Pakistan (Muhammad Yasir)

Prepare to be captivated by the gritty and gripping tale of ‘John’ – a thrilling new film that dives deep into the collision of two different lives and the turbulent chaos that surrounds them. ‘John’ is set amidst the mean streets of Karachi and takes audiences on a heart-pounding journey of life, death, and the unyielding power of love. The film premiered recently at Nueplex Cinemas, Karachi, and in cinemas nationwide from the 14th of July 2023.

‘John’ is produced by Faiza Khanum and is written and directed by the visionary storyteller Babar Ali. ‘John’ features an ensemble cast including Aashir Wajahat’s debut on the silver screen as John, Romaisa Khan, Saleem Mairaj, and Raza Samo amongst others. ‘John’ also features a brilliant original background score composed by Mannan Munjal with mesmerising songs: Chithiyan by Aashir Wajahat and Hassan Ali Hashmi, Tu Thehar Ja by Hassan Ali Effendi, Tou Wo Qaatil Hai by Sajid Ali and Mohammad Masood, and Buro Buro Shidi Jambo, Balochi folk song remixed and produced by Mannan Munjal.

“Making a feature length that too with a young cast and an unpopular genre in Pakistan, I was aware of the challenges I would have to face. I wanted to make a film that looks and feel real yet fresh and exciting. We hand-picked each and every location by ourselves spent quite some time exploring locations that were not usually used for filming before. We knocked doors of the houses we liked and surprisingly got permissions to shoot there. It was a hassle for the production unit and the actors too but were aligned with my vision and we faced all challenges bravely. Highlighting the minorities and their struggle is an important aspect of my narrative but I wanted to keep it very subtle so it does not seem educational. Making the narrative engaging and entertaining was my priority and violence and religious discrimination are themes that are layered into the narrative so the film is not preachy but will start a conversation about such important issues of our society”, stated Babar Ali, the writer and director of ‘John’.

“Making John was a brave call and we were reminded of it every step of the way. We wanted to present the point of view of the marginalised communities rather than looking at them from a distance and making comments. The film is crucial in the social context as it normalises representation of the Christian community in commercial space. This is a huge accomplishment in itself. Our process of making John was unique in itself. I was very clear from the moment I took on this project that I did not want to compromise on the visual world of John. To accomplish this, I was always looking for the most relevant location for each scene, no matter what the challenges it offered. You will see those details on the big screen. You will find yourself experiencing life of people who are living an invisible life around you. I realise that these accomplishments are not tangible and do not translate into the box office earnings. But I believe, as a producer, you have to be brave enough to also do what’s important. At the same time, for the box office, we are offering an entertainer that will keep you engaged and entertained from the start till the end. John is a cinematic experience and I’m positive that it will be a pleasant surprise for the cinema lovers”, commented the producer of ‘John’, Faiza Khanum.

The film promises to immerse viewers in the contrasting worlds of an innocent janitor (John) and a relentless hitman (Daud). John, a young and god-fearing Christian, has been brought up to embrace honesty and hard work, firmly believing that his virtues will shape his destiny. However, when he unexpectedly finds a mentor in the form of Daud, a seasoned professional killer, the boundaries between right and wrong begin to blur, forcing John to confront his own moral compass. In a thrilling battle between light and darkness, John’s only beacon of hope is his love interest, Maria, whose aspirations revolve around a life filled with beauty and bliss. As the story unfolds, John finds himself entangled in a dangerous world of crime and drama, torn between the love he craves and the sinister life he is pulled into due to his mentor, Daud.