Saturday, August 13, 2022

Why some Pakistanis are still obsessed with Bollywood?


You can love them or you can ban them, but you can never hate them. I’m talking about the Bollywood movies that have been predominantly settled in the hearts of Pakistanis for longer than I can remember.

Despite the revival of our national movie industry and the releasing of multiple compelling dramas, to a number of Pakistanis, Bollywood is still the primary source of entertainment.


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Most of the time it’s the Indian movies that are trending on Netflix Pakistan rather than Hollywood ones. Millions of pirated Bollywood movies are still being watched and downloaded from the internet. Mostly because they are available in abundance while our Pakistani content is scarcely present, considerably because of limited demand.

In my own personal life, I’ve never seen someone effusively repeating a Pakistani film dialogue as compared to the Bollywood ones. Scenes and dialogues from movies (Such as Hera Pheri, Chup Chup Ke, Welcome and the list goes on) are still reminisced and imitated with zest and enthusiasm among us even though we have seen some our own movies releasing in these years, but none of us have had the level of desire to see them as compared to Bollywood’s, and sometimes even Tollywood (South Indian) counterparts.

There are a number of things that widely distinguishes Indian movies from ours, and it’s not the budget.

Unmatched level of comedy

The comedy and humor presented in Bollywood movies, especially form early to late 2000s, have been phenomenally well-positioned and optimized. Even with zero vulgarity and double meaning jargons, movies beautifully have garnered attentions across the borders predominantly with the concept of using humor at its best. Some of my favorite films Hera Pheri, Dhol, and Dhamaal represent the perfect use of comedy which Pakistani moviemakers have still yet to master. And I’m sure that I’m not the only Pakistani who has found this trait exceptional.

A well-structured and detailed storyline

Another element that gives the Bollywood its traction over its Pakistani counterpart is the details of the narratives and how seamlessly it is carried from the beginning to the climax. I have seen a number of Pakistani films (Teefa in trouble, Karachi se Lahore, Jawani Phir Nahi Anni, Waar and some more).

Despite the cast’s powerful performance and dedication to their project, the plot they were revolving around was fast and hasty. As a writer myself, I have come to learn that stories are supposed to be rich in details where each dialogue and transition is expressed and emphasized upon in depth.

Somehow I failed to identify this trait in our local films except for a few handful while on the other hand, Bollywood moviemakers seemed to be adept at it.

Even though this trait has been equally declining in the new generation of Indian films , the line of difference it carves is still deep and distinguishing with the Pakistani movies being produced.

Diverse cast

Bollywood has a vast variety of actors and actresses to play with for a typical role. The same can’t be said in terms of Lollywood with only a few figures in the menu despite the abundance of talent in the country.

I have seen 3 to 4 actors in almost all the Pakistani films in the last 6-7 years. Actors such as Javed Sheikh, Hina Dilpazeer, and Adnan Shah Tipu have enjoyed appearances in almost all Pakistan films, to an extent that it now becomes frustrating to watch them in one film after another.

The Pakistani viewers are craving for new faces to emerge and take the screens. Reoccurrence of already established faces in the industry have become vexing. It’s now irritable to watch Shaan and Humayun Sayeed along with some more in every other film that gets released even though Pakistan has no shortage of talent. It’s a bit relieving to observe that this practice is now gradually fading, there is still a lot that needs to be done.
Beautiful execution and delivery

Each Bollywood movie seems like a project done with superb teamwork and creativity. How? One can easily and enjoyably notice details and richness of a scene.

This does not require heavy budget since even small budget Indian movies tend to be distinguished in this aspect.

Putting aside few exceptional movies, the entire Pakistani film industry fails to represent a proper project that can be comprehended by their audiences. I have observed that our movies, as a project and theu do not display much of creativity. Most of the scenes feel like done in a haste and could have been done better. And if a person (who has no production knowhow) like me perceives this gap as a viewer, then there’s seriously something wrong with our production methods.

Talent over beauty

A number of brown-skinned individuals have made tremendous names in Bollywood. Some of the names are Vicky Kaushal, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Dhanush who have outperformed and won the hearts of millions solely with their talent.

The similar can’t be said for Lollywood where physical beauty is still given a priority for a lead role. This has been highly visible in the drama industry also.

This wasn’t the case for our national movie industry. Pakistani films were as flawless as their counterparts across the border. But the air here has changed that is representing the fact that today movies are no longer a project of dedication and enough creativity. I truly hope those days come when we don’t see any differences in the movies of the two countries in terms of quality and the way of its deliverance.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of ARY News or its management.


Shargeel Sheikh
Shargeel Sheikh works as social media manager at ARY Digital

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