There are two kinds of films in Pakistan that make it to the big screen – one that has a killer script and the one that doesn’t. Punjab Nahi Jaungi as Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s comeback to films has a script with the potential to win the hearts of all where every other dialogue is clap-worthy embedded in the chemistry of a lead pair (Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat) that is hardly seen on screen.
The plot of the film revolves around Chaudhry Fawad Khagga (Humayun Saeed) of Faisalabad who wants to marry his cousin Amal (Mehwish Hayat) from Karachi who is in love with her UK returned colleague Vasay (Azfar Rehman). In the first half of the movie, Fawad tries his best to win Amal’s heart and we see things progressing a bit as well, but the way towards the end is to find out whether she discovers her way with things and what she wants and whether the flick concludes with a happy ending or not.
The film focuses around the ambitions of a Faisalabadi munda, and on the other hand a UK returned Karachi-ite. In scenes where Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat don’t share dialogues, they are able to convey their message beautifully with their facial expressions. While Azfar Rehman as the guy who loses his friend (aka bad guy) does remarkably well in his film debut, Waseem Abbas’ return to films is like a breath of fresh air. Ahmed Ali Butt is always a treat to the sore eyes, especially when he gets to dance like the comedians of yesteryear. The striking Urwa Hocane manages to take on the role of Durdana as her very own, playing a pivotal role in the plot as the lead. The best performances, however, come from veterans Naved Shehzad, Saba Hamid and Sohail Ahmed. The latter is finally seen in another role besides Azizi and we can make the claim without a glimpse of a second that he carries Dada Jee’s character as if it was written only for him. Naved Shehzad effortlessly took over the role of Bebo Jee and owned it with her heart and soul. Lastly, the scene where Saba Hamid calls her son (Humayun) to tell him about the rejection is the kind of stuff we only see in dreams.
It pains us to point out the negatives in such a mind-boggling comedy, however, we have to add that the length of the film is one of the biggest no no’s – stretching it to a runtime of more than 2 hours and 30 minutes, making it one of the lengthiest films of the year. Also, Ahmed Ali Butt could have delivered a larger than life role as he was exceptional in his scenes as the right-hand man of the Chaudhry, however to no avail.
Kudos to Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and Nadeem Baig for the brilliant interplay of dialogues and bringing life to the characters who deliver those dialogues. Shiraz Uppal and Shani Arshad can be applauded for their breathtaking vocals in the songs while the beautiful background score keeps you engrossed in the narrative at all times. Also, just like any other film in the end, the movie has a message too – something you’ll only be able to get if you rush to the cinema to watch it!
‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ is your number one starter-package for the Eid holidays. Enjoy the complete family entertainment deal with your young and loved ones!