#NaMaloomAfraad is a riot on its own!
The movie doesn’t exactly transcend its genre led clichés but it does offer quality entertainment in bucket loads
The term “Na maloon afraad”, in recent times, has become almost ubiquitous and synonymous with those unknown/anonymous miscreants that are up to no good at all vis-à-vis to any law and order situation in our major cities. However, this time around, it has a comedic spin surrounding it; enter Na Maloom Afraad, the Pakistani feature movie!
Suffice to say, the consensus will be unanimously positive and endearing when one will head out to the movie theatres to see this particular motion picture; they will be thoroughly entertained and get their money’s worth. It is a pure masala film through and through, which is not a bad thing, seeing how lately there has been a great dearth of unadulterated, solely “paisa wasool” (worth your money) and quality entertainer movies that have been churned out of Lollywood, and Na Maloom Afraad delivers that aspect in abundance.
By having Nabeel Qureshi as the director at the helm under the banner of Filmwala pictures, the film benefits greatly as a direct result. He has been acknowledged as one of the few directors that are playing their due and active role to usher in a new wave of contemporary Pakistani cinema. A cinema that is not merely about the “ghundas”, “Maula Jutts” and “Noori Naats” of our world but rather more about substance, quality, well-rounded scripts and overall aesthetics.
Speaking about the premise of the movie, it swivels around the three main protagonists: Shakeel Bhai (Javed Sheikh), Farhan (Fahad Mustafa) and Moon (Mohsin Abbas Haider). For the sake of not spoiling the story of the movie itself, let’s just say that fate intervenes and due to a series of unfortunate events, their paths get aligned and together, they conspire to plan something ‘big’ to earn fast and easy money. And what that ‘big’ thing is, you might ask? Well, you have to go to cinemas to see for yourself.
In the acting department, all actors demonstrate their acting prowess sufficiently, especially Fahad and Mohsin. Fahad has transitioned seamlessly from the smaller screen of the drama industry towards the bigger celluloid screen of the cinema format.
Javed is, as usual, on point and Urwa Hocane has perhaps given her best performance yet that will strongly cement her position for future movie acting endeavours. Salman Shahid, in his portrayal as Gogi, requires special praise and kudos for the way he has portrayed this character. Perhaps one can’t help but to draw an outright parallel between his on screen persona of Mushtaq Bhai in Dedh Ishqiya and Gogi, but nonetheless his comedic timing remains impeccable as always.
Ultimately, it is the trifecta (Javed, Fahad and Mohsin) that carries the movie competently on their shoulders because their chemistry is just amazing and they click and gel in with each other like three peas in a pod. Other cast members include Paras Masroor, Kubra Khan, Ali Rizvi and Nayyar Ejaz; they all hold their own in the limited on-screen time that they are given.
The director has intentionally opted to choose regular local Karachi landmarks and locations for shooting the bulk of the movie, instead of international exotic locales. Same is the case with shooting the songs of the movie. The subject of the story is such that showing outdoor and extravagant foreign location in large proportions will seem out of place and incompatible with the on-going theme of the movie. In particular, it will resonate well with Karachiites and they surely will appreciate the fact that their daily commuting routes, streets, back alleys and roads are shown extensively in the movie.
In terms of the musical score of the movie, it will rival any Bollywood flick, as all the songs are catchy and melodious, especially the item song Billi in which Mehwish Hayat exhibits her dancing talent. She is simply scintillating, drop dead gorgeous and spectacular. Finally Pakistanis have an item song they can call their own, without going into the merits or the demerits of the culture of embedding an item song in a movie; it is a reality whether one likes it or not.
Instead of playing the usual Munnis, Jalebi Bais and Chikni Chembalis of Bollywood over and over again in our local functions such as weddings and the likes, Billi will be a better if not equal substitute for them for some time to come.
To sum it all up, Na Maloon Afraad doesn’t exactly transcend its genre led clichés but it does however offer quality entertainment in bucket loads. The songs, the comedic timing, the punchy yet idiosyncratic hard-to-forget one liners coupled with an excellent timing that will not drag the film and the subtle social commentary.
To the naysayers, it is a request that instead of trying to find flaws in our locally generated movies such as that it’s inspired from the likes of Hera Pheri or any other Bollywood movie, we ought to applaud the fact that after such a long hiatus, some good, wholesome movies are again coming out in Pakistan which are locally made.
It would be almost criminal (pun intended) to miss this one out. Na Maloon Afraad is a riot, in every sense of the word that would leave its audience short of laughing fits and aneurysms!