Armaan continues to thrill audiences almost 50 years after its release at the Ali Auditorium on Saturday where over 200 senior citizens sang along to the tunes of its sound track.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) held a screening of the Lollywood classic under its “CAP Lollywood Night: Old is Gold” project.
Armaan, which was released in 1966, ran for 75 weeks straight earning it a platinum jubilee. The current screening was attended by many who wanted to reminisce about Pakistan’s golden era in cinema.
“It was one of the films that my friends and I snuck out for in the middle of the night during the weekdays,” laughed Mr. Jawed, a grandfather.
Raju Jamil, veteran actor and chief guest at the screening, said that he was present at nine locations during the making of the movie in Karachi and Murree. He recalled Waheed Murad’s status as a style icon and Zeba’s ability to charm everyone.
He was of the opinion that while the revival of Lollywood is welcome, it cannot compare to the standards of the ‘60s
“Can you recall a single movie from the last three to five years where people cried and wrote letters for it to be brought back to the cinemas? Neither can I! For Armaan such a response existed because movies like it, along with the music, left a lasting mark,” he said.
The audience sang along to all the songs in the movie. Everyone clapped along to Koko Korina – when Waheed clapped onscreen, the audience mimicked him. Everyone laughed during the lighter scenes, cried when Zeba cried, and whistled as the movie ended.
While talking to Pakistan Today after the movie, Oral History Project Director Muhammad Owais Rana, emphasised the importance of Lollywood “CAP works towards preserving the chronicles of Pakistan’s rich history and heritage, and Lollywood is a big part of it. We hope to show the new generation what a treasure we had and make them appreciate it,” he said.
Although many flocked to see the movie, the younger generation was notably lacking in attendance. The ones that did show up were pleasantly surprised by the movie. “This is the first time I have watched a full-fledged black and white Lollywood movie, and I must say I am pleased,” Mehwish, an MBA student, said after the movie.
CAP will be holding the next screening in Islamabad and ultimately hopes to open a museum and heritage centre, which will focus on Pakistani history, photography, culture, literature, and historical documentation. The aim is to demonstrate the strength and spirit of Pakistan from the perspective of a citizen.