‘Bol’ impresses UK cinemagoers
Murtaza Ali Shah
LONDON: Shoaib Mansoor’s Bol has opened to box office success in the UK as impressive takings of more than 15 million rupees in the first three days show that the film is a success.
The film, distributed by Geo Films and Eros International, opened in the UK on 2nd of September in Cineworld Feltham, Cineworld Woodgreen, Cineworld Ilford, Cineworld Wandsworth, Cineworld Bradford, Cineworld 02 Greenwich, Empire Leicester square, Odeon Traford, Odeon Leicester, Cineworld Luton, Cineworld Staples Corner, Cineworld Sheffield, Empire Slough, Picadilly Green lane Road Leicester, Safari Harrow, Odeon Bradford, Odeon Glasgow Quay, Vue Acton, Vue Starcity, Vue Harrow, Vue Blackburn, and Boleyn East Ham.
In all the cinemas where it is showing, the management has been impressed by the huge interest in the film by the people of all ages. In highly Asian populated areas where Bollywood has become part and parcel of everyday cultural life, the cinemagoers are impressed that Pakistan has the potential to produce brilliant stories such as the amalgamation of realities in the acclaimed directorÂ’s ‘Bol’. Besides, dozens of charities and civil society organisations are planning private screenings of the film in coming days to generate money for social causes in Pakistan.
At the Ilforfd Cineworld Cinema on Sunday night, dozens of cinemagoers spoke to The News and appreciated many aspects of the film and why it is important that quality films should come out of Pakistan.
“It is not only Shoaib Mansoor’s responsibility or Geo Films to work tirelessly to promote Pakistani cinema. It is for private investors and everyone else who is concerned with the state of Pakistani cinema that films like ‘Bol’ have international quality and appeal, and more films on the same lines with even better quality should be made,” remarked Humaira Abbasi, a British Pakistani student who described herself as a big fan of the film, especially Atif Aslam’s hit songs in the film. Jehnaziab Shaikh came to watch the film with seven members of his family. “After watching the trailer, my family pestered me to take them all out to watch the family. After watching the film I must say it was money well spent. We loved it,” Shaikh said, who was joined by his wife and others in praising the film.
Anita Ahamed said it was a shame that Pakistan produced a handful of films annually when the country was brimming with talents such as those who showcased their brilliance in the film. Â“Pakistan, I am sure, has many Shoaib Mansoors and I wish the international world knew about them through Pakistani cinema,” she wished.
Many women who attended the last two showings of the film said they loved the fact that ‘Bol’ dealt with issues of women in Pakistani society, behaviour towards various sex groups and the use or exploitation of religion in everyday life for cheap purposes.
“Bol exposes the true role of our clergy and how they sell religion and violate the rights of others without any care in the world. It’s been put in such a beautiful way,” Fehmida Hussain, 59, said, after she watched the film.
Diveysh Anand, a local trader, came to watch an English film, but heard from people in the ticketing queue that a Pakistani film was being shown. Out of surprise he decided to watch ‘Bol’ and came out admiring the film. He declared: “Its message is universal. I have always watched Bollywood films but ‘Bol’ is special. Its story is different and appealing. It is as much a Pakistani film as Indian or Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan. It explores common South Asian theme.”
Sameer Hasan, a London School of Economics student, came to watch the film with a group of fellow students. He said the film was courageous in the sense that it exposed ‘ugly face of Pakistan’. “It shows a mirror to Pakistani society. Everyone must watch it to confront the demons.”
A lot of young people who watched the film said they were first attracted to the film after hearing the hit songs of Atif Aslam, Sajjad Ali and Hadiqa Kayani. Ajmal Ali, a local student of A levels, said the songs on the film were superb, but the acting of Manzar Sehbai (Hakim sahib), Humaima Malick, Atif Aslam and VJ Mahira Khan stand out.
Fehme Abbasi, an entrepreneur, commented this was probably the most important film to have ever come out of Pakistan which showed how talented Pakistanis were and if given the opportunity how they could shine through acting and production quality.
“Mansoor ensures that no one loses the interest in the film till the end and that’s the beauty of the film. It’s gripping, sad, romantic, and engaging.”
Source: The News