'Parde Mein Rehne Do' Is Based On A Strong Social Issue, Dealt In A Light Manner: Wajahat Rauf
Cinema has been the most memorable and important aspect of my life, Wajahat Rauf
He ventured into filmmaking with "Karachi Se Lahore" in (2015) and then followed it up with "Lahore Se Aagey" (2016) and "Chhalawa" (2019). Now his fourth film "Parde Mein Rehne Do" starring Hania Amir and Ali Rehman is ready for release. One of the most efficient directors in the business today, Wajahat Rauf prefers being steady in his way of working and is prone to wrap up films within time. The director speaks fast, his mind racing at top speed.
In an exclusive conversation with HNH Style, he talks at length about "Parde Mein Rehne Do", his film-making process, his strategy of balancing commercial elements and creative urges, his future endeavors and lots more. Read on…
HNH Style: What made you zero down on 'Parde Mein Rehne Do' as your next, after Chhalawa?
Wajahat Rauf (WR): I was working on the script of my fourth film when writer Mohsin Ali, who’s also a mutual friend, came to me with this script. After reading it, I was blown away and decided that this should be my next film. 'Parde Mein Rehne Do' is based on a strong social issue, dealt in a light manner.
HNH Style: What's your motivation to tell stories on celluloid?
WR: The beautiful memories of my childhood perhaps motivate me to a great extent. I used to watch movies like Superman and ET on the big screen whenever I visited UK or USA with my family. Not just that, my parents were fond of watching movies; I used to accompany them to the drive-in-cinema in Karachi for a movie followed by a dinner (smiles). So basically, cinema has been the most memorable and important aspect of my life.
HNH Style: Why did you opt for Hania Amir and Ali Rehman?
WR: Hania is a great actor, she is a ball of energy, and most importantly the role suited her well. Also, I feel I have great comradery with her. Back in the day, I liked Ali Rehman in ‘Slackistan’. Later I saw him in ‘Janaan’ and felt that he would be perfect to play a character like ‘Kashan’. "Parde Mein Rehne Do" will enable Rehman to show off his true potential.
HNH Style: What's your film-making process like?
WR: I would like to share some key rules that are an important part of my filmmaking process. Firstly, never raise your voice. Secondly, don’t get yourself and your team exhausted; this can be done by shooting for lesser hours in a day. Thirdly, complete the project on time. Finally, keep great food on set. (Smiles)
HNH Style: How different is the music of 'Parde Mein Rehne Do' from the films you have made so far?
WR: This time around, I have opted for a new musical duo. They have literally blown my mind with their beautiful songs. They have brought a vibrant palette to the music album; you can expect to hear some great tunes in the film.
HNH Style: How do you manage to be an economical filmmaker?
WR: I don’t think we have the exact numbers in terms of screen count and audience that head towards cinema to justify a big-budget film. Therefore, I have stayed afloat by keeping an efficient and smart budget.
HNH Style: How has your wife Shazia Wajahat influenced you?
WR: At first, she was managing our TV productions; she became active in the film company after my first two films. Honestly, I have been more relaxed, ever since she came on board. As of now, Shazia takes care of everything; all I do is eat and direct.
HNH Style: How difficult is it to strike a balance between commercial elements and creative urges?
WR: Well, that's tough; we all want to make our exceptions. Having said that, we should be watchful about the audience preferences, and make our films accordingly. It would serve nobody if I choose a different script just for the sake of being creative and no one comes to watch it, what’s the use? I feel with time, the film industry will experiment a bit more.
HNH Style: Do success and failure affect you a lot?
WR: Yes, it does! I don’t want my efforts and hard work of an entire year to go unnoticed or face financial losses. No one aims to make a bad film; it’s just that some work and some don't.
HNH Style: And how much have you have evolved as a person and a filmmaker?
WR: You grow with every film and get to know the dos and the don’ts of the process. I leave it up to the audience to decide my growth as a filmmaker once they watch “Parde Mein Rehne Do”.
HNH Style: How much of the film is left to be shot? When is the film releasing?
WR: Alhamdulillah, we wrapped up filming last week. The title song was left to be shot, that too is completed. The release date is yet to be decided.
HNH Style: Which film has been very close to your heart but the response didn't match up?
WR: My first ’Karachi se Lahore’ remains the closest to my heart. It got acclaim and rave reviews but that didn’t translate into instant footfalls at the cinemas. It gathered momentum towards the second and third week; thanks to the positive word of mouth. We can talk about film reviews in detail in a separate article (smiles). All in all, I am happy with the responses to all my films.
HNH Style: Are you satisfied with the response to Raqs-e-Bismil?
WR: I am extremely overwhelmed. I had no idea that it would generate such a massive response. I and my entire team are thankful to fans who praise Raq-se-Bismil every day via messages and telephone calls.
HNH Style: Tell us about your future endeavors?
WR: The script for the next film is almost ready. I have locked two serials for TV. I look forward for the support and prayers of all my fans.