Jawani Phir Nahi Aani – review

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This was one of those movies that I expected to suck. That’s why, when my cousin asked me if I’d go with her to watch it, I told her only if she paid for my ticket. When we came out of the cinema, I had to shove my ticket’s money in her hand because it was definitely worth it.

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The story line is pretty simple: three friends, Saif (Hamza Ali Abbasi), Sheikh (Vasay Chaudhry), and Pervez (Ahmed Butt), a salesman at a call centre, are living their monotonous lives till their bachelor friend, Sherry (Humayun Saeed), shows up and takes them away from their subjugating wives to relive the good, old, ‘ayaash’ times in Bangkok. Predictably, the ‘bachelor trip’ ends up in a disaster that puts their marriages in mortal peril. A twist comes along when Sherry decides to get married to a bureaucrat’s daughter and is caught up in serious misunderstandings.

Like all comedy films showcasing friends, JPNA’s plot is not so different. So why is it attracting praise? The answer is as simple as the plot: quality production, good direction and acting, and amazing dialogues. When it comes to hilarious one-liners, Vasay Chaudhry does not fail. Frequent references to Pakistani dramas and movies, (especially that scene they borrowed from…OK no spoilers), politics, ‘innocent’ innuendos and poking fun at the actors themselves made the movie highly entertaining. There was hardly a moment of silence in the hall, every scene triggered fits of laughter.

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The characters were interesting as well. Saif is a successful director and a playboy who is extremely afraid of his wife Kubra (Ayesha Khan) but that doesn’t keep him from cheating on her every now and then. A pretty ironic character for Hamza Ali Abbasi who, judging by his Facebook statuses, probably shuts his eyes when a woman walks by. And the irony was highlighted in the movie too, when introducing Saif, Sheikh says, ‘ye Facebook pe status update karte hain’.

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Sheikh is a police officer whose Pathan wife Palwasha (Sarwat Gillani) is not afraid to use a rifle and threatening to unleash her brother on him who finds him a ‘tait piece’ (hint: Bol). Pervez works at a call centre, whose marriage has lost its spark. His wife Lubna (Uzma Khan) doesn’t feel the need to spend time with her husband after years of marriage.

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Sherry, the eligible bachelor, is a divorce lawyer who wants his divorce cases count to hit a century. He is devoid of conscience, doesn’t think twice about lying to anyone and everyone and is remorseless even after he puts his friends’ marriages in jeopardy. He is trapped by a criminal’s daughter, Marina (Mehwish Hayat), who forces him to ‘fall in love with her’ on gunpoint. After escaping from her claws, he runs to Lahore to get married to Zoya (Sohai Ali Abro). All hell breaks loose when Marina gate crashes the wedding with her father to reclaim Sherry.

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Zoya’s character is one of the most entertaining characters in the movie. Playing a high society girl, who is a paindu at heart, Sohai Ali Abro did justice to her character. The fake accent, selfie mania and constant use of social media jargon were completely on point MA, MA, OMG!

All the main actors, except Mehwish Hayat, were thoroughly entertaining. The four leads, Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Butt and Hamza Ali Abbasi worked really well with each other. Sarwat Gillani stood out with her perfect Pushtoon accent, spot on expressions and perfect timing. She and Vasay Chaudhry totally stole the show. Bushra Ansari, Javed Sheikh and Ismail Tara were good additions and their acting made up for the flaws in the movie.

The songs were okay, none of them left a mark and the dances were far from good. Sohai Ali Abro was the only good dancer but it didn’t really matter because the choreography was really bad. Humayun Saeed and Hamza Ali Abbasi couldn’t perform on the dance floor at all and I name them particularly because their characters demanded good dance skills.

As for Mehwish Hayat, she was an eyesore. The fake accent ruined the little bit of acting she can do and since the choreography was so bad, even her dance skills couldn’t save her. Another onscreen failure was Uzma Khan, who seemed incapable of betraying any emotion.

While the movie has its drawbacks, it’s pretty entertaining and definitely worth a watch.

I’ll rate it 4/5.

Writer: Vasay Chaudhry

Director: Nadeem Baig

Production: Six Sigma

Cast: Humayun Saeed, Vasay Chaudhry, Ahmed Butt, Hamza Ali Abbasi, Sarwat Gillani, Uzma Khan, Ayesha Khan, Mehwish Hayat, Sohai Ali Abro, Javed Sheikh, Bushra Ansari, Ismail Tara, Bilal Lashari, Gohar Rasheed and others

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