Aamna Haider Isani
"Hareem Farooq belongs to the new pool of fun, fearless and fabulous women in film."

Forget about the men. At least for a moment.
Pakistan’s entertainment industry has been injected with some intense grey matter and good looks (in that order, which is the exact opposite of muscular men) and it’s the fun, fearless and simultaneously fabulous females that are defining the way a new era of film is emerging. While the last several decades were about women in distress – tragic heroines, weeping widows, endangered damsels, unmarried sisters and of course, pathetic vamps – this era is about the modern day woman. Simply put, she is an individual and she carries her weight herself.


One such individual is Hareem Farooq, who we bumped into at the Urdu-One brunch hosted at Café Flo during the recently concluded Fashion Pakistan Week. Hareem is an example of how the times are changing for women in the arts. Starting off on stage, with Anwar Maqsood’s Pawney 14 August and Aangan Terha to much acclaim, she made the inevitable transition to TV with several hit performances in Mausam, Doosri Biwi and Diyar e Dil. She made a jump to the big screen with Siyah, for which she picked up several Best Actor nominations and still walking that path to fame, she is now producing Janaan while working as lead actor in Mehreen Jabbar’s Dobara Phir Se.

“A Gemini cannot stick to one thing,” she laughed when speaking to Instep; a smile lighting up her face. “But I feel I’ve been blessed to have had all these things going around me.”

Speaking about Janaan before anything else, we asked Hareem whether the film would even materialize now that Reham Khan had moved to London…
“Reham is a huge support for us but her no longer being here has no impact on the production of the film,” she clarified. “She put her trust in us and her divorce hasn’t effected us at all. It has nothing to do with the film. The shoot is still on and we should be ready to release by June or July 2016.”
Janaan, for the uninitiated, is a love story based in Northern Pakistan. The film features Ali Rehman, Armeena Rana Khan, Bilal Ashraf, Usman Mukhtar and a new girl, Haniya Amir.
“Our vision was to bring in new faces and get a fresh feel,” Hareem explained the need for a new cast. “We wanted good looking, talented people that hadn’t been discovered by others. For instance, Usman Mukhtar is a brilliant theatre actor and we roped him in. We got Haniya Amir from her Dubsmash videos on Facebook.”

So Janaan is on track and shooting is underway for the film, which is being promoted as a full fledged feature film. The producers have huge plans to release it locally and internationally…”We’re actually keeping quiet about everything right now because we want to come out with a bang!” she said.
As far as acting is concerned she’s playing the lead in Mehreen Jabbar’s Dobara Phir Se and will be shooting the second spell of the film in January, around the same time as Janaan.

“Dobara Phir Se is a very sweet love story, about friendships and growing relationships,” Hareem shared cautiously, careful not to give too much away. “The best thing about Mehreen is that she’s so natural and yet so complex. It was so much fun working with her because she gets all the emotions out of you. She didn’t want anything done in a dramatic or filmy way. She wanted everyone to stay completely natural, within the characters.”

As far as careers are concerned, Hareem is also staying within character while adding immensely to the pool of new age actresses that are an era away and above the objectification that Lollywood had subjected the older crop of actresses to.

Writer: By Aamna Haider Isani

Courtesy: InStep Today (The News)

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