BY ALI NAQVI –
Imagine the dark, dismal and fateful Pindi’s district jail death cell and the 24-year Benazir waiting outside to meet her father for the last time. She was too young that the faintest ray of hope could make her blind and forgetful of the impending misfortune. When Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was executed by Zia, Benazir may not have the idea that one day she will become the daughter of the east and the living spirit of her father to embrace the same fate.
The story of Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of the east, is a history of a long struggle against dictatorships and the pitfalls and pratfalls of power politics. Hers is a personality that stands tall among the tallest of political leaders in the world.
To portray the daughter of the east is going to be a mammoth task for any actress. There has been rumors that Mehwish Hayat will play the first woman Prime Minister of the Muslim World. Mehwish t has recently confirmed that she will be playing Benazir in an upcoming biopic. She confirmed the news in her interview with the BBC.
Filmmaking is an art form that involves dozens of people. A good story and screenplay will be ruined if not executed properly. Likewise, a good team of actors, producers headed by a talented director will be helpless if the script and story is flawed. Making a film on a great political figure is a challenge. A lot depends on the filmmakers who have taken up the task. Mehwish Hayat will certainly need a perfect script to be able to get into the role of Benazir.
To pick an actress for the role is as difficult as to portray one. Mehwish Hayat is a popular actress but she does not come up as an obvious choice for such a big role. Saba Qamar could be a better choice. She has proved her acting skills in different roles. Ayeza Khan, Sanam Saeed or even Sanam Baloch could fit the bill. These are all good actresses that could do justice to the role.
Mehwish Hayat will have to work really hard to pull this off. As the film is in its early preproduction phase, Mehwish has already started reading about Benazir. Talking to BBC she said, “Benazir Bhutto is a hero to me. Her story is so inspirational to me. It’s important that this generation and the generations ahead see her contributions, her struggles and her progress.”
The life and times of Benazir cannot be summed up in one movie. It remains to be seen how the film approaches the character and what script is finally handed over to Mehwish Hayat to become the daughter of the east.