The festive occasion in Pakistan is considered as a golden period for films to taste success at the box office. Keeping in mind the festive mood and extended holidays, the producers make sure that their product gets the extra benefit with maximum screen count to mint good numbers. Eid-ul-Fitr 2023 is truly star-studded as Faisal Qureshi makes his big screen directorial debut with Money Back Guarantee (MBG).
The trailer of MBG looks promising and transports the audience to a world of comedy, action and suspense backed up with grand sets and stunning locales. With a stellar cast of twenty-seven actors along with some heavy-duty guest appearances, the film is a strong contender to draw audiences to the theatres. MBG releases on Eid day 1. Will the film live up to the hype and expectations it has created?
Entertainment Guaranteed in Money Back Guarantee
“The audience will get more of what they paid (for the ticket) in the form of entertainment,” said Faisal Qureshi in an exclusive chat with Galaxy Lollywood. “MBG is a political satire wherein you will relate to the characters and situations. The film will get more entertaining with the second and third viewing. The reason why this project is special and refreshing is because the members of the cast were mostly my friends and whoever wasn’t is a friend now. They were extremely supportive and performed well in front of and behind the camera.”
Faisal had Fawad Khan in mind as one of the protagonists but after the narration, the latter choose to play the bank manager instead, “I had originally written the role for Mahroom Ahmed Bilal. I revised the script and enhanced the role keeping Fawad in mind. Due to Fawad’s performance, the character has turned out so well, that it has overshadowed all the other characters, even the protagonists. This shows the sheer acting talent of Fawad, Star Tau Woh Hai He.”
In his feature debut, Qureshi is wearing multiple hats of a writer, director, and producer. Wasn’t that a risky thing to do? We asked. “I felt more confident as I had control over everything. Yes, there is a greater risk because you would be held accountable especially if the situation isn’t favorable. However, if you are confident with your product, phir maza bhe ussi ka hai.”
Finding Joy in Comic Acts
Actor Mikaal Zulfiqar who is well known for his comic timing feels honored to be part of a film that strives to provide wholesome family entertainment along with thought-provoking satire at the same time. “I had a blast playing Irfan Pathan in Money Back Guarantee, I look forward to audiences meeting him in theaters. Honestly, I just try to have a good time with it. Don’t get me wrong I take all my roles very seriously, but it is really important to find joy in comical acting, as it can change the overall feel of a scene.” expressed Zulfiqar.
Safe Space for Ayesha Omar in Money Back Guarantee
Faisal Qureshi had earlier directed Ayesha Omar in the TV series Kollege Jeans. Two decades later, he ropes in Omar for an “integral part”. “I have a guest appearance in MBG with a completely separate track to the premise. Meena begum represents a “safe space” for people where they can come and be vulnerable. For me, the performance is more important rather than the number of scenes. It is very different from anything I have ever done before, be it her body language, postures, or dialect.” divulged Ayesha
Ayesha sets the record straight that her elaborate dance sequence in the film is not an “item number“. She feels that an item song is one where the actor or performer is there only to play that part and isn’t supported by backup dancers. “It is a really fun dance performance with beautiful choreography. It is a smart song with bits of political satire and lyrics having so many different meanings.”
Equal Parts for The Ensemble Cast
Mani who has ample experience working in various mediums of entertainment didn’t feel challenged to perform with a big cast. “I have previously worked with Faisal on many projects. I choose to play the part of my choice; I could connect with it easily and had fun shooting for it. One thing that Faisal was very clear about was his dialogues that everyone had to deliver as it is. No amendments were acceptable.”
However, there was one thing that gave the Sub Set Hai actor a tough time. Mani recalled, “It wasn’t just me, most of my co-stars were struggling to get the dance steps right. We somehow created such moves that were easy to perform and turned out well.”
Mani further credited Faisal for writing equal scenes and doing justice to the ensemble cast. “All the actors were given equal screen time and dialogues to showcase their craft. There are many more surprises for the audience once they watch the film.” He further confirmed a sequel,and said, “I am pretty sure that the team of MBG will click with the audience and we will come back with a sequel.”
Going Beyond the Cast
Shayan Khan of Zashko Films is also the producer of the film. Was Money Back Guarantee a film he always wanted to make, or did it have a specific starting point? we asked, “Faisal Qureshi telling me about the script was a definite starting point, but it is also the kind of movie I wanted to make. I wanted to go beyond the frivolous and produce a complete family entertainer that was also socially conscious.” Shayan told Galaxy Lollywood.
He feels that a great cast on stage and a great crew backstage are the necessary ingredients to make a mass entertainer. “This movie would not have been possible without the brilliantly talented actors and all the other hardworking people involved.”
Shayan Khan has a double responsibility, besides producing he has an interesting character to play. “I play Ilyas Kashmiri, he is a true daredevil who loves freedom and throwing down in a good fight.”
Talking about the current state of the film industry as a producer, Shayan is trying to strike while the iron is hot. “The future of Lollywood, in my opinion, has never been more promising than it is now. All we need is some more global theatrical successes to keep this upward trajectory going.”
Here’s hoping that all the effort and hard work of the entire ensemble cast will translate into big numbers at the box office.