The makers of blockbuster hits such as ‘Janaan’ (2015) and ‘Parchi’ (2018) are back with a film that they claim combines the romance of the first with the zany comedy of the latter — with lots of action and chase sequences thrown in. A poster of the new film, funnily titled ‘Heer Maan Ja’, was recently released.
It features Hareem Farooq, also the film’s co-producer, all dolled up as a bride — though the hint of mischief in her eyes and the pair of sneakers she’s sporting make you wonder if the lady is contemplating fleeing the scene. You also have a suave Ali Rehman Khan seemingly lost in his thoughts.
‘Heer Maan Ja’ is Khan’s third project opposite Farooq; that is, if you count the Hum TV serial, ‘Main Khayal Hoon Kisi Aur Ka’.
Talking to Gulf News tabloid!, producer Imran Raza Kazmi defends his choice.
“Yes, it’s Ali Rehman again. But this is probably the first time he gets to do the full-on filmi hero stuff. The film has a great deal of action, drama and comedy,” he said.
Kazmi also speaks of a “subliminal message” that the film gives.
“‘Janaan’ touched the very serious subject of paedophilia, and ‘Heer Maan Ja’ talks about honour killings but very subtly, because we wanted the film to remain an entertaining fare through and through,” he said.
Kazmi says audiences can expect lots of star cameos.
“We’ve got Aamina Sheikh, Mikaal [Zulfiqar], Ali Kazmi, Ahmad Ali Akbar, and a few others. The interesting part is that all these stars have been assigned specific characters. So, they aren’t there just for an appearance,” he added.
The film is directed by Azfar Jafri. The main story idea is Kazmi’s while the script is by first-time screenwriter Owais Korai Baloch, whom the producer calls “the youngest film genius.”
When asked if ‘Heer Maan Ja’ is a contemporary take on the original folk legend of Heer Ranjha, Kazmi says: “No, it’s an entirely different story. It’s a modern-day love tale, and a complicated one. I won’t reveal much about that right now.”
Watch out especially for the action sequences, he says.
“We’re quite sure we’ve taken these to another level. More like ‘Teefa In Trouble’. We got Mehboob Shah as a stunts coordinator and Sameer Hamdani for action direction,” Kazmi said.
The film has been shot entirely in Islamabad. The final spell, in which the songs will be shot, is scheduled to begin at a studio set in Karachi soon with actor-choreographer Osman Khalid Butt. The soundtrack features Abdullah Qureshi, Herbie Sahara and Ahmad Ali.
Kazmi reveals that the film is being simultaneously edited by Mitesh Soni, who is based in India and used to work for Yash Raj Films.
‘Heer Maan Ja’ is slated for release on Eid Al Adha (August) this year.