Kamran Jawaid | The post is the unedited copy of the feature published in DAWN’s ICON on 30th April 2017, which can be read here with jpegs of the print copy at the end
“What would make my film different. How would it stand out from the rest of the pack?!” asks a worried little voice inside a filmmaker’s head. The most obvious answer, and logically also the most effective one, is to use a “Cold Open” as the very first scene of the film.
Cold opens are a devious storytelling tool: they often use a dramatic scene from the middle or end of the film, and if need be, explain its relevance through a narrator.
Right now, these openings are notoriously popular with Pakistani filmmakers. Take for example the one in WAAR, which introduces Shaan Shahid’s gung-ho character in a good-cop bad-cop scene (there was no good cop in that room, by the way). Or the one in Jawani Phir Nahin Aani where a pre-intermission suicide scene is used as a ploy to heighten the film’s tension. Or the one in Bachana, Wrong No. and Dance Kahani.
The list is finite, but only because we have a limited number of motion pictures to count off.