Box Office: Blown
Director Nadeem Baig’s Jawani Phir Nahi Anirecently broke a box office record by earning over Rs.20.7 million on the first day of its release. It later went on to earn more than any other Pakistani movie on its opening weekend: Rs.77.3 million. Pakistani audiences seem to be loving the guy flick. And why wouldn’t they?
Pakistan’s Answer to Hangover
Who doesn’t love a movie that shows grown up and married best buddies escaping their domestic lives and boring wives to have a fun-filled vacation? Hollywood has the success of Hangover and Bollywood that of the likes of Masti and No Entry – among others – to vouch for the love that global citizens have for entertaining guy flicks. Pakistani filmmakers are only smart to jump onto the bandwagon.
Like its Bollywood and Hollywood counterparts, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani tells the story of four friends: Saif (Hamza Ali Abbasi), Sheikh (Vasay Chaudhry), Pervez (Ahmed Ali Butt) and Sherry (Humayun Saeed). Saif, Sheikh and Pervez are the unfortunate three who have been tied into holy matrimony – a dull and boring one at that. The wives of each of the three, of course, are “controlling demons” who scare their husbands more than anything else.
The best part of the movie is its purely Pakistani brand of humour
When Sherry – the hunky, unmarried divorce lawyer played by Humayun Saeed – returns to Pakistan from the US, he feels heartbroken at the state of his three committed friends and vows to return the joy in their lives. No, not by making their marriages better (he’s a divorce lawyer, remember?) but by flying them off to Bangkok to bring some life back into their lives.
Once in Bangkok, the four friends have the time of their lives by living their lives like carefree bachelors – until Sherry falls into a trap. Marina (Mahwish Hayat) sees Sherry in Bangkok and insists upon marrying him. Sherry, the charming ladies’ man who is too cool for marriage, naturally is not interested. Worse turns into worst when the three married men’s “secret vacation” is discovered by their wives, and being the “controlling demons” that they are, they fly all the way to Bangkok to confront them. After raiding their husbands’ hotel and finding out everything that happened during the vacation – with Sherry laying all the blame on his married friends’ shoulders – the three wives end up demanding a divorce from their respective husbands.
No, it doesn’t end there. Granted, the entire narrative given above is usually enough to fill up an entire movie but not Jawani Phir Nahi Ani.
Months later the Saif, Sheikh and Pervez, with their homes wrecked find out that after ruining their marriages, Sherry is about to get married. What ensues is a classic comedy of errors riddled with witty dialogues and laced with commendable acting.
Our Own Brand of Humour
Despite the well-written yet clichéd storyline, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani manages to strike the right note, primarily because of its humour. As a pure comedy, its primary purpose was to make its viewers laugh, and it definitely manages to achieve that end. The best part of Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’s humour is its purely local, i.e. Pakistani humour. Not Indian, not American, not British but our very own brand of humour that indeed is different from and, in many ways, better than that of other countries. Vasay Chaudhry, the scriptwriter, deserves a round of applause for incorporating a wide range of humour into the film’s dialogue. Chaudhry has certainly managed to capitalize on Pakistan’s rich culture by employing Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu humour to write Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’s script.
Star Cast Gives a Well-Rounded Performance
One of the reasons behind the anticipation for Jawani Phir Nahi Ani’s release was its star cast. Apart from the aforementioned actors, veterans Jawed Sheikh, Bushra Ansari and Ismail Tara – perhaps the funniest of the lot – also appear in the film in key roles. Luckily for the producers – of whom there is a long list – the star cast mostly manages to justify its hefty price tag. The cast’s stable acting is also what makes Jawani Phir Nahi Ani an entertaining and engaging watch.
Why Watch It: Pure Humorous Entertainment and Soundtrack
There are plenty of reasons to watch Jawani Phir Nahi Ani: the star cast, the entertainment, the humour and the genuinely good soundtrack. There are many tunes in the film that you would be humming once you’ve set foot out of the theatre.
Why Not: Not for Serious Film Lovers
While Jawani Phir Nahi Ani is perfect for those looking for light entertainment and a good time, people who like to watch serious, intellectual movies like Manto and Moor – Pakistani cinema’s two recent successes – are definitely better of avoiding this one.