Telefilms – The medium that holds great power, but only if we can crack the formula. Rmember our ever-popular PTV Long Plays? A thing of the past now!
Tip Number 1 if you wish to be a quintessential Pakistani, you almost have to include at least one drama in your daily schedule.
The Pakistani entertainment industry never fails to make us:
- Giggle, or
2. Completely bawl our eyes out
I still recall my youthful adolescent self imitating Momo from Bulbulay or our cult-favorite, Qutbuddin (Qabacha) from Tanhaiyan. However, I can easily assure you that drama serials are not the only reflection of our local writers’ tremendous skills. A more effective and impactful yet neglected medium of entertainment is the ‘telefilm’.
What Is A Telefilm?
A Telefilm is a 1 to 2 hour movie produced for television. If you have been keeping up with Pakistani Television since the past few years, I’m sure you’ll agree with this phrase:
‘The Less The Duration of A Project, The More The Impact Will Be.’
It’s a tried and tested phenomenon and has seemingly become a mantra on Twitter! Keeping this ideology in mind, I’d like to introduce you to some telefilms that will definitely be etched in your heart forever.
A Few Great Telefilms…
The first Pakistani telefilm I watched was a PTV production, ‘Deadline’. I must comment that its track is quite intense and the plot is impact-ful. Following Deadline, I immersed myself into Kalaak – a love story starring Sanam Baloch & Fahad Mustafa. In addition, this telefim proves that Sanam really does have what it takes! It was her debut acting project and, guess what? She went bald for it – leaving me awe-struck! This telefilm really did set a mark! Sanam also mentioned in an interview with Samina Pirzada that Kalaak aided her in projecting her career forward, as other directors showed interest in taking her on!
The genre of comedy did wonders too. ‘Ghoongat’, starring Bushra Ansari and Muhammed Ahmed , and (Late) Syed Atif Hussain’s “Chor Baabul Ka Ghar” with Samina Peerzada and Mehmood Aslam, made me fall in love with this medium all at once.
A Few Flaws…
Dramas nowadays face a great deal of social and cultural backlash. It’s as though many people are not happy with the kind of content being produced. This downfall has unfortunately had its adverse effects on telefilms too.
“Just for the sake of ineffective or unnecessary comic relief, the medium of Telefilm is abused brutally by the makers”.Armaan Shehreyaar
Every Eid, dozens of telefilms go on air. However, with time, they are losing their charm – the same love stories, with the cliched ‘happy ending’…
What can we really say? There is no story, no script, and the so-called purpose (according to them) ‘comedy’, is not incorporated effectively either.
*So, What Kind of Content Should A Telefilm Showcase Nowadays?*
A Telefilm is supposed to be the “Mil Kay Bethnay Ka Bahaana” for family and friends. Our concentration and emotions connect to it with great intensity, thus making it more fun and memorable. We get the answers we need within just 2 hours, cutting down on our suspense for the next week!
The ideal content needed right now on television is one which will make people rethink their identities. The biggest problem we are facing as a nation is an identity crisis.
Rather than merely treating a telefilm (earlier referred to as long plays) as a 1 hour long time-pass which must be filled with inane jokes and a loosely constructed script, let’s treat it as a chance to convey a lasting message – be it through comedy, or a family drama.
We need to introduce diversity in our telefilms
We need to display different social and economic problems alongside some solutions. Moreover, to make all the information more digestible, a comedic twist can be incorporated. Perhaps a look into different household environments can help viewers broaden their horizons and perspective.
We’ve had some dramas and telefilms where the script has been compromised halfway through the show, either because of a loose storyline or lack of focus on one main theme. Perhaps a bit too much is left for the audience to assume. On the other hand, drama serials like ‘Teri Meri Jodi‘, ‘Aangan’, the ‘Aayegi Baarat’ Series and ‘Prem Gali’ offer viewers a complete package. Please producers, take some hints!
But at the end of the day, what we can do now is simply hope and pray. Hope that our television will revisit classic content, but with a modern twist!