By Varda Dar
The curtain rises and you are met with absurd visions of an otherwise sensible, mature woman singing and romping about in the fields donning a gaudy lacha. She swings from one tree to another, putting Tarzan to shame in the process, to please the hero who doesn’t look even once in her direction. Apparently, it is against his masculinity to pay any heed to the heroine’s constant efforts to catch his attention. She sings and dances, swings and pleads, and in general plays havoc in the lush fields, but to no avail. The coldness shown on the part of the hero makes no difference at all. It seems that our heroine is too thick to take a hint.
The above scenario is the clichéd scene from the typical Punjabi movies produced in Pakistan.
The Entertainment Industry is often considered synonymous with the Media and Film Industry. Although there are a number of other things that could be classified as sources of entertainment, e.g. theme parks, golf clubs, restaurants, etc. but for the common man, cinema is the prime source of entertainment. The cinema is not merely a center of entertainment but it is an institution within itself. It moulds the society and introduces new ideas among the masses. It reinforces the societal norms and acceptable behaviors in the society. People follow what they see on screen; it is the intrinsic human psychology.
All over the world, the film industries of various countries pick out the most beautiful, well-groomed and talented people to come forward and entertain the masses. It helps the celebrities to flourish and establish themselves. While doing so, they not only strengthen the entertainment industry but also project a positive image of their country. The celebrities are respected and have a lot of influence on the masses. But the case in Pakistan is entirely different. In Pakistan, educated people are reluctant to join the entertainment industry due to the fear of being marginalized and stigmatized by the more conservative sections of the society. So, most of the people who make it to the Silver Screen are those who have absolutely no knowledge of how to carry themselves, let alone having any sense of consideration towards the country’s name. Surfacing of the scandalous cases regarding Veena Malick and Meera are the direct consequences. No doubt there are a number of talented and well-groomed people in Pakistan, like Shoaib Mansoor, who are actually doing a commendable job but such people are few and far between. Moreover, their work is overshadowed by the scandalous antics of certain celebrities.
Pakistan is a diverse country that has a rich culture and sound traditional values. It has undoubtedly a number of talented people who are willing to bring a change. We have seen a recent change in the type of dramas that are being broadcasted on television. But the medium of television is limited and does not reach out to people all over the world. Cinema and film industry has a broader scope and it is able to catch more attention of the masses. Inducting educated people into the film industry would most certainly do wonders. It would be time consuming to introduce an entirely new film culture in the country but it is definitely worth a try. Anything would be better than the disturbing visions of a heroine prancing about in a field.