Wrong No. 2 (Review): A well-directed flick that dials all the right numbers

Movie Name: Wrong No. 2

Release Date: June 5, 2019

Director: Yasir Nawaz 

Review by: Hassan Hassan 

Wrong Number 2 is a demonstration of what quality commercial cinema is, made within the constraints faced by today’s local cinema industry. A comedy of errors made with a commercial appeal at its core, Wrong No. 2 is something that doesn’t defy logic but still remains highly entertaining for the most part, if not through and through.

It is a prime display, for the front row filmmakers of the Pakistani cinema, of how (if given a chance) the fresh scriptwriters can come up with tighter and glitch-free stories. Combine it with the directorial skills of a man who shows improvement with every film until you get an entertaining, wholesome, and a comforting Eid film, and you have your rather amusing flick; Wrong No. 2

What Wrong No. 2 is about

Without giving you any spoilers, Wrong No. 2 follows three to four parallel subplots that ultimately consummate at Gul Nawaz (Played brilliantly by Javed Sheikh) who is an arrogant, rich, and an aporophobic man with high political aspirations. In order to help realize those, he wants to get his daughter Zoya (Neelam Muneer), an intelligent but rebellious girl, betrothed to the son of a well established political figure.

Zoya obviously has other plans with Omar (Sami Khan), the son of her father’s confidante – a shrewd but adorable Wazir Ali (Mehmood Aslam) – who belongs to a lower middle-class socioeconomic background. Things get messed up when Gul Nawaz sets off to put an end to the romance by trying to reach the man his daughter loves but ends up finding a wrong man instead thereby, setting a vicious circle of errors that gets everyone confused and the viewers amused.

Add to that, a stalker who never ceases to leave his crush alone, his loud parents who wish to get him out of jail and another struggling family who want to get their daughter treated for a lethal cardiac illness. On paper, it may look like a mess when you see all the ingredients together but the final product is an onscreen sweet delicacy that you can’t help but enjoy. We urge you to head to the cinema to witness it for yourself. 

Wrong No. 2 dials all the right numbers with its veteran supporting cast 

What makes WN2 work is a super tight script and a swift screenplay. Especially the first half, which introduces you to pretty much all the characters, keeps you hooked so much so that you don’t want the interval to happen. The film is far better than what it looked like in its trailer and other promotional materials. Perhaps, a better poster and a trailer design could have helped the film strike a better buzz amongst the movie goers but since the content of the film is strong, it will stay afloat for a long time anyway.

Speaking of strong content, the supporting characters designed are some of the best you would see in recent times.WN2 is amongst those amusingly odd films which has its supporting cast running and stealing the show. Perhaps that was the reason Yasir chose Sami Khan, a promising but not so crowd puller of an actor on the cinematic front, to play the lead hero. 

It’s Javed Sheikh, Mehmood Aslam and Yasir Nawaz who own the narrative. The former two get the best lines, have amazing chemistry and comic timings and every time they appear together on screen, you get into fits of laughter. Particularly the moments, where Wazir asks Gul Nawaz to enact as a couple, in order to make him realize how to deal with his daughter’s love interest, and Gul Nawaz, persistently confusing Wazir’s ancestry with someone else’s, is something where you can’t help but laugh.

Cherry on top, Aslam and Sheikh adopt the Pashtun accent perfectly using their phonetic prowesses to their best. There are some other supporting characters too like Irfan Khoosat, Shafqat Cheema, Danish Nawaz, etc who add to the laughter value of the film and truth be told, everyone does their job with fineness.

The phenomenon that Yasir Nawaz is

Yasir Nawaz, as a struggling and an honest government employee who has to find resources for his daughter’s illness, is another fine actor who shines all the way. His weary face, huge waistline, and compassionate and concerned self when he is around his kids, instantly gain the audience’s sympathy.

As a director, he also shines at various places – especially the one scene where he, as an honest, man hesitates to take a bribe while there is a religious sermon on the vice of bribery being delivered, in the nearby mosque. The scene is not only well written but extremely beautifully directed. Kudos to both the writer and the director Yasir Nawaz harbors within himself. 

The ladies shine bright, too

Sana Fakhar as Yasir’s wife is another strong and accurately designed character. She is a hardworking woman, working as an instructor in a small lady’s gym, who has difficulty giving attention to her kids and their needs yet has to stay strong to support her family.

Neelum Muneer, on the other hand, plays an intelligent and a feisty girl who knows what’s happening around her and would do anything to get her love. Sami Khan, however, doesn’t have much to do but he performs adequately of whatever is tasked to him.

Of the jobs well done by the casting director, the choreographer and more

Moving on to the other aspects of the film, the casting director along with the costume and makeup department have done a great job in making these characters even more likable and relatable. Sana’s character, for example, wears minimal make-up in scenes where she is shown in distress however her curvy figure is explained by the fact that she’s a gym instructor.

Same goes for Yasir who does a desk job and gives minimal attention to his personal upkeep. Even the child suffering from heart disease looks like an actual cardiac patient. Same goes for Mehmood Aslam, Javed Sheikh, Neelum as well as Ahmad Hassan’s characters. Their wardrobe choices and make-ups are never off.

The film has a well-choreographed grand wedding song in the end and some beautiful locations where the narrative travels from one eye-catching place to another making the film fresh, fun and energetic.

Of the very few shortcomings

Of course, there are some flaws with the film but they never overpower the film’s pace and mood. As with all Yasir Nawaz Films, it has some double meaning jokes but thankfully they are less annoying and less abundant than his previous films.

I also think that the climax scene could have been written and directed in a less caricaturing way because nowhere else in the film the director confronts your basic intellect and there is always some obvious or subtle explanation to whatever is happening on screen. Despite its less serious nature, Wrong No. 2 is better than a lot of films that you may have seen recently.

However, Sami Khan’s wardrobe and makeup needed much attention, especially his hairdos. He looked rather tired in many scenes which could have been avoided. Similarly, while Hassan Ahmed (also the writer of the film) as Zoya’s rival suitor – who is a rich, narcissist, drug addict – does elicit some laughs in most of his scenes, but his jittery and elfin body language becomes unnecessary at times.

These minor shortcomings, however, should not let you rethink your decision to watch the film at the cinemas.

Verdict

If you have loved JPNA series or any other feel-good masala entertainers that don’t defy logic, Wrong Number 2 is the film you should go for. There are very high chances that you will leave the cinema halls amused, for all the right reasons.

Rating: 3.5/5*

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I am a doctor,a foodie and a traveller. The aroma of Popcorn ,the peculiar sensation of being in a darkened theatre,enjoying a Film, intrigues & gives me a reason to promote Pakistani Cinema. anjumhassan87@gmail.com

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