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In the mood for a festive romantic comedy set against the backdrop of several vibrant weddings? Pakistani director Asim Raza has you covered.

‘Parey Hut Love’, his multi-starrer led by actors including Sheheryar Munawar, Maya Ali, Zara Noor Abbas and Ahmed Ali Butt, promises to make you wiser in love. As the film, out in the UAE cinemas now, win over audiences, Gulf News tabloid! put together what we know so far about this romantic comedy and why you should put a ring on it ...

’Parey Hut Love’ is a romantic comedy directed by Asim Raza who made his feature film debut with a coming-of-age drama Ho Mann Jahaan (2016) starring Mahira Khan. Raza describes his second cinematic outing as a ‘family entertainer’ with Sheheryar Munawar in the titular role. This lead player is an actor in this romance whose love life alters with the weddings that he attends. But the focus isn’t just on Sheheryar’s character. It’s a multi-starrer with actors such as Maya Ali, Ahmed Ali Butt and Zara Noor Abbas who play pivotal roles, claim Raza.

“I am a people’s person. When you go watch cinema, you don’t do so just for one face. You watch cinema because you want to see a story being narrated well. We are family people, especially those living in the Asian sub-continent. We love spending time with families and that’s why we love watching films on big families. Parey Hut Love will fill you with warm, familiar feeling that you get when spending time with your families,” said Raza during a press junket in Dubai.

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(From left) Zara Noor Abbas, Ahmed Ali Butt, Sheheryar Munawar, Director Asim Raza and Maya Ali at the announcement of upcoming Pakistani movie Parey Hut Love. Photo Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Director Raza believes that love stories set against the backdrop of a colourful wedding can never go out of style. But the film is less about weddings and more about ‘not getting married’, claims the director.

“There are at least 20 weddings that you attend in a year if you belong to an average Pakistani family. So, why should we make films on stories based on our reality? Why should I look at lives led by outsiders for my films? But this film is not about weddings alone. It’s also about why you don’t want to get married … It’s a film that explores the changing terrain of romance and how the concept of relationships or wedding has taken a complete turn among youngsters today in our society. They are now practical about their love affairs,” said Raza.

In general, director Raza has observed that in Pakistan the party zone is invariable a wedding.

“We are in a festive mood at weddings … The idea was to give Parey Hut Love a vibrant backdrop and allow the viewers to forget their issues at home,” said Raza.

‘‘Parey Hut Love will play out as four chapters in Sheheryar’s life. It’s episodic in structure and the director hired two DOPs [director of photography] to give each chapters in the film a fresh feel and perspective.

“While each chapter will not break away from the last one, visually – its vocabulary will change with each passing chapter.”

Actor Munawar, who has also co-produced this Eid release, claims the texture and flavour behind each chapter is different.

“To be able to do that by making it look like one consolidated piece, it’s amazing. There are multiple layers to this film. Be ready to discover new flavours.”

Sheheryar Munawar worked as an intern with director Raza and worked his way up as his lead actor. Munawar had worked in a few serials before being launched with a big splash by Raza in Ho Mann Jahaan.

“I want to believe that Ho Maan… was my proper launch … Those lover boy roles come easy to me and I remember Azim sitting me down, saying that playing chocolate heroes was my perfect foil. Don’t get too creative, he joked. Some things comes naturally to people and this genre of romantic comedy comes naturally to me.” He plays a commitment-phobe Parey Hut Love who resists the idea of marriage with all his might.

Actress Maya Ali, whose first film Teefa In Trouble was a massive blockbuster, claims she learnt the art of ‘ada’ [charm] on the big screen after working with actors like Meera and Mahira Khan, who play cameo roles in PHL.

“I have never planned anything concrete in my career. A film with Asim Raza just happened and I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of this venture … My dates are always available for director Asim”

Zara Noor Abbas was tired of playing “bechari ladki [hapless girl]” characters that required her to play that perennial victim who sob and mope around. Director Raza’s offer was like the proverbial breath of fresh air. She plays the love interest of actor Ahmed Ali Butt, who is known for his excellent comic timing.

“For the first time in my career, I was offered a role that explored my potential as an actor and what I am capable of … I feel like I am his prodigy. He defined what I can do for my career … If Asim picks you from a crowd of 20 million people, it has to count for something. You are instantly labelled and that’s an instant validation,” said Abbas.

Director of Parey Hut Love claims that Pakistani films don’t have the budget that other industries in the world do. So they have to make the most of what they have in hand.

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Sheheryar Munawar and Maya Ali dance at the ‘Parey Hut Love’ press conference that took place in Dubai.

“A lot of blood, sweat and toil has gone into this film … Years go into making one film … Now as an audience, support us and watch this film so that we are united for the cause of strengthening Pakistani cinema. Watch the movie first, even if you criticise it. Don’t do so, without watching it.” said Raza.

Ahmed Ali Butt claims that he isn’t just a comic relief in ‘Parey Hut Love’.

“I have said no to scripts where I am just on call to play a comic relief and there’s really no other demand made on me as an actor … But when I read the script of Parey Hut Love I realised that my character was an integral part of the film … My character is not bola baala [innocent] and I like that about him,” said Butt.



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Ahmad Ali Butt, director Asim Raza, Zara Noor Abbas, Ali and Munawar.

Keeping their romantic comedy Parey Hut Love in mind, Gulf News tabloid! got the lead actors and director play a fun relationship quiz where we asked them sticky questions about love, break-ups and infidelity in their lives … Here is our prime take away from our conversation with the stars

Love at first sight:

Sheheryar Munawar: “Definitely. It’s about chemistry between two people. Even if there are million people in the room, and any two people are meant to end up together then their eyes will cross and connect. And that to me is the definition of ‘love at first sight’. Love is written in the stars.”

Zara Noor Abbas: “Some may believe in love at first sight, but I don’t. Love has a lot to do with whether our ideologies are similar and how we both want to live our life.”

Asim Raza: “I am a hopeless romantic. So I believe in love at first sight.”

Ahmed Ali Butt: “Love takes time to grow.”

Infidelity and whether you would forgive your cheating partner?

Sheheryar Munawar: “As human beings, mistakes happen … But loyalty is very important in a relationship. There’s no substitute for that.”

Maya Ali: “I will never forgive and I don’t care for the how, why and when it happened. I will move on.”

Zara Noor Abbas: “I am mean. I will hunt them down and be this dayan [witch] who will make sure his life is miserable. I can be vicious.”

Asim Raza: “I am a romantic, so I will forgive but never forget.”

Ahmed Ali Butt: “If I cheat, I wouldn’t want to be forgiven because I would cheat again … And if I am cheated upon, I will move on and keep my self-respect intact.”

Can you be friends with your ex?

Ahmed Ali Butt: “Yes and you can be good friends with your ex.”

Asim Raza: “I will find it difficult to be friends with an ex”

Zara Noor Abbas: “No. I don’t think love should be shared. If you are in love with someone, then he’s all yours. He cannot be shared. If I am done with someone, I am done.:

Sheheryar: “Depends on the nature of the relationship you had … If you have been supportive of each other in the past, then you can be friends … I am good friends with a couple of my exes.”

Maya Ali: “Not at all. If I am done with someone, I am done.”


Don’t Miss It!

‘Parey Hut Love’ is out in the UAE now.