Acclaimed Pakistani director Sarmad Khoosat, best known for the Fawad Khan-Mahira Khan starrer soap “Humsafar”, says he finds it surprising that Indian television offers regressive content at a time when the country’s cinema is breaking boundaries and stereotypes.
He feels while the current scenario in Indian movies is impressive, television needs a lot of work.
“Progress happened on Indian TV faster and earlier than us. So, I find this a little surprising that in a scene, where cinema is saying so much, an advertisement can break boundaries, stereotypes… then why do marketeers bring regression in television dramas. The narrative here offers nothing new,” Sarmad said.
The actor-filmmaker was, however, quick to criticise the television scene in his homeland.
Speaking at the ongoing Urdu festival, Jashn-e-Rekhta here, he called for better characterisation and effective writing on television in both the countries.
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“I feel we have finished the variety and diversity of stories in both the countries. India, whose cinema is doing great with films like ‘Masaan’, ‘The Lunchbox’, ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’, the TV from some time now has become monotonous.
“Characterisation and storytelling have suffered so much that the language is left much behind. The depth is missing in characters on both the sides.”
Sarmad, along with Pakistani actress Sania Saeed and popular Indian actors Kanwaljit Singh and Lubna Salim, was part of a discussion “Zindagi Ki Soorat-Giri: TV Par Urdu Ke Rang”.
Lubna, who is a known television face, defended the current content on the small screen, saying, “It is about TRPs. The market forces are such that you have to pay heed to them. But I feel within those limitations, we are coming up with better content. The offers that are coming to me right now are very interesting.”
The discussion was primarily about changing face of Urdu through television shows in India and Pakistan.
Emphasising on the correct use of language in dramas, Sarmad lamented that today’s writers take a lazy approach to make dialogues more popular with the audience.
“Not speaking in one language without bringing in another is an expression of today but the dialogue has suffered because of that… We never read badly or loosely-written novels but to make dialogues comprehensible to all we have taken a lazy approach. I have seen this happening both in India and Pakistan.”