KARACHI, June 10, 2023: Former couple Syra Yousuf and Shahroz Sabzwari are gearing up for their on-screen reunion in the upcoming film Babylicious. Despite their real-life separation, the duo’s professional collaboration has piqued a fair deal of curiosity.
Set to release on June 27, coinciding with Eidul Azha, Babylicious aims to captivate audiences with its heartwarming storyline. Journalist spoke to Syra, Shahroz, and other cast members to get insights into the film.
An earlier circulating clip showed Syra and Shahroz debating whether Babylicious is a date film or a family film. In the video, Shahroz asserted that it’s a family film, but contradicted himself during the current conversation. “In the interview yesterday or somewhere, I said it’s a family film. We’re confused ourselves,” said Syra. Shahroz then stated, “Basically, we want that on the first day of Eid, you go with your family, the second day you go on a date, and on the third day, you come alone. We want you to watch it thrice.”
The question was posed to Mohi Abro and Aadi Adeal Amjad as well, with a reference to Syra and Shahroz’s puzzlement. “This is a big issue,” said Mohi. Aadi, however, stated, “Sit with family, go on a date and watch it. It is a date film, but you can watch it with your family. It will remind the older generation about the love of their youth, and it might teach youngsters the meaning of love.”
The project has been in the works for several years. When asked about whether the prevalent feeling was that of relief or sorrow, Shahroz decisively stated that he felt relief. “[The project] was stuck, Covid led to many delays, and now we’re happy actually,” said the Nand actor.
“When we saw the dubbing, I was pleasantly surprised. We’re quite fearful before a release because a film is something for which people spend money…There is always that fear that the film should look good, and we thought it looked good. Personally, I liked the film, so now I’m quite confident.”
Syra further added, “I think I am excited because I, for a bit thought that the film may not be released…When I found out we’re actually releasing it, I was more excited. Yes, there is relief that we’re finally done shooting for this, but also the excitement of it’s finally coming out.”
When asked about working on the film despite their separation, and the possibility of any future collaboration, a gentle interruption indicated that this was a no-go area. Even so, after gathering their thoughts following a pause, Syra stated, “This goes beyond – I mean, for us, these are family dynamics. We share a child and we keep it very healthy for her.” As she trailed off, Shahroz took over and said, “I think where we are standing right now is very good and very healthy. That healthy that we keep saying is for our child. And let’s see where life takes us.”
Reflecting on the film itself, when asked about what is different about the venture, Syra responded, “You know, I think that puts too much pressure on the project itself. But I think overall, it’s the vibe of the film, even the characters in the film, I think they’re very relatable, and whoever is supposed to be funny is funny. It’s going to be a feel-good movie that people are going to go watch and have fun with.”
Shahroz highlighted, “As Pakistanis, we’re constantly searching to be proud of something in any kind of industry. This is an industry as well. I don’t know if we call it an industry but it is. So I feel that whoever will go watch it will be proud of the fact that we made it – Pakistanis made it. It’s a pure Pakistani film. It’s not like one should feel forced that because it’s a Pakistani film, we must feel pride – no, I am against that. If it’s good, support it. We are a country going through turmoil. God willing, people will come out happy and proud.”
When asked about one reason why the audience should watch the film, Shahroz said, “If they want butterflies in their stomach.” Syra shared that everyone has had a Babylicious phase in their lives, making it relatable. Shahroz then added, “Even if they’re not [in that phase], even if they want to remember or reminisce a Babylicious phase that they went through. It’s about your first love. I think we all want to experience that once again, or if you’re going through it, go and watch it again.”
Regarding public opinion and critique, Shahroz mentioned that constructive criticism impacts him in a “healthy way.” Syra agreed, stating, “I think even I look at my work from a very critical eye so if somebody else’s criticism actually makes sense to me, it’s something I definitely look into.” Shahroz quipped further, “Sometimes we’re blind to our work.” However, Syra added, “Too much criticism – when I know it’s too much for no reason, then I just treat it as noise.”
Mohi essays the geeky Nido, a character torn between his adoration for his girlfriend and his friendship with Shahroz’s character, Omer. When asked about the project’s release, he said, “The work we’ve done, we’re glad it’s not going to waste, given that the film is finally releasing. It’s taken a while, but it is releasing. We’re very happy about that. There’s also excitement because a sense of anticipation is being created.”
Shedding light on the overall experience, Mohi added, “It didn’t feel like work. I would come on set and think I’m having fun.”
Aadi, who plays a character by the same name in Babylicious, spoke about his role being the “bad egg” in the friend group. When asked about the experience of working with Syra and Shahroz, he stated, “Their energy, their vibe, their professionalism and their art – it was a lot of fun. Even though there were some frustrating situations, there was never a fight or argument. We all had a lovely time together.”