Should we watch Pakistani movies even if they're bad? Hareem Farooq thinks so

Should we watch Pakistani movies even if they're bad? Hareem Farooq thinks so

"You need to own everything right now, everyone is learning; Pakistani cinema is just six years old," said the actor.
Updated 10 Aug, 2019

Hareem Farooq has been quite the busy bee promoting her upcoming film, Heer Maan Ja.

But it looks like the actor wants unconditional support, be the film good or bad.

During a recent interview with Haroon Rashid of BBC Asian Network, She spoke up about the Pakistani film industry and how the cinema-going culture is declining.

When asked about whether it's okay to say 'support local cinema' even when folks say a film is terrible, she replied, "I'd say that's true. You need to own everything right now."

She went on to say, "Bollywood, Hollywood, Tamilwood, they're centuries old, while Pakistani cinema is probably just six years old. We talk about making something out of our country, and we want to take our cinema abroad.

We want to tell people that what you get to see in the news is not Pakistan or the one you get to hear about from people who don't even know what Pakistan is, right? You need to tell people that this is Pakistan; it is beautiful, it has colours, it has talent, it has everything."

"So, even if there is a bad film, you need to understand and our audiences need to understand, that we don't have the technicians, the writers, or even the actors for films. Everyone is learning and the only reason why people are doing films is passion and it's just purely passion, trust me on this."

We get what Hareem is trying to say about the Pakistani film industry being in it's teething phase. But considering the time that has gone by and the number of films released (last year alone we had over 20 releases), are we really going to support mediocre, even bad content just because it's locally produced?

Also, there will be no motivation for filmmakers to strive to do better if we keep lapping up whatever is served. These patriotic calls help no one in the long run if it means our industry gets in a comfort zone. It's about time they listen to the criticism and improve from there.

We want to support our local industry. We really do. But if in the past few years we get the same kind of films with the exact same problems time and time again, 'support local cinema' won't work anymore.


RH Aug 09, 2019 11:34am
Audiences have become smarter and this logic does not hold up. If a film is bad no one will see it. Also audiences are moving to streaming platforms like Netflix & Amazon. Its happening all over the world. Film-makers need to wake up & make good films.
Shahid Aug 09, 2019 11:46am
I have opened the restaurant and we're learning, the food may be very bad. but please come and support us
Simon Aug 09, 2019 03:22pm
OK! We will do. But add at least some entertainment, item numbers like the Indians do.
SHM Aug 09, 2019 04:30pm
Better to watch no movie than bear 2 hours of a bad movie and paying money for it
Cinemaphile Aug 09, 2019 04:30pm
If the filmmakers keep us serving with bad movies with actors who we've seen a gazillion times with stretched out stories that hold little to no gravitas. Then yes. Criticism breeds good filmamkers. We need to stop loving in this bubble of ours. We need to stop making bs movies all revolving around Shaadi. Please there are more issues. Interior sindh is littered with issues. We have our wins as well. Samina Baig everyone! Hareem talks about people knowing about what Pakistan is. Pakistan is sacrifice. Pakistan is Edhi. Pakistan is so much more than these filmmakers make it out to be. So yes. The cinema of Pakistan will always be like this if it doesn't face criticism. P. S. Pakistani cinema is not 6 years old, Hareem.
M Aug 09, 2019 04:32pm
Live to live with honor or die fighting for cause
Tariq Aug 09, 2019 04:34pm
Sorry to say that these TV drama artist must concentrate on our classic era drams rather then these tele film which they claim as box office film. People have more option and if wanted anyone to sucess must produce a genuine box office films not these telefilms.
Sara Khan Aug 09, 2019 04:53pm
I watch 3-4 desi movies every month, mostly on youtube, netflix, amazon prime and other streaming services because we don't have theaters showing desi movies where i live. I came across a few Pakistani movies about 2 years ago and since then I prefer them over indian movies. My preference has nothing to do with the indian-pakistani spat or ban, Pakistani movies are more family oriented and close to reality, indian movies seem more fictional and un-real with the exception of movies with aamir khan and those low-budget movies with sanjay mishra. The only complain i have is that there not enough Pakistani movies coming out.... cheers
Just Saying Aug 09, 2019 05:09pm
To create a vibrant cinema, you need a open and free society first because the good stories come from those who push the norms on what the current thinking is and what is considered acceptable. Pakistani filmmakers have a limited canvas to the topics they are allowed to address. Most of the topics that matter are no-go areas. That is why Pakistani cinema is just a rehash of what has already been said and done numerous times.
Ahsan Aug 09, 2019 05:11pm
Will you buy a local product although its cheaper than important and quality is comparable as well. Why you preach something which you do not practice.
Umair Aug 09, 2019 05:17pm
Why does she say Pakistani Cinema is six year old. People have been making movies in Pakistan since long time it's no fault of people that film makers got lazy and started making outdated films. Will Hareem buy substandard products just because it is made in Pakistan?
Raja Aug 09, 2019 05:21pm
What an immature thinking in this era. Criticism should be taken as a source of improvement. if audience will keep supporting mediocre movies then this industry will never be able to flourish. Instead of making indian copies by adding pathetic item numbers, work on better stories. All of these stories are present all around us, we need to have creative minds to explore them.
Adi Aug 09, 2019 05:39pm
One doesnot have to re invent the wheel. One can always learn from bad movies made elsewhere instead of making your own. Lately, Pakistani movies have been adopted from sitcoms so they are bound to fail. Pakistani industry is not 6 years old as the lady suggests rather Pakistan has been making quite good movies in 1950s and 1960s.
Ga Aug 09, 2019 05:41pm
Supporting a bad product will continuously get you a a bad product. The onus is on filmmakers to produce better content. I fully support you but you owe me better content.
shehryar mughal Aug 09, 2019 06:00pm
Supporting bad films is like encouraging a kid to keep bad habbits. Make good film or it would fail at screen should be the only motive for every film maker in pakistan.
James Aug 09, 2019 06:07pm
I don't think her comment on the Pakistani film industry being 6 years old is anyway factual. Yes, one can argue the resurgence of Pakistani cinema took nearly 6 years ago. But, even that is a dubious statement to make. Secondly, I don't think we should use the art of cinema to fund propaganda, and act as tourist vignettes for the country. I think that genre died long ago, and the world doesn't need cinema to pontificate on the beauty of a country. Pakistani You-Tubers are already doing that, and producing more personable content than cinema has ever been able to do. Thirdly, if she's saying that Pakistan has talent, then that talent should be good enough to draw the crowds. That being said, she only contradicts that statement by saying, ", even if there is a bad film, you need to understand and our audiences need to understand, that we don't have the technicians, the writers, or even the actors for films." So, basically, you don't have as much talent as you lead on initially.
N_Saq Aug 09, 2019 06:40pm
I completely understand where she is coming form. She is just trying to protect her business and I don't blame her. However, this statement by author of the article sums it all "there will be no motivation for filmmakers to strive to do better if we keep lapping up whatever is served."
Jawwad Aug 09, 2019 07:33pm
I already only watch Pakistani movies and music, it's way better than Bollywood.
Ravin Aug 09, 2019 08:18pm
Living in a bad country for life long is a given, so why not spend 3 hours watching a bad movie? How bad the bad can get?
N abidai Aug 09, 2019 09:08pm
@Umair Pakistan had stopped making films in the 70's,there was a decline,the big producers had stopped investing . The big studios closed down. It is the tv industry just restarted investing in films,this time the revival started in Karachi. In six years there are good improvement . The new pak film industry is going from strength to strength ! There are akways nay Sayers, however the films are getting better. Eid releases,will do really well. The film and tv artists needs to stop the jealousy wars!
Prya Aug 09, 2019 10:05pm
I'm sorry, but there's clearly a difference between a "low-budget film" and a "bad film". Pakistan films are "bad films", whatever the technique, the actors, the cost. They are bad because they lack inspiration, don't explore the world, don't challenge people's expectations, and repeat the same old chichés, as they were speaking to 5 y.o. children! They're focus on a single model: Bollywood. Why don't Pakistani directors take inspiration from other countries that produce high quality films, and don't try to imitate Hollywood? Watch Iraniani films (Kiarostami, Farhadi, Panahi), French and Spanish movies (Almodovar, Medém, Amenabar, de la Iglesia), British movies (Ken Loach, Mike Leigh), Mexican and Argentinian movies (Iñarritu, del Toro, Lucrecia Martel). All these directors were able to work with a low budget, and yet produced great work of arts that strongly describe the reality of these countries. Watch the movies around the world! And, please, don't be afraid to dare!
Ather Aug 09, 2019 11:26pm
I was recently watching a new Pakistani movie on Netflix with young good looking well known actors/actresses, but there were quite a few scenes where there was clearly overacting(painful to watch) and cheesy dialogues with excessively unnecessary facial expressions. Not sure how an educated artist, director and producer can approve such scenes!
Arjun Singh Aug 10, 2019 12:43am
As long as viewers don't have to spend money to watch bad movies. But will that be ok to the producers? Will they stop charging for their bad product and provide free pop corns and drinks as incentives? Why put this burden on the viewers and force them in the name of patriotism?
Fraz Aug 10, 2019 01:00am
Also, if we provide unconditional support, they’ll continue making nonsensical movies like chupan chupai - entertainment in poor taste, with blatant rip offs taking all the low quality traits of the modern day Indian cinema. No thank you. I’d rather spend my money elsewhere. It’s like saying let’s keep buying low quality musicians’ music because it's local music.
Dr. Rafiq Khan Aug 10, 2019 02:49am
The history of cinema in Pakistan began in 1929.
Asim Aug 10, 2019 07:50am
Our cinema is not learning. All it's doing is trying to badly copy someone (bollywood) that already copies somwone else (Hollywood). Try to bring genuine ideas instead of producing cheap sellable stuff.
Saad Khan Aug 11, 2019 01:01pm
Supporting sub grade content is illogica. film makers have to come up with good stuff to attract and sustain audience. Pakistani films have done well in recent years but still a long way to go.