Nadeem Baig’s 2015 directorial venture starring Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmad Ali Butt and Hamza Ali Abbasi was the biggest hit of that year and when Masala! had asked Nadeem to share the secret formula behind the thunderous business of his first film, his response was ‘I like to make films where you don’t bother too much about logic and all you get is a fun filled ride’. It seems like nothing has changed for him in the past few years as he dishes out a sequel that more or less follows the same rule. This is one of those rare Eid occasion, when Pakistani film releases have dominated the screens in the UAE. Three films which include Jawani Phir Nahi Aani 2, Parwaz Hai Junoon and Load Wedding, all have made it to the big screens in the UAE and all of them have gathered good reviews based on the initial reports. JPNA2 surely benefits the most out of the three due of the star value it brings along with it. It has two of the biggest brands of Pakistani Film and television, Humayun Saeed and Fahad Mustafa and the comic talents, Ahmed Ali Butt and Vasay Chaudhry whose presence in the frame generates unstoppable laughter each time.
There are two plots that run in the film which apparently have no connection between them. Fahad Mustafa who is a dodgy investment banker calls his family to Turkey to introduce them to his love interest (played by Mawra Hocane) and her family. He ends up in a self-created mess and then comes Humayun Saeed who dominates the film till the end. Humayun meets Kubra, a mountaineer, and falls for her. Little does he know that she is an Indian and then starts the tussle and the border-business.
You will note that Nadeem Baig has incorporated all things that Pakistanis in general are passionate about such as cricket, Imran Khan, Naya Pakistan, Indo-Pak cross border lover affair and border-line sexist jokes (though questionable, but works well in the cinema hall). The dialogues are witty and most of them have a political flavour which are very current given the recently concluded national elections.
Humayun Saeed excels as Sherry and looks good in his role but between the two, it is Fahad Mustafa who steals the show. He looks super stylish and acts his part whole-heartedly. Special mention about his looks as it feels he has walked straight out of a GQ magazine. But for me, the two names that make JPNA2 work are Ahmed Ali Butt and Sohail Ahmed (who plays Mawra’s flamboyant father - dressed as Elton John). They are the heart of the film and guarantee applause each time they come on screen. The film relies mostly on humour and the Ahmeds provide it without playing too hard. Butt as the British event designer is flawless and it takes you a while to believe that it is not a woman but actually Ahmed Butt who has cross-dressed as one.
Amongst the females, it’s Sarwat Gillani who leaves a lasting impression but it is sad that we don’t see much of her in the later part of the film.
Verdict: Overall, JPNA2 is a well-made film and you will walk out, smiling. If thoughts like 'whatever happened to those three million dollar loan' bother you then remember Nadeem Baig’s intentions behind making this film and don’t do the math. It won't add up. But the moments of mirth are countless.
- Sadiq Saleem, a movie buff, is a Dubai based entertainment writer. He can be contacted on his page fb/sidsaidso.