While Hamza Ali Abbasi gets his fair share of the limelight thanks to his involvement in politics, he has also been garnering attention recently for his upcoming film, Parwaaz Hai Junoon. Described as a tribute to the Pakistan Air Force, the movie seems to be an interesting combination of patriotism and entertainment, with a mix of romance and drama.
We sat down with the Mann Mayal star, who was in UK for film promotions, for a brief chat about this upcoming venture.
Tell us about your experience behind the scenes, any special memories?
Hamza: The most special memory for me will always be the chance I got to see the air force life up close. Sitting on the JC17 and F16 jets and experiencing the life of a cadet was truly memorable.
How did the idea of this film come about?
Hamza: Duraid bhai and Momina bhabi, the producers, talked to me initially and said they are thinking of making something because the Air Force wants to make a drama, or something. I suggested why not make a film instead of a drama? They were still double minded but I went ahead and mentioned to a few newspapers that they are making a movie on the Air Force. With that they were like okay now that you’ve said it we’ll have to do it! So the idea was that after a long time the Air Force wanted to do something and I’m glad that instead of a drama they made a film, because a film can go international. Dramas are very localised.
So it appears that there is romance as well in this air force story. How do the two go together?
Hamza: The reason is that unfortunately we perceive soldiers, be it from the army or air force, as machines. They aren’t machines, they are human like us. They too have families, romance, emotions, weaknesses and fears. So the good thing about this film is that it shows soldiers as human beings, not as a Terminator or a Robocop…Same goes for the female character. It is shown that initially she is scared of flying and scared of dying. We have challenged this idea, the very notion of dying for Pakistan or fighting for Pakistan. So it is an all-encompassing movie.
Do you feel this role was more challenging than your previous roles?
Hamza: I didn’t think it would be this much work, I thought an air force pilot is just an everyday guy but when you get to know them you realize they have their own subculture; their way of talking is different, their etiquettes are different.
Do you think your film career can run successfully, while running parallel to your involvement in politics?
Hamza: I am deeply involved in Pakistani politics and I am also doing the best projects as far as media is concerned. Politics in our country is a duty, a responsibility, it’s not a passion or a hobby. Our country is facing severe challenges internally and externally and every citizen of Pakistan will have to be political no matter what profession they belong to. Actors in fact have a further responsibility because people look up to actors in Pakistan, so calling a spade a spade and participating in the political revolution for the betterment of the country is their responsibility. Neutrality in time of crisis is a sin, and especially when you’re a public figure.
I am glad that trend is changing and during these elections extremely mainstream actors like Farhan Saeed, Urwa Hocane, Mawra Hocane, Kubra Khan, Imran Abbas all took sides politically…