Shaan Shahid’s Arth [Pakistani Movie] makes record by incorporating Oscar-Winner of “Interstellar”

He’s one of Pakistan’s most prolific actors to have breathed life into the local industry scene since his very initial days. From acing the conservative, rustic panache to embodying an unconventionally modernistic hunk, Shaan Shahid has been there, done that.

The spiciest part about his odyssey? His ceaseless vision to tickle audience interest in a fashion that not just stimulates attention but captures and consumes minds with momentous stories that garner an impact – think, the domino effect – a chain reaction that’ll win spirits and leave a spoor, benefitting society for decades to come.

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His acting prowess in Khuda Kay Liye metamorphosed a whole generation and his sincerity to his craft just oozed out in movies like O21Waar and Gidh.

Shaan still seems somewhat bemused at the fact that the industry needs more clout and the minds of Pakistanis can house an abundance of viewpoints. And his drive to coach the industry into a renaissance of sorts has transported him to Arth.

Arth – A Destination or Arth 2 is an ambitious project he’s got the rights for, straight from Bollywood powerhouse Mahesh Bhatt. The actor grasps this opportunity as a combination of the narrowing of the entertainment business, when film-makers and actors have to carry their ideas outside of the Pakistani realm to find material and projects worth doing – Shaan is doing the exact opposite. He’s bringing the magic home.

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Bearing very little semblance to the style of the original, the upcoming flick radiates a flamboyance that screams ‘up-to-the-minute’ and exudes ‘trend’ in every snippet.

The cast, comprising Shaan himself whose also directing the movie, Humaima Malick, Mohib Mirza and Uzma Hassan, will be reenacting the roles from the 1982 original – but utilising techniques that are original and then some.

The trailer alone, undoubtedly, incited various emotions. From disappointment, enamour and envy to obsession, joy and utter gloom, Arth – The Destination is chock-full of scenes and characters that are larger than life, and so very relatable.

But Shaan didn’t stop there! His hunger for aptness has directed him towards Garry Madison who is an Oscar winner. Yes, that’s right; the same Garry Madison who played a key role in making movies like Interstellar and Ex-Machine stand out visually, in ways unimaginable, will be the colourist for Arth – the Destination.

Part of the Best Effects Academy Award and BAFTA winning team has, in fact, made their way into Pakistani cinema – for the very first time of course, through Shaan’s romantic-musical which is expected to be released worldwide in cinemas on December 21, 2017.

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It is a gesture denoting intrigue and interest from Madison’s part, for taking up the opportunity to work with the team of Arth – the Destination as the colour-grader but most importantly, it is a moment of absolute pride for the Pakistani film industry for now having been coached by an Oscar winner.

Madison’s frame of expertise in cinematic visual effects and colour-grading, especially acknowledged for the film The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk and Interstellar, have enthroned him to the position of one of the finest and most talented of colourists Hollywood possesses.

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Now embracing the Pakistani film scene full on, Madison is raring to impress. Shaan, of course is undeniably thrilled with the notion of his directorial making records – even before its release! Shaan expressed his appreciation for working with Madison, stating, “I was enthused for having an Oscar winner on my team. Working with him has made the experience even more enthralling than I had expected. The Waar star continued on to say, “I am glad that I made this choice and look forward to witnessing the audience’s response to a fresh display of cinematic art.”

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Speaking exclusively to The Express Tribune, the Oscar Winner divulged more on his ‘visual’ role in the much-awaited Shaan directorial. “The themes usually determine the colouring scheme and effects for a movie. Arth not only revolves around themes that are specific to Pakistan but are also a step ahead from what has already been done and shown in Pakistan’s cinematic history and that was a beautiful task for me to accept and make the movie shine,” confessed Madison.

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Discussing his experience with respect to all the various aspects of the star-studded movie, the Academy Award winner averred, “I’ve been lucky enough to work on some of Hollywood’s biggest films over the last six years; films such as The Dark Knight RisesInterstellar and TheAvengersArth 2 also falls into that category of film – even though it’s aimed at a different culture. The themes of this film, in fact, carry across all cultures; the feeling of loss and then finding what you thought you had lost – for me that transcends culture.”

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As to how he’s depicting and translating the visuals in Shaan’s Arth, Madison responded, “Arth is going to be a new evolution for the Pakistani film industry. I’ve been fortunate to be able to infuse my experiences from Hollywood to enhance what is, without a doubt, a visually stunning film but the main credit for that leap goes to the director Shaan and producer Hammad for bringing to life, a modern view surrounding a journey of today’s Pakistanis.”

Recounting the challenges or hurdles he might have come across while creating visual magic for a Pakistani venture, the multi-award-winning visual effects expert affirmed, “It was very important to Shaan to make sure that the grade of the film was progressive in terms of other Pakistani films that have released before, but along with that, Shaan also wanted to maintain an authentic feel. So that was basically the chief challenge I was faced with.”

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My curious mind pried a little more as to whether the afore-mentioned ‘challenge’ had been dealt with or not! To that, Madison quipped, “I had to find the balance between the old and the new – and let me tell you, I think we found it.” That retort fed my inquisitiveness to the tee!

I want to take a nanosecond to add that Shaan has not only braced and invigorated film trade between Pakistan and India (brothers that aren’t on good terms!) through Arth – The Destination, but has left no stone unturned in meticulously designing this film into an epic, visual indulgent treat for the Pakistani showbiz, Bollywood, Hollywood and countless fans worldwide.

I wish Shaan, Madison and Arth – The Destination all the very best. Way to go. Break a leg!

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