LAHORE: Pakistani cinema has been struggling to hit a chord with the local audience for a long time. Film directors and producers have tried everything, from covering social evils to showing political corruption, to make the audience connect with their ‘reel’ treats. Another venture ready to test its value in the market is Sher Dil. It’s basically a Punjabi film that portrays the theme of ‘every man is a hero’ with a number of sub-plots weaved into the main plot.

Sher Dil shows the power struggle between politicians, police and journalists. Producer Haji Shera says that, “People look at politicians and see nothing but corruption and I feel it’s time to change the local mindset. In this film, the hero will not be a gujjar, rather it will be our local police.”
The film is also special in a way because it marks the comeback of director Iqbal Kashmiri who is known for his hit films during 70s and 80s. The director, whose films did not meet the same fate in the 80s and 90s, hopes to make a memorable comeback with Sher Dil and bring out the best of Pakistani Punjabi cinema.
The power of words
Shera explains that for the first time a Pakistani film utilises the skills of three scriptwriters, who have managed to make the script tighter. “One of our biggest issues has been that we have not given enough emphasis to scripts in Lollywood. I think it has taken away from what we can achieve as an industry,” says Shera, who has not confirmed the release date of the film.
Safe equation?
The film stars Shaan in the lead role as an honest Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) opposite Saima in the role of a woman police officer. The cast also includes Shafqat Cheema, who plays the role of a minister, Jahangir Jani as a minister’s spoiled child, Sila Hussain as a television correspondent and Zeeshan Sikander as the cameraman in the film.
The pairing of Saima and Shaan is one of the oldest and most done-to-death casting in recent times. At least three other major films namely Ishq Khuda, Sharika, and Ik Si Sher will include the same duo. When asked why they chose to cast the industry’s most common lead pair, Shera says that face value remains very important in the film industry to this date and the two are a perfect combination of looks and talent. “We needed a mature looking character to fit the role of a DSP so we chose Shaan. Saima, on the other hand, has the ability to bring depth to the character as well as face value.”
Staying away from the gangster culture
Actor Sila Hussain says she is excited about her role of a reporter inSher Dil. “I deal with media on an everyday basis so for me, this role is very relatable,” says Hussain. “Media and reporters have been so involved in shaping issues and I like how this film aims to highlight this fact.”
Hussain seems positive about the film’s success since it is trying to bring something different to the big screen. She explains that Kashmiri was against the gangster culture shown in the film which is why he took a break from film-making. “He quit the industry for nine years due to this culture that had developed. And now that he is back, he tries to promote a different and honest culture in his films.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.