Something Haute Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
How many filmmakers in Pakistan have the gall to shed light on Altaf Hussain and his antics? Not too many. From the very get go, Nabeel Qureshi set the ball rolling for what one was to expect from his latest cinematic offering, the sequel of his first hit film, Na Maloom Afraad. The film opens with Fahad Mustafa and Jawed Sheikh being asked to pay bhatta, or extortion money if they want to keep continuing to run their factory in peace. They get a phone call from someone who sounds very similar to the party leader of MQM, threatening them with ‘aik pappi idhar, aur aik pappi udhar‘.Â A few moments later, the duo discovers that their factory has been tragically burned to the ground.
And that’s what Nabeel achieves scene after scene. The film is daring without being crass; item numbers, censored curse words, porn references – Na Maloom Afraad 2 pushes the boundaries in terms of what is and isn’t acceptable in our films nowadays and that’s what makes it so refreshing. Our cinema is so heavily censored that films generally tend to stay within a comfort zone, exploring safe themes of love, family, Â betrayal, or the occasional army film. But very rarely do we see social commentary done in such an intelligent way that we find ourselves laughing along with all the absurdities that are part and parcel of life in Karachi.
NMA2 does just that. It comments on the growing disparity between the rich and the poor without ever preaching anything for a second.
Farhan (Fahad Mustafa), Naina (Urwa Hocane) and Shakeel Bhai (Jawed Sheikh) are reunited with their third musketeer, Moon (Mohsin Abbas Haider) when Moon invites them to Cape Town, South Africa, as he gets ready to marry Parri, (Hania Amir). Everything is going as it’s supposed to till the very rich Sheikh Baklava (Nayyar Ejaz) visits the hotel where Parri works. His gold commode is stolen and somehow, it lands up in Moon’s home. The rest of the film basically traces the commode’s journey as it gets hunted by various interested parties.
As crass as it might appear, the film actually is very clean and very, very entertaining. It’s fast-paced, moves effortlessly from one conflict to the other and keeps you entertained with a brilliant sound design and stunning visuals. Technically, the film has committed no apparent sin.
While all actors delivered their best, the performances that really stood out were by Jawed Sheikh, Nayyar Ejaz and Saleem Mairaj. We also must say that there was a marked difference in Mohsin Abbas Haider’s performance compared to the first one. While he was border line over acting in the first one, Haider delivered a polished performance in this one.