- 14 Jul - 20 Jul, 2018
Na Maloom Afraad 2
- 23 Sep - 29 Sep, 2017
Not many sequels in Pakistan have outdone the first film but Na Maloom Afraad 2 (NMA 2) does that easily by being bigger, better, as well as it is shot outside Pakistan. Nabeel Qureshi’s directorial takes the lead cast away from the hassles of Karachi but not before Shakeel bhai and Farhan (Jawed Sheikh and Fahad Mustafa) lose their jobs, their factory and money to regional calamities. It is only when they land in South Africa as guests of Moon (Mohsin Abbas Haider), they realise that if they set their mind to another con, they might be able to become rich again!
NMA 2 is a film where logic takes the backseat and everything else comes in front. There is a case of mistaken property where a commode is equal to a wedding dress in weight; there is a Pakistani guy who becomes a top DJ in South Africa and a well-settled family there decides to marry their daughter to someone who hasn’t told them about their past. These things would have mattered had the film been a serious one but in the world of comedy anything is possible. Two gangsters – one Indian and one Pakistani (played by Nafees Ahmed and Saleem Meraj) – team up to make their community proud abroad yet they are given a tough time by the Na Maloom Afraad of Karachi who see a win-win in every situation, no matter how bad it might be.
The film’s positives are its pace, its pop culture references, soundtrack and above all, acting. Nabeel Qureshi and Fizza Ali Meerza must be commended for keeping the audience engaged throughout the film and trust me, even the jokes related to the commode aren’t that uncomfortable. It is as relatable as the pop culture references where you get to hear about the products Fahad Mustafa endorses, his rival game show hosts and a few things ‘idhar and udhar’ that only Karachi-ites can understand. Shani Arshad has done a tremendous job by composing all the songs, although many feel that instead of Chal Hug Lay, lyricist Nabeel and Fizza could have done something else, something that wouldn’t have offended families. Rana Kamran’s cinematography has captured South Africa differently since this is one of the first Pakistani films to be shot in the region.
As for the acting, Jawed Sheikh steals the show as Shakeel bhai who is always leading the group despite being unsure of his leadership qualities. Fahad Mustafa has the best lines in the film and with a leaner and darker body, he looks the part as well. His character decides to try his luck at an international con and involve everyone in it, providing the central plot. Mohsin Abbas Haider, with his well-built body, impresses with his loud acting that was needed since it wasn’t his idea to steal the commode and hide it. Hania Aamir and Urwa Hocane have less number of scenes than the boys and that’s because the boys are the Na Maloom Afraad and these people are their love interests. Nayyar Ejaz as the Arab Sheikh is good but his work in the first part was better, considering as an insurance investigator, he had the chance to show his skills as an actor and develop a character that hasn’t been tried before.
Which one is better – Na Maloom Afraad or Na Maloom Afraad 2 – you might ask? While the first one had a shock value and surprises all around, the second one had an international feel, mature handling and a better soundtrack. However, the presence of a commode and an Arab Sheikh as its owner might have dented the film’s success at the box office. NMA 2 wasn’t released in United Arab Emirates while many a families (including mine) didn’t go to watch the film in cinema. Even then, it has done tremendous business all over the country and emerged as a third consecutive hit for writer/producer Fizza Ali Meerza and co-writer/director Nabeel Qureshi. I don’t know about others but I am waiting for the third instalment in the series, hoping it will take place in London from where the term Na Maloom Afraad actually originated. •
Verdict: Na Maloom Afraad 2 is a film where logic takes the backseat and everything else comes in front