Its not very common that you get to see a different kind of movie in Pakistani cinema that isn’t rom-com. While our film industry is still taking baby steps and while everyone is being cautious while making a movie mostly opting for safer options, there are those wild at heart who venture into genres like Action & Thrillers. Talking about that we sat down with the Cast of upcoming movie Laal Kabootar, a one of its kind thriller based on the streets of karachi exploring the gruel world of crime. Starring Ahmed Ali Akbar & Mansha Pasha, it is all set to release on 22nd March, 2019.
We got a chance to speak with both the leads and also the Producers of the movie and here us what they had to say about their new venture
Ahmed Ali Akbar
1. You have played quite comical roles in your previous movies karachi se Lahore & Parchi, what should we be expecting from you in Laal kabootar? Is it going to be the Ahmed Ali akbar n a never before seen avatar or something we have seen before?
Yes absolutely its going to be something that hasn’t been on our silver screen before. Even though I have played a multitude of roles on stage but on screen you are going to see something totally different.
2. After 4 movies you are an experienced person, but still how was it different to be in the lead rather than in a supporting role?
Its all about the marketing and nothing more. Now I can see my face on the posters and all, but work wise it’s all the same. In my previous movies, though they were multi starer, still it was the same for everyone, the only difference became when the marketing of the movie started .
3. Its your co star Mansha Pasha’s second while its a debut movie for the producers , while many artists shy away from the newbies in the industry, what made you take up this role and movie both.
I didn’t have much interaction with the producers, it was the director who sold me this movie from the very first sitting. After having a session with him I knew I was going to do this movie because the way he portrayed this character it was so in synch with what I had in mind.
4. In continuation with the last question, you have worked with experienced cast and crew, while you were working with a totally new team now, what difference did you feel while working with them.
To be honest, this was the most experienced cast and crew I have worked with till date. The way the whole team had a synergy and the way everyone knew what was being done, was phenomenal. Everyone knew what the scene meant, what was its background and what were the needs of it.
5. In Pakistan we rarely see non hoiday releases, and almost all big movies being lined up on the occasion of Eid because it is believed that they can do better on holidays. Now Laal Kabootar is going to be a non holiday release, do you think it has the potential to pull the crowds to cinemas once again?
Well it’s mostly a thing the marketing team is
more worried about. But of course in a country like ours where the only holiday entertainment is either movies or food, Eid holidays play a great role in providing major footfall. There were already 3 movies lined up on eid and I don’t think it would have had helped us in anyway. Rather than that we opted for an earlier date where there are releases lined up but with gap that, in my opinion, will help each other in attracting the audience.
6. After watching the trailer and teaser we are pretty intrigued that what actually is Laal Kabootar. Shall we expect it to be a Pakistani version of sacred games?
We as a team are really humbled that we are being compared with a successful series like Sacred Games. Actually the modern cinema and television trends are more towards reality based rather than spinning fantasies. Since people can relate to those characters and stories, its getting popular among the audience. As far as being comparable or inspired by Sacred games, so no its not. Its only the feel of whole movie being set in slums of karachi and showing the life there might have led people to believe that its going to be similar.
As for the name Laal Kabootar, it was a part of the lyrics of a song we were worning on during the movie. By then we didn’t have a title finalised, so Lal Kabootar instantly struck a cord, because of the contrast, as red signifies blood and love while Kabootar is a symbol of peace which is pretty contrasting just like the storyline of the movie.
7. Give us one reason why should people come out to watch this movie.
Its a very different movie that might not resonate with many but it tells a very real story. The characters are very real and relatable and definitely the audience would connect with them for sure.
Mansha Pasha :
1. We have seen you more on the television and only one movie. What made you make a transition from TV to cinema? Was it this movie in particular or was it on the cards before it?
I have worked for movie before and absolutely loved the whole feel of the work. Television is a whole other story and both aren’t comparable on any level. I would love to keep working for the movies but yes the characters will be very selective.
2. Usually while starting off their career actresses chose safer characters and movies that appeal to most of the audience like romance or comedy, why chose a crime thriller ?
I have always been the one who looks for a different character to do. If you see my work on television, you would see that my characters are very different and none of it is run of the mill kind. So when this role was offered and then I sat down with the team, it totally resonated with me and I took it up
3. How would you define your character in Laal Kabootar. Is it something you have played before or are we going to see some other side of Mansha Pasha in it?
Its a very substantial role as compared to Common notion that its a secondary role. The story revolves around the incidents that happen with my character and how it ties together the whole story. About the role, its different, you might seem a few similarities with past roles of mine but nothing like its totally the same. It varies from the mainstream characters alot but its very relatable.
4. How was your experience shooting for a movie and how much was it different or similar to shooting for television.
Its very different. The whole feel, pace and execution of the concept is very different as compared to television. Also working in a movie is a very long term commitment whereas the TV projects wrap up quicker. Here you have to be a part of the movie from its concept to execution to promotions till it is released. But it’s a great experience.
5. Do you think Laal Kabootar is the movie that will bring people out of their homes and watch it in the cinema given its a grim genre and a non holiday release as well.
Yes its not something you see in the mainstream cinema. Genre films target a specific audience and the one we are going for is targeted towards a more mature audience who grasp the facts we are trying to show. I think its high time we start giving diversity to our movies rather than just sticking to romance or comedy and making everything commercial. I am happy to be a part of a movie that is surely going to change the perception of Pakistani cinema.
6. The trailer looks very promising but we have seen very less of you in it. Is there more to your character in it or shall we expect it to be an all men thing.
Definitely. There is so much more to my character and its a pretty pivotal role in the unfolding if the story. The notion is not very fair that since its a crime thriller, so its going to be an all men thing. Women have been playing very strong roles in this genre as well and you are going to see this for yourself soon.
7.. Rumors have it that its going to be very similar to sacred games, while the later being very violent and abusive, would you say that this is something similar to it because trailer gave us very much similarities to it.
Well Sacred games was a netflix series and its execution is very different as compared to movie. May be the comparison is due to the whole feel of the trailer. But still we have our censor board and our movie was passed with very minor changes that makes it very different from the later.
8. Give us one reason why people should come watch Laal Kabootar in cinemas.
Anyone who likes to see a different kind of cinema would definitely be coming to see Laal Kabootar. The movie is very promising I can assure you that. You would see a very different facade of karachi and its life and definitely going to love it
In a light hearted chat, we sat down with the sibling duo of producers of the movie Hania Cheema and Kamil Cheema and asked them why choose such a different idea to make a debut in the industry, ” it isn’t something we have never seen before but it has never been done in Pakistan. When we were planning a movie, it was always in our mind that it’s going to be something very different yet real and relatable on mass level ” when asked about how difficult it was to find the director Kamal Khan and to convince him to do your movie? ” Kamal Khan wasn’t the first we went to but definitely the first to tell us the problems in our ideas which instantly clicked with us. We were sold during our very first meeting because we knew a person who is stating the facts so bluntly in the first meeting, how sincerely he would be working when we take him on board ” talking about the marketing and distribution ms. Cheema told us that it was easier than what they had in their mind. Everyone was really supportive and gave us honest and real feedback which helped to modify our ideas alot. when asked about international release the duo confirmed that their movie is only releasing in Pakistan currently and about international release it will be thought about in the due course.
This was all from our sitting with the humble and very talented cast of Laal Kabootar and highly ambitious producer duo whose energy was contagious The movie releases on 22nd March 2019 in cinemas all over thr country