By Maliha Rehman
A befuddled, naïve Chaudhry in love and a firecracker of a girl who can’t stand any nonsense. Six Sigma Films, helmed by Nadeem Baig and Humayun Saeed, along with ARY Films set the premises of a hit family entertainer back in 2017 with Punjab Nahi Jaungi. Now, they seem to have whisked together the same ingredients yet again in a movie that’s about to hit cinemas, the long-delayed-due-to-Covid, much-awaited London Nahi Jaunga – only, this new concoction is bigger and, according to them, better.
Energy ran high at the movie’s very well-organized trailer launch last week at Karachi’s Nueplex Cinema in D.H.A. “Let Thor come!” Humayun Saeed – co-producer and the movie’s lead – has declared time and again, referring to the Marvel superhero movie that’s going to be releasing around the same time as his movie. “Some people may watch Thor but Pakistanis, in general, want to watch their own heroes,” Humayun had said at the trailer launch’s press conference in a clip which has, since then, gone viral. It is an indication of his confidence in the movie.
The trailer itself is larger than life. The camera opens up into the colors of a traditional Pakistani wedding. There’s some dancing, some music, a hero who rides on horseback and doesn’t want to get married. There are the girls, one’s evidently a Punjabi belle, the other’s a modern girl of today who may just have flown in from London. At some point, our hero vouches to his elders that he wouldn’t go to London and lo and behold, the camera pans out to an aerial shot of the London skyline. He’s followed his ladylove to London, with his best friend in tow. There are quips, professions of love, a glimpse of a fistfight and one-liners thrown in, here and there. It’s a colorful, engaging three minute long ride.
What can be gleaned from the trailer, though?
The basic plot, from what we can tell
It’s obvious that Humayun is playing the love-struck, sweet but somewhat dumb Chaudhry. Kubra Khan may be the girl who his parents want him to marry. Mehwish Hayat is the firecracker from London that he falls in love with. Gohar Rasheed is our hero’s best friend while Vasay Chaudhry may be Mehwish’s best friend and also the man she’ll almost end up marrying, as seen in a wedding sequence right at the end. Humayun’s parents – Sohail Ahmed and Saba Faisal – dream of seeing him as a groom. They also seem to be sticklers for family tradition, insisting on keeping them alive against all odds.
There will be plenty of one-liners
London Nahi Jaunga, like its predecessor Punjab Nahi Jaungi, has been written by Khalil-ur-Rehman Qamar which means that the script is going to be peppered with plenty of dramatic dialogues. One such dialogue can be seen in the trailer, right at the end, where Humayun’s character emotionally says a short verse. According to the cast, there are many more such dialogues as well as a heavy dose of humor. It seems that a large chunk of the humorous dialogues will belong to Gohar Rasheed, the hero’s affable best friend, who, Gohar describes, “would be willing to take a bullet for Chaudhry sahab”.
The styling has been stepped up
The trailer sweeps through a few shots of Mehwish Hayat dressed as a bride in an exquisite all-white outfit with a crimson dupatta on her head, created by designer Umar Sayeed. In another song-and-dance sequence, she’s wearing a colorful halter top and lehnga, also by the designer. Even in scenes where the cast is not wearing elaborate wedding-wear, the hair, makeup and wardrobe appears to be well thought-out. Mehwish Hayat looks beautiful as the no-nonsense, hard-headed siren. Kubra Khan is equally breathtaking, kohl-eyed, golden locks falling over her face, as she plays the girl that the Chaudhry – probably, possibly – will refuse to marry. Humayun Saeed is clad in kurtas and dhotis throughout that were created for him by designer Yousuf Bashir Qureshi – according to the actor, the wardrobe particularly posed difficulties while they were shooting in the freezing winds atop the London Bridge. Humayun says that he will also be wearing a design by Umar Sayeed in a wedding scene, although perhaps we’ll only get to see the clothes once the movie releases.
Evidently, an internationally renowned stylist was taken on board for this movie and the effort shows in the stylized, slick trailer.
Some hardcore Punjabi music coming right up!
The songs in London Nahi Jaunga are in Punjabi and director Nadeem Baig was all praises for the soundtrack at the trailer launch. The audience will judge for itself once the songs release but the actors did reveal that while they practiced their dance moves, they also had to put in as much effort into knowing the lyrics and lip-syncing them just right.
There’s going to be action
The trailer reveals Humayun and Gohar fighting some bad guys. Humayun also reveals that Mehwish will be seen fighting a few villains. There are also going to be plenty of scenes on horseback. In fact, their equestrian tendencies will be one thing that both our hero and heroine will have in common – he has stables at home in Bahawalpur as does she, in London.
The return of the slap
There was plenty of brouhaha regarding a certain slap in Punjab Nahi Jaungi and in London Nahi Jaunga, the slap makes a return, with the hero’s father – the brilliant Sohail Ahmed – slapping his son, declaring – you guessed it – ‘Yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti!’
Probably a large chunk of the narrative will be dedicated to the persistence of elders of keeping family traditions alive and then, love eventually winning all.
But while one may analyze the trailer in further detail, the visuals say it all – a hit on-screen pair, a gorgeous other woman, friends, family, humor, action and romance. Eid-ul-Adha in the cinema is looking like a great option.
Leaving you with these wise words:
‘Jahan par tum ko rakha tha
Wahan par heart hota hai
Mohabbat science hoti hai
Bichharna art hota hai’