By: Omair Alavi
There are two kinds of films in cinemas – one that has a killer script and those that don’t. Khalil ur Rehman Qamar’s comeback to films has a script to die for where every other dialogue is clap-worthy if not whistle-worthy. Kudos to the production team of Humayun Saeed, Shahzad Nasib, Salman Iqbal and Jerjees Seja for coming up with a film that has a message as well as entertainment value that is missing in our flicks.
Chaudhry Fawad Khagga (Humayun Saeed) of Faisalabad wants to marry his cousin from Karachi Amal (Mehwish Hayat) who is in love with her UK returned colleague Vasay (Azfar Rehman). In the first half, Fawad tries his best to win Amal and things progress as well, but when she learns the truth, she comes back. Does Fawad manage to win her back or does Amal has her way with things and doesn’t go back – watch the film to know whether there is a happy ending or not.
This is one film where the positives outweigh the negatives big time – the lead pair of Humayun Saeed and Mehwish Hayat share a chemistry that is hardly seen in films. One is a Faisalabadi munda while the other is UK returned Karachi-ite. There are scenes where they don’t have dialogues yet they are able to convey the message with expressions. Azfar Rehman as the guy who loses his friend (aka bad guy) does well in his film debut (not counting Manto) while Waseem Abbas’ return to films is like a breath of fresh air. Ahmed Ali Butt as the sidekick is a treat considering he gets to dance like the comedians of yesteryears; Urwa Hocane manages to make the role of Durdana her own and she is as pivotal to the plot as the lead. The best thing, however, is the performance of the veterans Naved Shehzad, Saba Hamid and Sohail Ahmed. To watch the latter in another role besides Azizi is a gift because as Dada Jee he carries on the role as if it was written for him. Naved Shehzad was the surprise package as she effortlessly took over the role of Bebo Jee and dominated it with her heart and mind. The scene where Saba Hamid calls her son (Humayun) to tell about the rejection is stuff dreams are made of.
It is quite hard to accept Humayun Saeed in the role of a person who gets slapped by his parents. The He-Man of Pakistani cinema is famous for delivering blows, not taking them. Ahmed Ali Butt could have had a bigger role because he was exceptional in his scenes as Shafiq Ahmed, the right-hand man of the Chaudhry. His character along with another didn’t have a conclusion which is something odd. The length of the film, however, is the biggest negative as at more than 2 hours 30 minutes, it is one of the lengthiest films of the year.
Verdict – 4/5
This film belongs to Khalil ur Rehman Qamar and Nadeem Baig – one for writing brilliant dialogues and the other for bringing the characters who deliver those dialogues to life. Every actor has given a wonderful performance be it the main lead or the veterans. The songs are amazing (both Shiraz Uppal and Shani Arshad) whereas the background score keeps you engrossed in the narrative. There is a message too, which you will only be able to get if you watch the movie. Punjab Nahi Jaungi is a complete entertainment package and it will make your Eid even better if you go and watch it during holidays.