Mangobaaz slammed it. The Express Tribune rated it ‘The best film of the year so far.’ But this is what the viewers have to say about ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’. Read the FUCHSIA Review…because it’s coming from none other than YOU!
After a sumptuous Eid lunch of halwa, puree and the works, we decided with a group of friends that there was no better way to recover from the food fest than go for the opening day showing of ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’. It turned out to be a great decision! Without necessarily giving anything away, the only change I would make to the film would be to rename it ‘Help Me, Durdana’. This is sure to become one of the best one-liners in Pakistan in the days to come.
The plot is simple enough and well-executed – typical Karachi-Punjab cultural differences exploited through an extended family settled half in a Punjab village and half in Karachi. The dialogue is equally effective with some memorable and entertaining one liners. Most importantly, the movie succeeds in presenting the delicate Karachi-Punjab differences in a light that is simultaneously critical and positive; the cultural portrayals were not offensive and kept us laughing most of the time.
Humayun Saeed as Fawad Khagga delivers his role very well as an enlightened feudal landlord coming of age but still stuck somewhere between past traditions and modern times. Mehwish Hayat as Amal plays the foreign-educated, liberal Karachiite who has to deal with her family roots and what love really means. There are a number of good performances by the other actors; most notable among them, the ever-persistent Durdana (Urwa Hocane) and the liberal but slightly confused Vassay (Azfar Rehman).
The Nadeem Baig direction is high-quality with beautiful sets and captivating scenery, no less than any Bollywood production. Although there is clearly some borrowing from Bollywood extravaganzas, especially some of the sets and the songs – 24/7 is a particularly catchy number.
‘So was it all good?’ We asked. ‘Is there hope yet for Pakistani Cinema?’
Yes there is definitely hope for Pakistani cinema. However, although the story was good, the plot dealt with too many issues for one to go into too much depth on any one issue. E.g. East vs west, Punjab v Karachi, arranged vs love marriage, love vs friendship, role of women in a marriage etc. etc. – All important issues, and touched upon, but none were dealt with in detail. The ending was a tad too contrived and not well done.
But Then You loved it for? …We couldn’t help asking 😉
Mehwish Hayat! She was the best part of the movie. She looked great and acted well.
I consider MH as Pakistan’s Katrina Kaif. Except, she is a much better actor than KK, so overall, much better. (Oops!…time for a disclaimer folks!)
Pakistani cinema has clearly come a long way in all aspects of movie production. Acting, direction, production, dialogue and music were all very well-executed. The best part of ‘Punjab Nahi Jaungi’ is that the main objective is pure entertainment, delivered professionally-and the movie does its job. It is more than a time-pass. It is time well-spent!
PNJG In A Nutshell:
Go WATCH! It's not just a time-pass, it's time well-spent!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of FUCHSIA Magazine
Rizwan Akhter is a Pakistani American settled in New York City. He works as a professional in Finance. Rizwan is married with 3 children and likes to watch the occasional Pakistani or Indian movie. This is his first movie review.