Recently President Arif Alvi conferred awards on two Pakistan Air Force (PAF) pilots, Wing Commander/WC Noman Ali and Squadron Leader Hasan Mehmood, for shooting down Indian fighter jets in Pakistani airspace. We think it could be better to give these gentlemen their own movies, so that their heroic legacies get preserved.
Both men created an enduring legacy when they downed Indian jets in February’s defense during the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) failed Balakot airstrikes.
While our national heroes were due that military honor, the man whose jet they shot down, IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan already has a movie lined up. No, he’s not becoming a movie star himself (though that couldn’t be too bad of a career change we think). A biopic is being created to celebrate his ‘heroics‘.
A Battle of Narratives
While our neighbors are already at work in concocting the story and ‘heroism’ of Indian WC Abhinandan Varthaman, then why can’t we do the same for WC Noman Ali and Squadron Leader Hasan Mehmood?
In this era where fake news rules, surely we can do better by setting the record straight.
Here we have men who defeated the enemy, downed two aircraft, and even took a foreign soldier prisoner (who was saved in the nick of time). These men and their bravery should be preserved and portrayed through cinematic art. PAF heroes Noman Ali and Hasan Mehmood deserve the same honor.
We need a whole feature film on how on February 27th, our PAF heroes shot down two IAF combat aircraft that violated Pakistani airspace, and captured an IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman in the process.
WC Abhinandan was later released on March 1st as a ‘peace gesture‘. How about an accurate action film that gets all the details right? Minus the corny bits (we’re looking at you here Sherdil).
As for whom we can cast as our titular heroes, here’s our suggestions.
We could have Emad Irfani as WC Noman Ali and Adnan Malik as Squadron Leader Hasan Mehmood.
The legacy of PAF heroes WC Noman Ali and Squadron Leader Hasan Mehmood should be preserved through film forever.
Pakistan Has Done Something Like This Before
Previously a biopic was created about Pakistan Air Force’s female combat pilot Marium Mukhtar. Ek Thi Marium cast Sanam Baloch in the titular role. The telefilm was made by Urdu1.
Marium Mukhtar died when her PAF FT-7PG aircraft crashed near Kundian in Mianwali District in the northwest of Punjab, Pakistan on November 24, 2015. She is the first female combat pilot of Pakistan to die in a crash while on duty.
Contrary to common belief, Marium is not Pakistan’s first female combat pilot. That honor goes to Ayesha Farooq. The Hasilpur, Bahawalpur district native is the first woman to become a fighter pilot for PAF back in 2013.
She became the first and only Pakistani female fighter pilot after topping the final exams to qualify.
Meanwhile on the other side
Sanjay Leela Bansali is making a biopic about the ‘adventures of Abhinandan’ in a film about the Balakot airstrike.
— Filmfare (@filmfare) March 4, 2019
Filmfare reported that Sanjay Leela Bhansali will be producing the movie along with Bhushan Kumar and Mahaveer Jain. The untitled project will be directed by Abhishek Kapoor.
Meanwhile, netizens called on the film-makers to cast Ranveer Singh for the role of the downed pilot. He does have the same gunslinger mustache as Abhinandan after all.
We can’t wait to see how that scene with Abhinandan drinking some fantastic Pakistani chai plays out. Until then, we hope someone in Lollywood is listening.