Punjab Nahi Jaungi Movie Review: 7 Reasons To Go To Punjab This Eid

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Don’t be skeptical regarding going to Punjab this Eid because Humayun Saeed and Co. is bringing Punjab to you!

Through Punjab Nahi Jaungi, you will get to know about two different cultures, two different families, and two different viewpoints. In the process, there are tragic and comic moments that make a good film, better. Let’s find out the 7 reasons why PNJ should not be avoided this Eid or after the holidays.

The Girls

It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that PNJ is Mehwish Hayat’s finest performance – at par with Dil Lagi with the same producer-director duo. From the moment she makes her heer jaisi larki entry, she dominates the film since the plot revolves around her. She makes Karachi-ites look beautiful and confident which is something you don’t usually see on screen.

She breaks the taboo of being the damsel in distress because here she takes matters into her own hands and does what she wants to do. Urwa Hocane surprises with her dance steps and acting; although you don’t know what she is doing at the haveli, she does ‘help’ the hero when he is in need of company.

Ushna Shah makes an appearance and dances on one of the songs; she looks at ease and that confidence might get her better offers – better than her debut flick Teri Meri Love Story last year.

The Guys

Unlike the competition, Punjab Nahi Jaungi isn’t an all-boys adventure – in fact besides Humayun Saeed, the other two boys – Ahmad Ali Butt and Azfar Rehman – have little to do with the plot. Yes, as Shafiq Ahmed, Ahmad Ali Butt gets to deliver memorable lines and dance to Mera 24 7 Lak but unlike JPNA, his character doesn’t have an end – both happy or sad.

Azfar Rehman makes his film debut and looks the same as on TV, except he comes out as a more prepared actor for films. As for Humayun Saeed, his comic timing is impeccable in the film as his ability to take you down the sorrow lane when all doesn’t seem right to him. As a Faisalabadi, he manages to carry the accent as well as the mannerisms that are the reasons why people fall in love with his character.

The Veterans

The highlight of PNJ is the acting of veteran actors be it Sohail Ahmed as Dada Ji, Navid Shehzad as Bebo Jee and Waseem Abbas & Saba Hamid as parents of the groom. There are a few scenes featuring Behroz Sabzwari & his wife Safeena (sister of Jawed and Saleem Sheikh) but the bulk of the acting is done by Sohail Ahmed and Navid Shehzad.

It comes as a surprise to those who just know Sohail sahib as Azizi and Navid Shehzad as the mother of Overload’s Farhad Humayun; they carry the weight of the film on their shoulders and prove that there is no alternate to experience.

The ease with which Navid carries the Bebo Jee character is amazing and you don’t realize that she is acting after a long time and for the first time in films. Sohail Ahmed delivers the best lines in the film – be it serious or non-serious and trust me, we need him more in films than in Hasb-e-Haal.

He plays father to Waseem Abbas (who is as old as he is) and father in law to Saba Hamid who is on top of her game. Her expressions are flawless throughout the film especially in a scene where she is talking to Humayun Saeed about rejection.

The Script

Why is Andaz Apna Apna still popular despite being 2 decades old? Because of its evergreen script and that was something missing in Pakistan.

With PNJ, we have a script that is full of dialogues that you can quote anywhere, anytime. The ‘Help Me Durdana’ has already become a rage even before the film’s release; the dialogues where Mehwish Hayat’s character explodes or where Humayun Saeed puts his case forward will make you applaud for the writer Khalil ur Rehman Qamar, himself making a comeback to films after 10 years.

Sohail Ahmed and Navid Shahzad add that ‘something extra’ to their lines making them memorable and evergreen. Yes, the second half is a little drag and the film does go sideways at some places but the dialogues rescue the film and keep the audience engrossed until the final scene

The Music

Shiraz Uppal has composed all but one song of the film and does a commendable job in not disappointing the audience. Shani Arshad has composed the Main Tere Naal number where Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan comes out as a winner.

The female voices – Nirmal Roy (Raunaq e Ashiqi), Jonita (Ae Dil) and Mera 24 7 Lak (Meesha Shafi) – impress and credit must be given to Shiraz for helping in making the heroines look even more stunning. The background score keeps the audience involved in the movie and Shani Arshad is responsible for that. Incidentally, he is the whole sole composer for Na Maloom Afraad 2 that is releasing on the same day!

The Director

Punjab Nahi Jaungi solidifies Nadeem Baig’s position as one of the best directors around along with Nabeel Qureshi and Bilal Lashari. He knows the importance of taking out the best from his actors and not one person disappointed with their performance.

Cant find thi selfie in my fone somehow # pnj # first look coming soon

A post shared by Nadeem Baig (@nadeembaigdirector) on

The cinematography by Suleman Razzaq is mind-blowing and one must commend the director for presenting the whole thing like it was meant to be. There will be negative feedback on the portrayal of Punjabi culture but people only criticize you when you do well and this is Nadeem’s best work to date.

The Message

Punjab Nahi Jaungi deals with issues such as division because of language, the disparity between two individuals, the feudal mindset along with the ills of divorce etc.

Most of the characters are close to reality, that’s why the audience feels connected to them and gets to understand that what they might have thought was right could have been wrong the whole time.

Humayun Saeed must be commended for choosing such a strong subject that resonates with the audience and even though the film has the hero slapping the heroine, the hero gets slapped more times than you can count.

Omair Alavi is a senior entertainment journalist who tweets at omair78