In the lead up to Eid, the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage prohibited the screening of Indian films for a week. While a laissez-faire approach towards the film industry has been argued elsewhere, it is important to gauge how the Lollywood films managed to profit from the week-long respite that was provided to them.
These included Mahira Khan and Shehryar Munawar’s Saat Din Mohabbat In and Javed Sheikh directed Wujood, along with Moammar Rana’s Azadi and Na Band Na Baraati which has Meekal Zulfiqar, Nayab Khan, Ali Kazmi, Azra Mohiyyuddin and Atiqa Odho.
As is evident after the week where Bollywood remained outlawed, it is only 7DMI that managed to make some impact among the local lot. Outdoing the three competitors, the film showed solid market growth during initial days by crossing Rs3.5 crore mark during the Eid holidays.
Of course, this doesn’t make 7DMI a world beater by any stretch of the imagination. However, what it happens to be is this year’s better commercial venture – which again doesn’t say much given the self-imploding entertainers that have been churned out this year.
Tipu (Shehryar Munawar) is a 29-year-old guy devoted to his dead-end job at a jewelry store. He lives with his dictating mother (Hina Dilpazeer) and cousin Neeli (Mahira Khan) who has fallen in love with him.
Tipu is dull and naïve, but dreams of becoming a hero. He finds his ‘zero’ personality a hurdle in this struggle, but fails in every attempt to fix it. Moreover, his mother is perpetually strict with him.
The storyline of the movie begins when Tipu meets a supernatural creature Dwarka Prasad from Delhi. He challenges Tipu to find the love of his life within seven days, with the girl having a mole on her face. In return, the devil would turn his timidity into machoness. If Tipu fails, the devil would take with him as his slave.
In the quest to find such a girl, Tipu takes assistance from his friend who comes up with a wide array of ideas. And voila, Tipu becomes a heartthrob for many within the blink of an eye. And now life wants to test him.
One of the girls chasing after him, Ghazala (Amna Ilyas), is a feminist activist. Then Princess Sonu (Mira Sethi) makes her way from Bradford. All of a sudden, 7DMI transforms into 7 Din Mohabbatein In – and each mohabbat comes with its own baggage for the viewer to gauge.
Mahira does fairly well in her depiction of Neeli. Even though she did overdo many parts, what she has also done is successfully played out a comic role, managing to make the audience laugh.
Shehryar Munawar does alright with Tipu, without setting anything afire. Both Mahira and Shehryar are designed to cash in on their good looks, which they indeed managed to do.
But as far as the comedy bar was concerned, it was set high by Hina Dilpazeer from the get go. Javed Sheikh’s part was largely superfluous though. Amna Ilyas and Mira Sethi both did well in their respective assignments.
Of course, the stylist and makeup artist were going to be pivotal in the project, and they’ve managed to give the film the looks that it needs throughout. Wardrobes of all actors is on the mark, with clear effort put in to transform Tipu from ‘zero’ to hero – which of course in Shehryay Munawa’s case was an effort that was needed in the other direction.
Even so, the storyline and dialogues were haphazard and inconsistent. Shuja Haider’s music wasn’t particular exciting either. A better story would’ve been expected, but considering its weekend peers, 7DMI would not even have had to worry about it.
With Race 3 releasing this week, and Sanju coming next, none of the local releases – 7DMI included – would be able to sustain any presence in any of the multiplexes. This goes to show the gap that exists between the two industries.
Even so, what is worrying is that Lollywood isn’t getting any closer to Bollywood in terms of quality – even though Cake was a rare exception, with Motorcycle Girl also making a mark.
When it comes to the entertainment coefficient though, the local film industry continues to lag. Which is why instead of protecting it from competition, the local films should continue to be thrown at the deepest end and thence learn how to swim against the tide.