The ban on Bollywood films in Pakistan seems to have triggered of a creative response. In what looks like a concerted departure from the overall tackiness that defines popular commercial cinema in Pakistan there comes a film from across the border which tells us what it is like to be a patriotic Pakistani soldier.
Entitled Sher Dil the Pakistani film stars Mikaal Zulfiqaar as a brave Pakistani airforce pilot willing to sacrifice his life to protect his country.
Interestingly there is a prominent character of an Indian airforce pilot named Arun Virani in the film,played by the Pakistani actor Hassan Niazi.And there is no attempt to unduly demonize the character .
Interestingly Mikaal Zulfiqar who plays the lead in Sher Dil has significant Bollywood connections. He played a suicide bomber in Jagmohan Mundra’s Shoot On Sight in 2007. Mikaal also had a prominent role in the Akshay Kumar starrer Baby.
In an email interview with this writer in 2015 Mikaal had said, “Terrorism is the biggest issue In the world these days. Pakistan suffers most from it. The world should unite to fight it together.”