Actor and writer delved into various aspects of the film industry


In a recent episode of Ahmad Ali Butt’s Excuse Me Podcast, renowned Pakistani actor and writer Vasay Chaudhry delved into various aspects of the film industry, sharing his perspectives on the similarities between Pakistani and Indian films, his critique of certain award shows, and his reservations about inviting bloggers for film previews.

Vasay began by highlighting the historical connection between the Pakistani and Indian film industries, emphasising that both emerged from the shared history of a united India in 1947. According to him, Pakistani films are not copying Bollywood but are rather an extension of Indian cinema, as both cultures share common elements.

“The Pakistani film industry has been this,” he shared. “We were India’s extension in 1947, right? There was a joint India from which Pakistan emerged. The people were the same. That style can be seen in the 1948 film, Teri Yaad, which was Pakistan’s first film. Now, there was a discontinuation from 2006/2005 onwards for a few years, so people thought that this was solely the Indian style, but no.”


He continued, “This is also the style of Pakistani films. Waheed Murad Sahab, may God grant him a place in heaven, or Nadeem Sahab, when they sang songs on mountains or around trees, they weren’t copying Indians, that was also our style. The songs Mehdi Hassan and Madam Noor Jehan have sung – the same which everyone sings with great fervour – what was that? This was our culture. This is our culture. It was a very stupid thing to say that the Indian style was copied.”

Expressing his views on award shows and item numbers, Vasay criticised numerous concepts. “I don’t think item songs should be in films,” he stated. When Ahmad highlighted how the term “item number” was not Pakistani in origin, Vasay said, “Indians started calling it ‘item,’ we picked it up because we don’t have the time to ascribe another word to it. We’re also used to having cooked dishes. We want to do the ‘viewer’s choice’ award which is a cooked dish from India. We said that we’ll also use it.”

Talking about songs in Pakistani cinema, Vasay said, “Songs have always been in our films in such a way. Sometimes, a vamp would sing. Sometimes, there’d be a random song. It’s always been a part of your film culture but if you no longer like it, that’s a separate topic.” Reiterating that he thinks “it shouldn’t be a thing,” Vasay said, “We can do without it. Similarly, I think overexposure in films shouldn’t be a thing. We can do without it. Sometimes, they add a kiss randomly. If the purpose is achieved by a high, why add a kiss to sensationalist?”

The discussion took an interesting turn as Vasay expressed his reservations about inviting bloggers for film previews. He questioned the benefit to the makers, pointing out that bloggers often attend these screenings for free and, despite enjoying the privilege, sometimes provide negative reviews. He emphasised the disconnect between the social media hype generated by bloggers and the actual performance of the film at the box office. He suggested that the industry should reconsider the practice of relying on social media influencers for film promotions.

His candid insights shed light on the complexities within the Pakistani film industry, addressing issues of cultural influence, award show structures, and the impact of social media on film promotion. As Vasay continues to contribute his experience and observations, his perspectives serve as valuable reflections on the evolution and challenges faced by the dynamic world of Pakistani cinema.


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