The final countdown has begun: with just nine days to the release of first-time director Yasir Jaswal’s much-anticipated crime caper Jalaibee, the cast and producers of the film formally met the media yesterday evening.
With a trailer that dubbed the film as “the biggest movie event of the year”, the film is packed with popular TV personalities like Sajid Hasan, Ali Safina, Danish Taimoor, Zhalay Sarhadi, Adnan Jaffer, Wiqar Ali Khan as well as British-Indian model/film actor Sabeeka Imam and musician Uzair Jaswal.
|[L-R] Sabeeka Imam, Zhalay Sarhadi, Ali Safina, Adnan Jaffar and Uzair Jaswal— Photo courtesy: Jalaibee's official Facebook page|
Hosted by Ali Safina, whose initial claim to fame was TV hosting itself, the event was casual as he invited the cast and production team up on stage in three successive sessions, with actors Sajid Hasan, Danish Taimoor, Sabeeka Imam and Adnan Jaffar in the first session followed by representatives from ARY in the next and finally Yasir Jaswal, UZair Jaswal, Wiqar Ali Khan and Zhalay Sarhadi in the third.
The highlight of the evening was clearly the catchy item number (or, as Jaswal would say, the ‘performance song’!), in which the film’s female lead Zhalay Sarhadi proved that those who enjoyed Na Maloom Afraad's ’Billi’, will love Zhalay’s performance even more.
Before the screening of the song's one-minute clip, Safina caught a remark from an audience member about the O21 team showing a good seven minutes from the film at their press meet last year; Safina was quick to respond that it was probably the reason for O21's lacklustre performance.
The cast and production team shared interesting tidbits about their experience of making the film. It came as a surprise when Sajid Hasan admitted that he had discouraged Jaswal from making the film a couple of years ago: “I had discouraged him when he approached me at first, but I am sorry now for doing that.”
|Director Yasir Jaswal.— Photo courtesy: Jalaibee's official Facebook page|
The actor also joked about his age, being the senior-most actor in the cast: “Young age me naya experience tha (It was a new experience for me at such a young age)."
The actor also insisted that Pakistani actors should first do films in their own country, though he admitted that he too has done work in India.
|Danish Taimoor, Sajid Hasan and Ali Safina during the press event.— Photo courtesy: Jalaibee's official Facebook page|
Sabeeka Imam, who will be playing the role of Sajid Hasan’s daughter, Emaan, shared that she was cast much later in the film because no Pakistani actor wanted a role smaller than Zhalay Sarhadi’s.
“I said that I didn’t care that it was a small role because it seemed very interesting to me,” she said.
Danish Taimoor, who plays Billu, talked about the lucky coincidence that his TV serial got cancelled at the same time that Jalaibee was going to be shot.
Adnan Jaffar shared that he had thought that his character Dara would be a village goon but was soon surprised to learn that his character was an English-speaking, suit-wearing man. The actor, known for his flair for the dramatic, held the opinion that this film will break down city barriers: “There is no contest between Islamabad, Karachi or Lahore because this film has been shot in all three.”
[Also read: Jalaibee to hit theatres nationwide on March 20]
Jalaibee will be the first Pakistani film to be shot with the Arri Alexa camera, the technology used to shoot films like Gravity, Skyfall and Ironman 3.
The film features songs by Qayaas, Uzair Jaswal and Humaira Arshad, which have been directed and produced by Sarmad Ghafoor.
Jalaibee will hit the screens on March 20.