markhor’ ‘Azaadi’ ‘Donkey King’, ‘Motorcycle Girl’ and ‘Load wedding’.


Towards the end, ‘3 Bahadur-Rise of the Warriors’ came as a breath of fresh air and is still running in cinemas across Pakistan.

The final installment in the ‘3 Bahadur’ franchise was released on December 14 with critics and fans giving rave reviews to the animated flick.

As the trailer suggested, the three young protagonists return with Zuhab Khan voicing Saadi, Arisha Razi Khan voicing Amna and newcomer Bashar Amir Shafi voicing Kamil.

Now fourteen years old, the three young heroes, who have gotten rid of all evil from their town Roshan Basti, now meet Erma, a warrior queen who has escaped from another world and now needs their help to beat her nemesis Babushka.

The fall of Khans

Fortunately or unfortunately, this year could be termed the year of fall of once considered the ‘infallible’ Khans of Bollywood as the kings of Indian film industry saw their kingdom being snatched by a boy next door; Ayushmann Khurrana.

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A poster shows tall claims by the makers ahead of release of Amir Khan and Amitabh Bachan starrer ‘Thugs of Hindostan’

Once considered ‘Mr Perfect’, Amir Khan had to aplogise to his fans after his YRF project alongside Amitabh Bachan flopped badly at the box office despite having a big budget and getting a Diwali release.

“Thugs of Hindostan turns out to be an insipid, meandering film that doesn’t utilise two of Hindi cinema’s biggest stars, and a CGI budget that could have been put to better use. Worse, the plot is weak, with neither a convincing villain,” wrote a critic Shilpa Jamkhandikar soon after the movie’s release.

The film, one of the most expensive Bollywood productions with a budget of $36 million had opened across 7,000 screens globally but failed to collect even half the amount of its estimated budget, according to some reports.

Salman Khan’s ‘Race 3’ too was ambitious project but was so badly executed that it not only flopped but was ridiculed by critics and fans alike.


Shahrukh Khan’s ‘Zero’ was the last big release of the year and received mixed reviews from critics but some top critics termed it below their expectations.

“Expected so much from this collaboration [SRK and director Aanand L Rai]… Sadly, the flawed writing – especially the second hour – takes the film downhill… EPIC DISAPPOINTMENT,” top critic Taran Adarsh tweeted.

“Zero has lofty ambitions but when it comes to delivery, it falls too short,” wrote another critic.

On the other hand, Ayushmann Khurrana’s ‘Badhaai Ho’ and ‘Andha Dhun’ turned out to be most successful films of the year.

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In Andha Dhun, Khurrana impressed critics despite the presence of heavyweights like Tabu and Radhika Apte, while his film Badhaai Ho became a blockbuster at the box office. It became the most profitable film of the year 2018.

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Kya Bollywood me tabdeeli agayi hai?? Do share your views in the comments section below!


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