‘Javed Iqbal’ trailer promises morbid dive into the psyche of a serial killer

The trailer for director Abu Aleeha’s highly-anticipated film on Pakistan’s most notorious serial killer Javed Iqbal has finally dropped, with Yasir Hussain in the role of the infamous criminal and Ayesha Omar playing the police officer in pursuit of him. The trailer for Javed Iqbal: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer, filled with intense chase scenes and emotions running high, as well as a chilling voiceover by Yasir as Javed, promises a seemingly thrilling film with a fresh storyline in a local market inundated with too much of the same boring romance and domestic rivalries.

The clip opens with the killer clad in handcuffs walking towards a police station with Omar’s officer waiting at the gate, with him saying in a voiceover, “Lahore’s population is around 20 million; 500,000 children go to school, out of which 500 children go missing every year, but no one cares because every year 100,000 children are born as well.”

He adds, “Just check the data coming into the police station from Data Sahab, Minar-e-Pakistan and Bibi Pak Daman’s shrine, and see how many children go missing from these locations every month.”

Omar appears clad in an officer’s uniform, scanning streets and looking distressed trying to catch the criminal, with Hussain flashing creepy smiles perfectly suited to a serial killer. He continues in the voiceover, “No one cares that I killed a hundred children. What everyone cares about is why I killed a hundred children. Ask the real questions. Did you only kill a hundred children or were there more?”

He concludes the monologue with, “And most important of all, ask whether I killed all the children that I kidnapped, or did some of them survive? The day they find out the number of children kidnapped is well higher than the number of children killed, that day they will cry out. But, I’m sure before such a day comes, they’ll hang me to death in jail.”

Releasing on December 24, the film is based on a book penned by Aleeha. Titled Kukri, Iqbal’s childhood name, Aleeha’s work became a bestseller. Active between 1998 and 1999, Iqbal confessed to his crimes in a package sent to the police containing the remains and photographs of his victims, adding a suicide note to the mix, claiming to have taken his own life by the time the police would find the box. However, he made headlines when he was arrested, taken into custody and ultimately tried for his killings.

Speaking about his role, Hussain shared with The Express Tribune earlier this year, “It wasn’t easy. We had to do a lot of research. We have never seen Javed speak or act in a certain way. What we know is that picture [one he recreated for the poster] and a few accounts of people close to him.”

Iqbal’s story, Hussain added, was one the audience needed to know. “He didn’t rape two kids, he raped 100 boys,” he said. “If we never made it, someone else would have. This way, we decide how to draw the picture. This isn’t negative content, it’s a true story.”

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