It’s been almost 3 weeks now since the trailer of “Parey Hut Love” dropped online. The craft was immediately visible on screen. The scale of the sets, the plentiful cameos, the emphasis on dialogue and music all fit together in an almost perfectly cut trailer. And all the credit goes to the man behind the camera, Asim Raza.
This is Asim Raza’s second film as director, the first being 2016’s “Ho Mann Jahaan”.
We at Pakistani Cinema got in touch with the director for his two cents on the experience of making the film and his expectations for it.
While “Parey Hut Love” looks like possibly the most beautiful looking movie in the history of Pakistani cinema, Asim Raza is modest about the technical achievements. He says he’s seen other films and other directors that have delivered more stylized shots and sets, particularly ones from the golden age of Pakistan film industry such as “Nazrul Islam (Aina), Hassan Tariq (Umrao Jaan Ada), and Shabab Kiranvi (Insaniyat)”, but he admits that a lot of hard work and mastery went in to creating the dreamlike look of many dance sequences and weddings. The challenge was getting the most out of the resources at hand, something which the directors Asim Raza cites also knew how to do. He considers “Parey Hut Love” to be an ode to the “beautiful romantic cinema” of the 60s and 70s for which the industry was revered.
In fact the dance sequence featuring the ravishing Mahira Khan was inspired by Hassan Tariq’s Umrao Jan Ada, a film that has captivated Asim Raza since his childhood. The film featured a powerhouse performance by Rani Begum and Hassan Tariq; by his own admission, Asim has been chasing that level of excellence. He even wants to make his own version of that film, not just because of its historical importance, but because of its incredible depth and sensitivity, which renders it fresh and relevant no matter how much time has passed. The song featuring Mahira, “Moray Saiyyan”, is that dream realized, at least in part.
However, “Parey Hut Love” is far more than its music, set design, and cinematography. Those who watched the trailer would’ve noticed that it features Sheheryar Munawwar mocking Pakistan’s obsession with weddings. And the trailer ends with Fawad Khan saying, “Kamiyaabi ka usool hai Logon ko maza karao unko jeena mat sikhao.” Asim Raza opines that though the film was constructed for a commercial audience, he always believes in giving a message to the audience, one which resonates at large. He cites his previous effort, Ho Mann Jahaan, which featured a message that could ring true with the young and the old. Parey Hut Love however, “features a story centered on the youth, and the challenges they face.”
The film is slated for release on Eid Ul Azha, one of the two biggest money minting occasions in Pakistan. The film savvy among us know that this often results in a fight for screens. Last year, for example, Load Wedding was given the short end of the stick in order to give more screens to “Parwaaz Hai Junoon” and “Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2”.
Asim Raza, his team and his investors thought very carefully about releasing the film on Eid ul Azha, since no one wants to lose money. He had released Ho Mann Jahaan in January of 2016, and it was a big hit. But Ho Mann Jahaan was a smaller story, and smaller films can only survive in an industry when mainstream cinema is alive and well. Parey Hut Love is a massive film that warrants an Eid release. Not only is the background extremely festive, but the performances, the subject matter, and the investment is all grand.
Mr. Raza anticipates a fight for the screens this Eid, and he’s extremely disappointed in the powers that be who are only “interested in making money rather than promoting the cause of cinema.”
However, he remains hopeful that “Parey Hut Love” will climb the ladder of success, come what may.
“Parey Hut Love” hits theaters worldwide on Eid ul Azha 2019.