Movie Name: Mehrunisa V Lub U
Release Date: June 25, 2017
Director: Yasir Nawaz
Review by: Momin Ali Munshi
It’s a deja vu moment of sorts as I start penning this review on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr, for it was four years back on the same day that I was composing my review of film Ishq Khuda. Interestingly, this is where the commonality between these two films just begins! In Mehrunisa V Lub U villain Nayyar Ejaz grooves to the song ‘Tez Choona’ which is originally from film Ishq Khuda where Saima performed to the same song, but that’s probably a coincidence and not why I’m bringing up Ishq Khuda.
The real reason is that at the crux of this review is the reiteration of the same point I made four years back: It’s a film for the masses to enjoy!
The cinema-going audience in Pakistan consists of the single screen audience aka the masses and the multiplex audience who both have distinct preferences which however do coalesce every once in a while when a Jawani Phir Nahi Ani or an Actor In Law comes out. However, for the most part, the tastes differ like coffee and tea!
The reason I’m bringing this up is because post-release this film has been surrounded by a lot of criticism, directed mostly towards its crass humor, and the basic sensibility it has. And to me, this makes no sense as it was glaringly obvious that the film was made keeping the masses in mind and not those few who don’t even buy tickets to see a film but would rather attend a premiere or a special screening! During the promotions, the makers were unapologetically clear that they had made the film for the entertainment-starved masses!
Hell, it’s called ‘Mehrunisa V Lub U’ not ‘Mehrunisa We Love You’. Sorry for this derailment of sorts but I just wanted to make a point.
Coming back to the film itself. Here is the actual review.
The film opens on a celebratory note as we meet Ali ( Danish Taimoor) who is making his way back to hometown Karachi after having spent three years in China. Ali is in love with his childhood crush Mehrunisa ( Sana Javed) who he last met when they were what nine. Ali hasn’t seen, talked or even whatsapped Mehru the past decade but knows she is the one and so he gets married to her. Mehru, who lived in the peaceful mountains all her life, has to now move to a crowded mohalla in Karachi and deal with the hustle and bustle of a metropolitan city. She has trouble adjusting to the new environment, hence isn’t able to conceive and so begins the main journey of the film.
Yasir Nawaz’s directorial debut Wrong Number already proved that the man can deliver a commercial pot-boiler and yet again he shows that he knows the pulse of the audiences as he delivers an entertainer in Mehrunisa V Lub U. The film has been beautifully shot and the super expensive sets we kept hearing about were actually something and were utilized well and it did help that the film had a lot of extras, something that is always missing from Pakistani films. Also, the songs ‘Beliya’ and ‘Marhaba’ show how the director has come a long way from his first film. The DOP deserves a special mention.
Furthermore, with this one, Yasir tries to go the Rajkumar Hirani route by infusing a bit of a message in the film which mind you never gets preachy though! Its applaud worthy how the film keeps you entertained till the very end while also picking up a few important issues and it’s largely because of the dialogues written by Saqim Sumeer that this is possible. Also the comedy of the film, though borderline crassy at times is, certainly funny.The witty one liners and certain scenes, like the family dinner in the second half, are just too good!A special mention, rather a salute from my side to writers Yasir and Saqib for bringing up the real estate mafia issue and openly saying what the biggest of the biggest in Pakistan are scared to say out loud in public.
But while Yasir mostly delivers, there are a few pitfalls as well. Certain sequences get dragged, especially towards the later half when the film is moving slowly towards its climax and you just want it to move faster. Moreover, a few comedy scenes featuring Saqib Sumeer seem stretched and could have been crisper and also certain double meaning jokes could have been cut off altogether so as to eliminate the cringe factor. Also without getting into many spoilers, I did feel that the entire change that was brought about in the mohalla was more about us conforming to the standards set by the West and was again speaking more about our inferiority complex more than anything.
Acting wise everyone puts up a good show. Danish Taimoor is getting better with every film and this shows on the screen. He might just be the gen next superstar we desperately need! Sana Javed barely has a few dialogues but she does complete justice to her role which had more to do with expressions.The transition scenes from the hills to Karachi have been portrayed to perfection by her and you actually feel for the vulnerable Mehru.
Villain Marzi played by Nayyar Ejaz is definitely the highlight of the film. Give me the man his best villain award already! Other supporting actors are all done well, notable is Saqib Sumeer who plays two roles and both really well. Amna Illyas couldn’t add the spunk with her item song, but the lackluster choreography which came across as PE routine is to be blamed for that.
The music of the film is okay. While songs like ‘Marhaba’ and ‘Beliya’ definitely have recall value, the other songs are more situational and despite fitting well plot wise, don’t add much to the music of the film. As a music album its above average at best.
On the whole, it’s the perfect ‘massy’ Eid entertainer for families to enjoy together. But yes, the humor does get a bit PG-13 at times. However other than that it’s an entertainer you should not miss.