In the realm of cinema releases if there is ever such a concept as never say die, then the notion would certainly be reserved for the filmmakers of Kahay Dil Jidhar — a drama about friendship that urges you to say no to drugs as well.
Kahay Dil Jidhar (KDJ for short), produced by Kamran Bari, creatively produced and edited by Adeel PK, directed by Jalal and starring Junaid Khan, Mansha Pasha, Roma Michael and Bari in lead roles, was released on December 17 along with Spider-Man: No Way Home.
This release decision would have been strategically sound during normal release cycles but at the time, it wasn't.
With cinemas caught unawares by the pull of the crowd that wanted to see No Way Home — as it had been worldwide — the owners of many multiplex chains opted to cut shows for most foreign movies. Getting swept up in the flow was Pakistan’s own ware — KDJ, especially in the Punjab circuit. The film didn’t have a single show during the last days of December at ME Cinemas, Centaurus, that is managed by the film’s distributor Mandviwalla Entertainment.
However, since the flow of audiences for Spider-Man has ebbed somewhat, cinema chains have now re-opened their doors to KDJ in Lahore.
The announcement of the film’s return had a humorous tilt to it — rather than blame Spider-Man for their losses (the blame game has forever been the de-facto line of self-reasoning for Pakistani filmmakers), Kamran Bari, Junaid Khan and Roma Michael tipped their hats to the superhero for bringing such immense business to the industry.
The not-so-tall, Punjabi-speaking version of Spidey, however, in turn, acknowledges the Pakistani film. In one online-spot for Instagram, he bids KDJ’s team bye-bye, in another he dances to KDJ’s song 'Mastam'.
“The business Spider-Man brought to the cinemas was, without a doubt, a very good thing, especially because audience confidence has dwindled in the last few years because of OTT. We wanted to acknowledge that in a humorous and positive way while announcing the return of Kahay Dil Jidhar,” Kamran Bari told Images.
The film will be screening again at Cue Cinemas at 5pm and 8:30pm, Universal Cinemas, at 7pm, Cinestar – Township at 7:30pm, Cinestar – ATC Gulberg at 3pm and 10:30pm, and Cinepax, Packages Mall at 2pm.
In Karachi, the film continues to play at Nueplex (DHA), at 11:30pm, ME Cinemas (Atrium) at 5:30pm.