by Rizwana Aziz Shaikh
In 1950s, some years after Pakistan’s independence, Lollywood was struggling hard to establish itself. By the grace of God and with the help of migrated artists, slowly and gradually our industry started producing quality work. In 1951, Chanvay (directed by Madam Noor Jahan) and in 1952, Dupatta (directed by Sibtain Fazli) came and with these movies, Lollywood made its presence felt as an independent film industry. So Pakistan got the way to success and then there was no looking back.
50s, 60s, 70s, and some years of 80s as well was the golden era of Lollywood. The journey starting from Chanvay continued till mid 80s. After that, unluckily, we couldn’t keep the right path. The mega success of Maula Jutt in 1971 detracted our directors from Urdu to Punjabi. They utilized the talent of late Sultan Rahi for Gujjar and Jutt characters only. Marshall Law period by Zia-ul-Haq also contributed to the failure of our industry as his government didn’t support the art work as it should be.
In late 80s and early 90s, Reema, Shan, Madiha Shah, Babar Ali, Rambo, Sahiba, Resham, Saud, Sana, Arbaz Khan, Khushboo, Saima, Moammar Rana and many others were introduced. 90s, the last decade of the century, can also be admitted a successful one as we saw Bulandi, Jeeva, Sangam, Sargam, Ghooghat, Dupatta jal raha hay, Nikah, Rukhsati, Mushkil, Hathi meray sathi, Chief Saab, Khoey ho tum kahan, Khilona, Choorian, and many other hit films.
Our films since 1951 to mid 80s were a great source of entertainment, education, information, and social change. Because of being social subjects, movies of that era like Daivar bhabi, Ayyaz, Armaan, Shaheed, Umrao jaan ada, Surayya bhopali, Dosti, Aaina, Shama, Bahisht, Yeh aman, Zarqa, Anjuman, Bazar-e-Husn, Bandish, Dehleez, and a long list of names, had a great influence on viewers’ lives. These movies contributed a lot to a positive social change through story, character, poetry, and music.
Propaganda tool was also powerfully used by veteran director Riaz Shahid who portrayed the wars of Palestine and Kashmir. Parvaiz Malik, Shabab Kairanvi, Hassan Tariq, S. M. Yousuf, Qadeer Ghori, W. Z. Ahmad, Luqman, Ehtesham, Nazr-ul-Islam, and other directors of the era gave us awareness and education through cinema art.
At present, movies are being made in a low quantity. Those too are mostly on typical Jutt, Gujjar, Chowdhry, Vadera, or a specific clan. Another character, prostitute, is also very common one in Lollywood movies. Like we saw in Majajan, Zill-e-Shah, Nach kay yaar manana, Sooha jorra, Gujjar da kharrak etc. On the contrary, Hassan Tariq (Umrao jaan ada, Surayya bhopali), and Javaid Fazil (Bazar-e-Husn) portrayed the ture colors of this element of our society fulfilling all the creative, technical, and social demands.
In present age movies, Shoaib Mansoor has also made it skillfully acted by Iman Ali in Bol. If we talk about awareness and education of the people through films, Bol is the perfect example, simultaneously covering the hot issues of daughters’ rights, desire of son, prostitutes, and middle sex people.
In recent productions, Bhai log by Syed Faisal Bukhari, and Shareeka by Syed Noor were also good in subjects. Bhai log covered the atmosphere and life of under world and Shareeka had the subject of property disputes, step relations, unfair desire of wealth and power etc.
The directors like Shoaib Mansoor, Syed Faisal Bukhari, Syed Noor, and Shahzad Rafique who are still working and contributing to the restoration of our industry some way or the other, are worth praise. Also some young directors are coming to the surface with their work, for example Kaptaan, Chambiali, The Dusk, and Seedlings. The long gaps between quality works must be narrowed down to catch up the audience and keep them intact. Let’s hope Lollywood is going to showcase some really good work in the coming months!