The fourth collaboration between Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza – Load Wedding – has touched a subject that no one else dared to ever since the duo laid the foundation of the ‘revival’ with Na Maloom Afraad five years ago.
They tackled the subject of dowry with as much conviction as Shree Narayan Singh handled the issue of open defecation in Toilet – Ek Prem Katha. In fact, not many realise this, but the Bollywood director’s upcoming film Batti Gul Meter Chalu is the Indianised version of Fizza and Nabeel’s Actor In Law, such is the impact of films dealing with important issues. Let’s find out what makes Load Wedding a film that will stay in the race for a longer duration and what makes it such an important factor in our evolving film industry.
The lead – Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat
After sharing the screen in Actor In Law, both Fahad and Mehwish are back in Load Wedding, playing each other’s love interest. While they played Karachiites in the former, here they play Punjabis in the fictional city of Nirali with Fahad being the village Romeo and Mehwish being the village belle who stole his heart. There is a twist in their relationship that is resolved by the intermission and they take it on themselves to better their lifestyle by participating in a popular game show. Fahad is the star of the film as he laughs, cries and even gets slapped for being madly in love; he is the sole breadwinner of his family and that makes him take decisions at the spur of the moment, usually resulting in disasters. Mehwish’s character of Meerab aka Meeru is as different to her last film role in Punjab Nahi Jaungi as possible; here she is a lady health worker who is considered jinxed for some reason and converts it into her strength after marriage. Both the actors excel in their native Punjabi accents and must be commended for the hard work.
The surprises – Faiza Hasan, Qaiser Piya and Fahim Khan
Faiza Hasan had been out of the acting scene for quite some time but the talented actress didn’t let that stop her from giving a perfect 10 performance as the elder sister who doesn’t get married. Her expressions as the ‘loser’ sister and the third person in a game for two are priceless; then there is stage comedian Qaiser Piya in a tailor-made role of a concerned friend. However, Fahim Khan steals the show as Ashiq Rafaqat the famous game show host who makes you love, hate and despise him for his comments, for his antics, and for his rating-hungry attitude.
The veterans – Samina Ahmed, Noor ul Hassan and Anjum Habibi
You may not believe this, but Samina Ahmed hasn’t worked in a film since Naraaz in 1984; she had a guest appearance in Dukhtar but that was a hit-and-miss role. She gets to play the typical mother here who wants her daughter to get married first, who blackmails the hero emotionally and finally succumbs when all seems lost. Her dialogues will surely remind the audience of their own mothers who might be cursing them for watching a film in the cinema. Noor ul Hassan played her unmarried brother who advises Fahad Mustafa’s Raja whenever he can. It was great to see Anjum Habibi back in action as he is a great actor and he should act more so people know what they were missing.
The invisibles – Shani Arshad, Nigah Hussain and Rana Kamran
The name Rana Kamran stands for excellent cinematography in Pakistan and he doesn’t disappoint at all in Load Wedding. He captures the multiple cities of Punjab that form Nirali with the same finesse he showed in Actor In Law and the Na Maloom Afraad films. Then there is Shani Arshad who has composed a diversified soundtrack that features vocals from Mulazim Hussain, Asrar, Mohsin Abbas Haider, Saima Jahan and Azhar Abbas, with Rangeya and Good Luck shining out as hit numbers. Nigah Hussain choreography is spot on as well as every time a song comes on screen, you are transported to a different world of colour and music.
The makers – Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza
It seems that the makers of Actor In Law gave the audience the taste of two different films in Load Wedding – one that covers the plight of unmarried guys who are sole breadwinners of their family and second that tackles the issue of dowry in our society. The first half takes time to establish the characters while the second one makes the audience sit through till the end, such is the magic of the Fizza-Nabeel team. The two have not only written the screenplay and script but Fizza has produced the movie with brother Mehdi Ali while Nabeel has directed it to perfection. They took additional help from Mohsin Abbas Haider and that’s one of the reasons we get the authentic accent feeling from the complete package. They must be commended for standing up for something that has deviated us Muslims away from religion and if all filmmakers think like these two, we will produce more subject-oriented films in the next five years than we have in the last 70!