The marketing team of Na Band Na Baraati did a decent job in creating hype for the film, which was initially scheduled to release on the 6th of July. All the other departments, sadly, did not do justice to their assigned tasks. Even though the film had a strong cast, with actors like Qavi Khan, Azra Mohyeddin, Mikaal Zulfiqar, and Ali Kazmi, it lacks a decent storyline and barely gave room to these actors for showcasing their talent.
Mikaal Zulfiqar as Shahid and Shayan Khan as Zahid
The narrative revolves around two brothers, Zahid (Shayan Khan) and Shahid (Mikaal Zulfiqar), who are settled in Canada and want to marry their respective girlfriends. Zoya (Anzhelika), Zahid’s girlfriend, has a strict father who is trying to marry her off to someone else, and so she runs away with Zahid. Meanwhile, a mechanic (Ali Kazmi), is also in love with Zoya. Amidst all this, Shahid mistakenly signs the nikkah papers instead of Zahid, and gets married to Zoya. The movie tries to untangle this entire confusing mess.
Saram Jaffery, Ali Kazmi, Kashif Ahmed tried very hard to add humour to the movie
It is difficult to understand why a foreign country was chosen as the setting, when the location seems to add nothing to the plot or the direction. The same story could have easily taken place in a local setting. With an international setting, there were other errors as well, such as when actors used Urdu to communicate with Canadians and the latter somehow fully understood what was being said and responded in English. Since the movie is scheduled for release in the United States, English subtitles are consistently present in the film, and served as a distraction more than a convenience for the local audience. This was due to the fact that subtitles were often translating words like ‘backward families’ into ‘traditional families,’ with neither term explaining the context of a South-Asian girl who had run away from her house, married the wrong man and was staying at a resort with her boyfriend.
Qavi Khan and Azra Mohyeddin
Music often serves as the saving grace of such projects, but even the songs of Na Band Na Baraati, added to the torment of the viewers. While a couple of songs had strong vocals by Shafqat Amanat Ali and Rahat Fateh Ali, most of the songs were unsuited to the situations, and were merely used to recap earlier scenes of the film. Lyrics like ‘Shor na machana, Wiki leak na ho jaye’ particularly tested the patience of the audience.
Perhaps the weakest aspect of the film came in the form of one of the lead actors, Shayan Khan Farooqi, who did not particularly know how to dance, act, or deliver dialogues effectively. A little bit of quick math suggests that Shayan shares his surname with three of the executive producers, which may have led to this role. Shayan and the two female leads, Nayab and Anzhelika Rublevska Tahir, have been modeling for some time now, and have previously represented Pakistan in beauty pageants. But beauty aside, perhaps the casting team should have focused on acting chops.
Shayan, Anzhelika, Mikaal
Unfortunately, Na Band Na Baraati left little room for praise, and was bad enough to force at least two groups of viewers to walk out of the already seventy percent empty cinema hall. This occurred a good half an hour before the movie ended. The project’s rather obvious flaws could have easily been worked upon with a better cast, improved direction, and most importantly, a good storyline. Hopefully, Lollywood will learn from its mistakes and continue to work towards better projects, which will be worth the audience’s hard-earned money.