Portraying ‘change’, movie gives Imran Khan’s party a boost

  • Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times, Islamabad
  • |
  • Updated: May 11, 2013 02:24 IST

Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) addresses an election campaign rally in Lahore. Reuters

It is being called the poster movie for Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party. Released in April, the movie Chambaili is being played to packed audiences across  Pakistan, with many saying that it carries a message for a change in Pakistan following the May 11 polls.

The movie is about a country similar to Pakistan where democracy and media are in place but the latter is sold out to corrupt politicians. The scene is similar to present day Pakistan where political families rule the roost and do as they please.

Chambaili is set in pre-election Mulke Khudadad, where target killings, crime and suo motu notices are the norm. The protagonist Saif lives happily with his friends and family in Mulke Khudadad.

His fiancé and some other friends often discuss the dark future of their country and are torn between staying and escaping.


Things change when Saif is badly beaten by Inquilab party workers and no police officers come to his rescue. The situation worsens when the soon-to-be leader of the Inquilab party, Sardar Sultan Sheikh, takes interest in building a Taj Mahal Complex on residential land, where Saif’s friend Sarmad and others live.

The story line is simple. The frustrated middle class closes ranks, fights for their rights and ends up putting into motion a change of government.

Film critic Rafay Mehmood says the movie has some glimpses of Rang De Basanti. But what is more interesting than the film is its timing.

Many feel that the producer has come up with a movie that shows how Pakistan can change its destiny with the Tehreek-e-Insaf. It is no wonder that Imran Khan has been trying to buy the rights of the movie.

The movie has been receiving good response. Many have said they have decided to vote for the PTI after seeing the movie. Producer Shahzad Nawaz, who also plays the lead role in the movie, says he has no political agenda. “But I am a voter for PTI,” he adds with a smile.



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