As Pakistani romantic drama, Dobara Phir Se (DPS), releases in the UAE this weekend, tabloid! sat down with the stars to get to the bottom of the drama that’s in store for us.
DPS is being positioned as a film that is potent enough to change the landscape of Pakistani cinema. It’s about the young and the restless and mirrors what’s happening in the current Pakistani diaspora.
Posh young people dealing with heartbreak, loneliness and modern-day angst is being dealt with for the first time in an Urdu feature.
Here are things you must know about this Mehreen Jabbar film, who’s known for her sensible voice in cinema:
It’s an emotional drama about relationships in the modern times:
“The beauty of this slice-of-life film is that it’s a simple story that will connect with you and me. It will tug at your heart strings. Set in New Yok, you will begin identifying with the problems and angst of each and every character,” said actress Sanam Saeed, who plays a stable young woman Samar, in this drama.
It’s a crackling ensemble:
“Usually you have a hero, a heroine and a villain in a Pakistani film. But for the first time you have an ensemble with a solid script. What I love about Mehreen is that she doesn’t simplify the matters of the heart. The characters in this film are seeking answers in life. The question is do they get those answers that they are looking for,” said Ali Kazmi, who was has been directed by the likes of Deepa Mehta in Beeba Boys and will be seen next in Angelina Jolie’s animated production, The Bread Winner.
It doesn’t have rural, simple girl characters:
“For all those who have seen us in TV serials, they know that we are often seen in desi, rural, simple roles. Perhaps, the audience is bored of seeing us that way and it’s an important film for our careers too. It’s liberating to play such a role,” said Saeed.
Dobara Phir Se is not inspired by Bollywood or Karan Johar’s brand of cinema:
“Absolutely not. The story is original and comes from our tradition of story telling. We have Pakistani dramas to look back to. Perhaps, you might get the director Zoya Akhtar vibe from our film. Apart from the scene in which they are on a road trip driving a vintage red convertible, there’s no other similarity to any other Bollywood film,” said director Jabbar.
Bachelors aren’t frowned upon in this film:
“It’s incredibly enjoyable to play a male character who’s happy to do his own thing. I play a single guy, by choice. There are no labels given to him or there’s no pre-judgment of his bachelor existence. Our Pakistani cinema has usually focused on love, rebellion and marriage as the culmination, but this movie has a different treatment,” said Adeel Hussain, who plays the handsome rake Hammad in this film.
It’s an empowering watch for women:
“Mehreen is all about female empowerment in a subtle way. Look at Hareem’s character [actress, Farooq] who plays Zainab. She’s so strong, despite going through a lot in life. She bounces right back. She has also changed the narrative of a man-woman interaction. The perception of how a couple should argue, whose voice should be raised and who should be a dominant player has been altered in Dobara Phir Se. Nor does she portray a woman who fights as a shrill banshee,” said Saeed.
Look for inspiration in Dobara Phir Se:
“There’s an inherent optimism running through this film. It has young people who make decisions in life based on their instincts and it felt great to play such a liberating role,” said Kazmi.
WORKING IN BOLLYWOOD:
There’s a cultural boycott of Pakistani actors who wish to work in Bollywood and major cinemas in Pakistan have banned Indian films following a rise in military tensions between the two countries. Here’s what model and actress Hareem Farooq and director Jabbar said:
“Art should never be politicised. Think about it, the business and flights continue to ply as usual, the only boycott is of actors and that’s not right,” said Jabbar.
Farooq added: “It’s not the job of actors to make any political statements. Art is a unifying force.”
Don’t Miss It!
Dobara Phir Se releases in the UAE on November 24.