Movie Name: Wrong Number
Release Date: July 18 , 2015
Director: Yasir Nawaz
Review by: Momin Ali Munshi
The film opens with the ever green song “Gaari Ko Chalana Babu…” playing while the screen is all black. Then the song ends and another song plays, and yet another and so on. Basically the audience is treated to some five six songs, all carefully chosen to create a filmy aura and to remind the audiences of Pakistani Film Industry’s golden era. After this homage to “Lollywood” is paid the mood set is surely of celebration and there could not have been a more befitting start to a film which in someway is a tribute to the golden era itself.
*Mild spoilers*( already revealed by the posters though)
The story revolves around the aspiring actor Sallu( Danish Taimoor) who hopes to make it big in the business of showbiz someday. However his plans have to face the wrath of his father Hajji Abba (Javed Sheikh) who wants his son to either join the other men of the family and be a butcher or get some government job. Laila ( Sohai Ali Abroo) is the girl next door, literally, who has a thing for Sallu but Sallu is not interested in her and wants to focus on his career. While Sallu and his story is set in Karachi there is another track in Lahore featuring Haya (Janita Asma) who flies to Karachi to receive Shehryar ( also played by Danish Taimoor) who is all set to succeed his grandfather and run the company Haya works at. Then the story gets a bit twisted and the Wrong Number-ness kicks in.
Although the story is surely an old vine in a new bottle as we have seen this plot already in a dozen other films but its the treatment of the plot that is interesting and gets the viewer engaged. The film was announced as a comedy and oh boy does it live up to its title. From the very first scene itself it gets established that Yasir will not let a single dull moment make it to the screen and will add a dose of comedy to every scene. Moreover unlike some comedies where one has to force a laugh there is no such thing in ‘Wrong Number” as the giggles come out instantly as soon as one character utters something stupid. The dialogue writer has surely done a commendable job and deserves all the applause.
Great acting is another strength of the film. Danish Taimoor plays the two roles with much ease and makes sure that the audiences can differentiate between Sallu and Shehryar. Its not just the eccentric clothes which set Sallus character apart but its the mannerisms and dialogue delivery that Danish uses. This is a great improvement from what Danish did in Jalaibee.
Sohai Ali Abroo plays the role of the girl next door to perfection. She is very believable in her role and knows just what expression to give at a particular point. No wonder she is one of the most promising new names in the television industry. After this debut she is surely going places.
Janita Asma as Haya is also a treat to watch. She has got the talent and displays it perfectly on the silver screen. She is surely someone with a bright future and film-makers should sit up and take notice.
Moreover all the other supporting characters are also played wonderfully by all the actors. Be it Javed Sheikh as Haji Abba or Shafqat Cheema as the goon, be it Danish Nawaz or Nadeem Jafri everyone knows what is required of them and deliver. In short all the actors make the material crackle and deserve a thunderous applause. Specially the comic timing between Danish Nawaz and Nadeem Jafri is amazing.
A special mention of the little kid who had just a brief scene in the film but one look at the laughter’s that one scene elicited and you can weigh his talent. Way to go!
Yasir Nawaz is a first timer when it comes to directing a film ( although he has directed tv shows and telefilms) but he knows his craft and knows exactly what the audience wants. He gives you a complete entertainer with romance,comedy, action and drama. Furthermore despite being based in Karachi, Yasir makes sure that as the director of the film he keep things Pakistani and not let one region dominate the other. So where you have scenes showcasing the beautiful city of Karachi there are also scenes showing Lahore. In a way this film is a love letter written to Lahore by Karachi.
While there is the Urdu humor in Karachi there are also lots of Punjabi jokes in the Lahore portion and this is something I particularly liked in the film. So kudos to the team for making sure that the film appeals to viewers all over Pakistan.
However the only thing that Yasir did not focus on was developing the character of Shehryar. The entire focus was on Sallu and hence Shehryar did not get his share and hence when the climax comes you as a viewer dont really feel for Shehryar. Moreover the film does have a few jokes that some people might find offensive or dirty in nature. But given what Bollywood throws our way in the name of family entertainment this is nothing.
Lets talk about the music, which was yet another feather in the film’s cap. The film had its peppy dance numbers “Selfiyaan” and “Kundi” which were taken to the next level, courtesy, Sohai’s brilliant dance moves. The romantic numbers “Dheeray Dheeray” and “Nachay Man” were also beautiful in the composition and the picturisation. All in all, the music department was a win for the film.
The costume department deserves a special mention for the brilliant job they did. While most clothes were probably borrowed from designers but its the way they were put together. Nowhere did it seem that the clothes were forced onto a character, something which is very common with Pakistani films when they get designers on board (looking at you Dekh Magar Pyaar Say). Sohai deserves a special mention as she looks drop dead gorgeous in every frame and that’s due to the very chic outfits she wore. Also Danish Taimoor’s eccentric clothes are something that the costume department should be proud of.
Pakistani Film Industry has risen to new heights, the films coming out are funny, artistic and now a new level of maturity! If you notice the one common thread is that an aura of repectability of new actors, actresses, realistic set designs showing the natural beauty of the landscape intense marketing & screenings getting rid of the old “Lollywood” where the same old tired faces produced vulgar uninteresting subjects with fake sets, ugly custumes & forced artifical sets. The end of a sleazy shady Lollywood has reborn a new film Industry & kuddos to this new breed of film makers that inspite of a non existing infrastructure, no formal traing technical institutes, no serious financial backing & a minimum distribution & overseas marketing they are rising to bring this media industry to new levels.