Pakistani expats in the UAE: grab some popcorn and an Eid blockbuster

This Eid Al-Adha, Pakistan’s film industry is gracing the box office with a host of entertainment for all, and new releases featuring some much-loved superstars. (Photo (Courtesy: pareyhutloveofficial instagram)
Updated 11 August 2019

Pakistani expats in the UAE: grab some popcorn and an Eid blockbuster

  • Heading to the movies is an Eid tradition in Pakistan, with the local film industry saving its very best offerings for releases on Eid day
  • From romance to comedy to action, from Mahira Khan to Maya Ali, Pakistani cinema this year is pulling out all the stops

ISLAMABAD: It’s Eid, your house is packed with relatives, you have devoured more mutton than a doctor would recommend in one sitting and you have run out of topics to argue about over the family table — what to do? 
Head to the movies, of course! In Pakistan, Eid releases and trips to the cinema are a tradition many embrace, with the day’s festivities often ending with a bag of popcorn and a packed movie theater. There is no reason not to extend that tradition to wherever you now reside, because Pakistani films are playing in cinemas near you!
This Eid Al-Adha, Pakistan’s film industry is gracing the box office with a host of entertainment for all, and new releases featuring some much-loved superstars.

Parey Hut Love
Maya Ali (Teefa in Trouble) and Sheheryar Munawar (Ho Mann Jahan) star in the Asim Raza directed ‘Parey Hut Love’ (Move over, Love). 
Written by Imran Aslam, the trailer which is sitting at a few million views, features glamorous sets, songs that will be playing at every party come wedding season and cameos by familiar faces including Mahira Khan’s (whose own film premieres on the same day), Sonya Jehan and Meera. 
For many weeks now, the stars have been out promoting their film which is said to be based on the English romantic comedy, “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” The film also stars Ahmed Ali Butt and Zara Noor Abbas. With inklings of Bollywood style productions evident in the film’s trailer, one should expect beautifully choreographed dances, a stellar soundtrack and a romantic storyline packed with comic punches.

Pakistan Release: August 11th, 2019
UAE Release: August 8th, 2019

If you like romance with drama, check out “Superstar” starring Mahira Khan and Bilal Ashraf (Janaan). Directed by Mohammed Ehteshamuddin and written by Azaan Sami Khan, “Superstar” tells the story of the rise of stardom of an actress named Noori (played by Khan) and her great love Sameer (Ashraf). With almost two million views on YouTube for the film’s wildly popular song titled ‘Noori’ released last month, people seem to be raving already. The film also features some guest appearances by Kubra Khan, Syra Shehroze, Hania Aamir, Osman Khalid Butt and Fahim Burney. A few songs have already been released from the film whose trailer shows a promising story steeped in emotions about the trials and sacrifices one must make to follow their dreams, embrace fame and become a star.

Pakistan Release: August 11th, 2019
UAE Release: August 11th, 2019

Heer Maan Ja
IRK Films present it’s latest offering, a romantic comedy starring Hareem Farooq and Ali Rehman Khan: ‘Heer Man Ja.’ This is the second production from the IRK banner to star Farooq and Khan, who starred in Imran Raza Kazmi’s ‘Parchi’ earlier. Heer Man Ja promises a little bit of a lot: romantic-comedy-action that tells the story of Kabir and Heer who embark on an adventure when Heer enlists Kabir (unwillingly) to help her abandon an arranged marriage, something that the trailer promises will result in a great deal of hilarity. The film also features some favorites from the IRK banner, including Ahmed Ali Akbar, and stars like Mikaal Zulfiqar, Shaz Ali Khan, Aaminah Sheikh, and Ali Kazmi.

Pakistan Release: August 11th, 2019
UAE Release: August 22nd, 2019

Johnny Depp denies ‘wife-beater’ claim in London libel trial

Updated 07 July 2020

Johnny Depp denies ‘wife-beater’ claim in London libel trial

  • The high-profile case has laid bare Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s turbulent relationship, which ended in divorce in 2017
  • The couple first met on the set of the 2011 film ‘The Rum Diary’ and married in 2015

LONDON: Hollywood actor Johnny Depp strenuously denied being violent to his ex-wife Amber Heard, as he launched a libel claim in a London court on Tuesday against a British tabloid newspaper that called him a “wife-beater.”
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” star, 57, is suing the publishers of The Sun and the author of the article for the claims, which were made in April 2018.
Depp, wearing a dark suit, white shirt and facemask, was met by a throng of cameras as he arrived at court while Heard, a 34-year-old actress, used a separate entrance.
The high-profile case has laid bare the couple’s turbulent relationship, which ended in divorce in 2017, just two years after they married.
But Depp said in a witness statement submitted to the court: “For the avoidance of any doubt, I have never abused Ms Heard, or, indeed any other woman, in my life.”
He said it was a “strong and central part” of his moral code that he would never hit a woman, having witnessed domestic violence growing up and vowed never to do so.
“I find it simply inconceivable and it would never happen,” he added.
“She (Heard) is a calculating, diagnosed borderline personality; she is sociopathic; she is a narcissist; and she is completely emotionally dishonest,” he went on.
“I am now convinced that she came into my life to take from me anything worth taking, and then destroy what remained of it.
The couple first met on the set of the 2011 film “The Rum Diary” and married in 2015.
News Group Newspapers (NGN) is contesting the case, and is relying for its defense on 14 separate claims of domestic violence said to have occurred between early 2013 and May 2016.
It argues Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive toward Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs” — and has evidence to prove it.
But Depp said it was the other way round, accusing Heard of violence against him during their “unhappy” time together.
In one alleged incident, he said she repeatedly punched him in the face, and in another severed his finger with a flying vodka bottle and stubbed out a cigarette on his cheek.
Heard has claimed she was physically assaulted over three days in Australia in early 2015 but Depp called the allegations “sick... and completely untrue.”
He rejected claims of being overbearing and instead said Heard had an “obsessive need” to control him, encouraging him to drink and take drugs, despite his well-known addiction issues.
Depp’s lawyers, in a written outline of his case to the court, also argued that although the couple’s relationship was at times “physical,” it was at Heard’s instigation.
Lawyer David Sherborne said his client on occasions had to defend himself from Heard’s violence, calling her allegations “complete lies.”
“He is not a wife-beater and never has been,” he said.
Heard was a “complex individual,” whose behavior was “extremely unpredictable,” with violent rages and prone to extreme mood swings, he added.
She sought attention, was provocative, had affairs, and was on a “wide range” of prescribed medication and other drugs.
Depp loved her but found her behavior “often bewildering” and “very difficult” to understand or deal with, he added.
Depp was the first witness called in the case and under cross-examination admitted using drugs and alcohol from a young age to “numb the pain” of a difficult childhood.
But he rejected suggestions from NGN lawyer Sasha Wass he had a “nasty side,” that saw him turn into a “monster” who would lose control, smash up hotel rooms and assault photographers.
“It wasn’t Dr. Jekyll and Mr.Hyde,” he insisted.
The Sun story — “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beast film?” — came after he had already publicly denied domestic violence.
Depp said he had suffered “significant reputational damage” as a result, both in terms of his career and personally.
The High Court trial is due to last three weeks.