Artists: Rizwan Anwar and Saad Sultan
OST Mera Naam Yousuf Hai
Music Comp/OST/Background: Saad Sultan
Written by Khalil UR Rehman Qamar
Directed by Mehreen Jabbar
Produced by Sadia Jabbar
Head of Productions: Ghulam Fareed
DOP: Qasim Ali Mureed
Band Shoot: Khizer Idrees
Edited by: Mirza Ashar Baig
The project which is produced by Sadia Jabbar and Alpha Productions, who previously produced director Sabiha Sumar ‘Khuda Dekh Raha Hai’ brings together the creative synergies of-acclaimed writer Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar; celebrated film and TV director Mehreen Jabbar and a stellar cast including internationally recognized film and TV actor Imran Abbas, who plays the serial’s name sake protagonist Yousuf and Maya Ali of ‘Aunn Zara’ fame who plays his intended love interest Zulekha. The serial is supported by veterans Behroz Sabzwari, Hina Biyat and Waseem Abbas, and rising TV stars Mansha Pasha, Taqi Ahmed and Faizan Shaikh.
‘Mera Naam Yousuf Hai’ is a departure for New York-based filmmaker and director Mehreen Jabbar (who won the FIPRESCI Award from the International Federation of Film Critics for film ‘Ramchand’) in that the TV serial is entirely shot in Pakistan and delves into the world of a lower socio-economic milieu than what the directorial talent behind ‘Daam’ ‘Doraha’( for which Jabbar won Best TV Director at the 9th Lux Style Awards in 2010)‘Pechaan’ and the currently on-air ‘Jackson Heights’ has habitually dealt with.
Writer Khalil-ur-RehmanQamar’s vision, which in the past has dealt with mundane topics and have raised them to literary heights in such popular TV serials as ‘Boota from Toba Tek Singh’ ‘Sadqay Tumhare, Muhabbat Jab Hateli Par, Chand Likhna’ and the uber-successful ‘Pyarey Afzal’ which is currently the top rated drama having broken all previous records rendered by “Humsafar” and “Zindagi Gulzar Hai” again raises the ante of his writing abilities with this tale of star-crossed lovers.
The plot of ‘Mera Naam Yousuf Hai’ revolves around how singer Yousuf first glimpses Zulekha in a train and then cannot extinguish the image of her from his mind. Meanwhile, Zulekha is mired between proposals from two of her cousins,both of which are selfishly encouraged by her parents’ self-interest. Zulekha again encounters a decidedly love-struck Yousuf but has no choice but to feel only a fleeting attraction towards him as she is aware that her marriage has been fixed to one of her cousins. However Yousuf remains adamantly vocal about his feelings for and his pursuit of her.
Will Fate ultimately bond these veritable strangers who had met fortuitously or will Zulekha give in to her parents’ cruel intentions?
Says Imran Abbas who made his TV debut in 2003 as Nawab Sultan in the drama serial ‘Umrao Jaan’ and who has created a buzz in Bollywood with ‘3-D Creature’ and the soon to-be released Muzzafar Ali venture ‘Jaanisaar’’ and who has acted in over 25 TV serials including ‘Khuda Aur Muhabbat’ and half a dozen tele-films including Mehreen Jabbar’s ‘Vasl’:
“At first I was not interested in working in a Pakistani TV serial after completing ‘Alvida’ but I was tempted to work in a project which involved Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar at the writing helm. Khalil sahib is the most credible writer of love stories and he has a great body of work behind him which tells of his artistry. It is very challenging in a good way working in his projects as he does not allow his actors to improvise with the script or even alter one word. This is indeed really tough but a good exercise for an actor to grow professionally. Then having Mehreen Jabbar thrown into the project created a beautiful synergy combined with Khalil sahib.Mehreen is known to garner very realistic and relatable performances from her actors in past plays, but this time since the plot is slightly more dramatic, there was some leeway to show more histrionics.I have to say the overall casting was impeccable; with each actor’s roles fitting them like a glove. I would also like to mention the great cinematographic skills of Director of Photography (DOP) Qasim Ali Mureed who added a special dimension to the project. The soundtrack of the TV serial is also exciting as I play a singer in the serial.
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