The usage of ‘Item numbers’ in the contemporary cinemas in Pakistan is on a rise. Many people from the industry are blaming Bollywood for this trend. There are a lot of cultural similarities between the people of Pakistan and India and thus the filmmakers are jumping into the idea of incorporating these item numbers in their movies.
However, some filmmakers seem to be unhappy with this trend and their opinion about these song and dance numbers has raised a debate within and outside the industry. Jami Mahmood, a renowned filmmaker, said that this does not agree with this culture and thinks it is a professional blasphemy. He also compared the filmmakers who convince girls to dance in an item number with the pimps who convince the pimps to dance in the red light area.
Jami also said that item numbers are highly responsible for increased misogamy in the conservative nations like India. Thus, he urged the film industry of Pakistan to re-think over the item numbers and what such inclusions can contribute to the cinema.
Sarmat Khoosat, the maker of Manto said that he does not have any problem with a song and dance number. He however said that if the purpose of such a number is to provide cheap thrills then he has a problem with that. He also cited an example of the Bollywood movie Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani where Madhuri Dixit performed to an item number called Ghagra. He said that if someone calls such a song and dance number as item number then it is okay, but the problem is when someone is intentionally objectifying a woman sexually using cheap stunt.
Azfar Jafri countered the view saying that is trend is not new. Even the cult movie like Sholay had item number. If the number justices its purpose in the movie, then it should be all right.
Now, time will tell how the film makers will utilize this trend.