When Na Maloom Afraad was released three years back, it fought back tough competition including Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang and O21 that featured Shaan and Ayub Khoso in pivotal roles.
In 2017, the sequel of Na Maloom Afraad had a face-off with Hollywood’s heist film – Logan Lucky – and guess who came out the winner at the local box office … the Na Maloom guys! Want to know why? Read on:
1) Na Maloom Afraad 2 had a relatable feel!
The heist the two sets of siblings pulled off in Logan Lucky reminded one of Ocean’s XI, XII and XIII – even the inclusion of an investigator seemed to be inspired by Steven Soderbergh’s earlier films.
On the other hand, Na Maloom Afraad 2 followed the age-old ‘Case of Mistaken Property’ scenario and that appeared more relevant to the public who laughed out loud when the gangsters burst open the safe in the local flick than the scene where the con men sent cockroaches into the vault.
2) The success of the first film actually helped
Logan Lucky was the first film in the series of many to come while Na Maloom Afraad 2 was the sequel to an already successful flick. The characters were established, their mannerisms were known and their tendency to do something stupid was what brought the public to the cinemas.
In the Hollywood venture, a lot of time was ‘wasted’ on establishing the conmen, the conned and the investigators.
3) Logan Lucky had ‘unknown’ ensemble cast for Pakistan!
Na Maloom Afraad 2 had the biggest names in Pakistan’s film industry working for them, except for those who were part of Punjab Nahi Jaungi. There were Fahad Mustafa who has proved his worth as a dependable actor on both TV and in films; there was Jawed Sheikh reprising his award-winning role of Shakeel bhai for the second time; Marina Khan made her film debut with this feature while Hania Aamir returned to the big screen one year after her successful debut in Janaan.
In fact, the film saw the return of Mohsin Abbas Haider, Urwa Hocane, Saleem Meraj and Nayyar Ejaz who were all part of the first film.
Logan Lucky, on the other hand, an ensemble cast but not many were able to point out the ‘famous’ characters of these actors during the film. Actors like Sebastian Stan (Bucky in Captain America), Adam Driver (Darth Vader in the last Star Wars), Seth MacFarlane (creator of The Family Guy), Katie Holmes (ex. Mrs. Tom Cruise), Riley Keough (from Max Mad: Fury Road) and two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank were in Logan Lucky with Daniel Craig and Channing Tatum, yet people in the cinema couldn’t point out these actors.
4) Life after heist was unacceptable for local cine-goers
In Na Maloom Afraad, as soon as the heist was over, the film was over and that’s one of the reasons why people are still waiting for the third film in the franchise.
In Logan Lucky, the last half-hour was spent on the investigation that was a waste of time for the audience whose attention span doesn’t last after a heist. Even I found the part after the heist a little drag and it would have been better had it ended soon after the heist.
5) There was no Sadaf Kanwal in LL!
And finally, there was no Sadaf Kanwal in the Hollywood venture, prompting many to just skip Logan Lucky since they felt more lucky watching the femme fatale do a Belly dance in Na Maloom Afraad 2.
I still remember the day when after watching Na Maloom Afraad 1, many people stayed back in the cinema to watch Mehwish Hayat dance on Billi as that was something they hardly got to watch on TV. Na Maloom Afraad 1 – Logan Lucky 0.