Some may argue the role of comedy is to speak truth to an audience in a palatable way. If so, Wajahat Rauf, the director of the Pakistani film ‘Parde Mein Rehne Do’, is confident that he’s on the right path.
His project takes on the tough topic of male infertility and shrouds the serious message in a cloud of comic relief. The movie, which is out now in the UAE, stars Hania Aamir and Ali Rehman Khan.
The story of ‘Parde Mein Rehne Do’ revolves around a married couple who struggle to conceive for many years. Speaking about playing roles that tackle controversial topics, actor Rehman Khan didn’t hold back during his chat with Gulf News.
“The social taboos in Pakistan, they become taboos because in families [it is] very uncomfortable to talk about them. So, it also becomes hard for us to talk about it as a society. So when we can generate some conversation around it, it’s exciting,” Khan said.
The actor also credited the writer of the movie, Mohsin Ali, and director Rauf for the way the topic was handled in the movie.
“Honestly, the story was so beautifully told, and [the] script was so beautifully written... [When] you watch the film, you’ll understand. And within that story, we’ve just neatly wrapped the subject of infertility… Mohsin Ali has written it so beautifully, and then Wajahat also directed [it] so well,” he added.
As for lead actress Aamir, tackling topics that deal with social stigma through her movies and TV shows has become a signature move for the talented star. Aamir recently played the role of a docile woman with a traditional outlook in the series ‘Mere Humsafar’.
Speaking about her interest in playing such roles and the changing outlook of Pakistani story-telling she said: “Even through dramas, we have shown what a normal, realistic life of a woman looks like. But I think we’ve only tackled issues that happen inside a household. You know, we’ve never talked about other issues… [Now] we’re talking about other things that happen in a woman’s life and how empowered she actually is. Even in our dramas, we show empowered women a lot [more] now. And I’m really happy that’s happening now.”
Aamir added that after reading the script, the team talked about which star would be ready to take on the role of the male protagonist, taking into account the sensitive nature of the plot.
“We were really happy that Ali took on this character and without any questions. And I was just very excited to work with him. Because he liked the film itself. And he was up for it. I appreciate him as a as a person as an actor. It was extremely fun working with him,” Aamir added.
‘Parde Mein Rehne Do’ is the second time that Aamir and Khan have acted together after their 2016 release ‘Janaan’. Speaking about their much loved on-screen chemistry, Khan shared why they click so well. “Hania is a very easy person to get along with. And she really makes you comfortable and makes sure that if you’re in the room with her, then you’re given attention, you know, so she doesn’t ignore you… That’s one of the unique qualities that she has, I think that exclusivity that really helps people bond with her and like her,” Khan revealed.
Both the stars expressed their happiness at being in Dubai, saying it was like “coming home from home,” Aamir said, adding that the city felt like a ‘mini-Pakistan’. “It’s always a pleasure to meet all of our fans… and it’s always nice to connect with them. They’ve given us great feedback on the film as well. So it’s been a good experience,” he added.
Speaking about Pakistani movies being a window into the country’s culture, Khan had an interesting take.
“I mean, just look at American pop culture, for instance; it’s popular throughout the world for a reason. People know about the Italians and the gangsters and they know about American suburbs because of American films, TV shows, and so on.
“That’s one of the biggest advantages I think nowadays we have, especially now with social media, [and] with OTT [over-the-top or streaming] platforms… Like Hania said before, we only tell stories about what’s inside the household. There are so many other stories to be told, we have so many heroes, we have so many unique Indigenous stories to tell, that are just unique to Pakistan. I think it’s a great opportunity for us and I think we’re just starting to just pick at it,” he added.
Their favourite eatery in Dubai:
Hania Aamir: “Shake Shack … we don’t have it back home.”
Ali Rehman Khan: “We often crave what we don’t have at home … We don’t have Shake Shack and we also don’t have Al Baik. But we are keen to try Al Baik, heard there’s often a long queue.”
Their secret talents:
Aamir: “I can edit videos and what you see all over social media on my account is done by me.”
Khan: “I don’t know about my secret talent”. But Aamir pitches in to say: “He’s extremely funny and knows how to crack a joke.”
“We started filming in 2020 and soon got into a lockdown. And the biggest challenge was to return to filming. But a big shout out to the actors for maintaining their physical uniformity throughout the shoot … Another challenge was to make this film about impotency family-friendly. We approached this film on an important taboo subject with sensitivity and subtlety,” director Wajahat Rauf on the challenges they faced filming ‘Parde Mein Rehne Do’.
Don’t miss it!
‘Parde Me Rehne Do’ is out in UAE cinemas.