Omair Alavi interviews Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar
Love him or hate him, Khalil ur Rehman Qamar is undoubtedly at the top when it comes to writing scripts and penning iconic dialogues. From Boota From Toba Tek Singh to Mere Paas Tum Ho, his iconic journey on TV has included Landa Bazaar, Bunty I Love You, Pyare Afzal, Sadqay Tumhare and Zara Yaad Kar besides coining Help Me Durdana in the super hit Punjab Nahi Jaungi. So when he decided to direct a film, it didn’t raise any eyebrows as all those who have worked with him have praised him for his impressive screenplay, and powerful dialogues. However, when the trailer of his film Kaaf Kangana was unveiled, it attracted more negative comments than positive ones. Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar was offended with the unhealthy criticism and decided to come clean when approached for an interview for Hit In Pakistan. Read on:
When did you come up with the idea of Kaaf Kangana and that you will launch yourself as a film director with it?
The idea of the film came to me 4 years back and while I was writing the script, I had decided that I will direct it. I may not have directed films but on TV I have done that and left it only because it was too time-consuming. However, I have been writing for 23 years and considered myself qualified enough to direct a film that was written by me, and here it is.
Usually, films revolving around India-Pak are marred by controversies, be it in India or Pakistan. Did you take that into account while writing the script?
Trust me, Kaaf Kangana is not controversial at all. In fact, the negotiations that aren’t taking place between the two countries, I am doing that through my film.
Why is there so much emphasis on Kashmir in the trailer; where are the special Khalil ur Rehman Qamar romantic dialogues?
We had planned three trailers to introduce the film, the first one was released in the middle of this year; the Kashmir one was edited to suit the timings of Indo – Pak tensions. You will see the romantic dialogues in the film because it is an intense romantic film revolving around the two countries. My tagline — “An intense but incomplete love story of 1947, waiting to be completed in 2019” — is self-explanatory and says enough (smiles).
Is the finalized cast exactly what you wanted when you started the film?
Khuda Ki Qasam, the cast that I wanted when I started the film couldn’t have been better than the finalized cast with which I am releasing the film. Whatever I was thinking back then was wrong, these actors have done a wonderful job and have exceeded my expectations.
How is Sami Khan of Kaaf Kangana different from the Sami Khan of Love Life Aur Lahore and Tau Dil Ka Kia Hua?
You will see a drastic difference between the Sami Khan of my dramas and my film; as Ali Mustafa, he carries the film on his shoulders and has come out as an entirely different person.
Your son Aabi Khan is also making his debut as the second lead; did you choose him for the role because he is your son or because you regard him highly as an actor?
I leave it to the audience and let them decide if I have introduced my son or given a good actor to the industry.
Your film was first slated for a release last year but was then marred by constant delays. What were the reasons behind that?
You can say that inexperience as a director was the reason behind the delay. I didn’t know that the post-production of a film would consume so much time. Had I made a film before, I would have known and given a definite date for the film’s release.
What about the negative reviews about the trailer from bloggers and social media influencers?
I don’t like people who are dishonest with their work, because I haven’t been dishonest with mine, ever. So when I read comments on the Social media from people who had no idea what they were talking about, it made me angry. How can people criticize a film before its release! Let the film come out and then criticize it constructively and I will not mind that but at a time when the industry needs our support, going negative for no reason isn’t something I would advise.