Movie review: Maan Jao Naa.
by Valeed Shahid.
In the recent past, we had a problem with the number of Pakistani movies coming out each year, and now, we have a problem with the quality of a dozen releasing each year. Currently, there are a lot of Pakistani movies coming out, but 90% of them are turning out to be sheer disappointments. We were not even over the trauma that came with the release of Arth, Rangreza and Parchi, and here we are with yet another tasteless, bland cinematic experience.
To make the whole picture a little clearer for you, let us assure you that there were no technical issues with the recently released Elnaaz Norouzi – Adeel Chaudhry starrer Maan Jao Naa, but the content was as bland as week old bread. Clearly, now the Pakistani movies have safely been divided into two general types, ones that are rich in content but fall flat when it comes to technical treatment, including the editing. The second type of movies are very well treated and executed in terms of post production, but simply have no meat in their content.
From storyline to performances, everything about Aabis Raza’s rom-com Maan Jao Naa is unbearable. Raania (Elnaaz Norouzi) is a university student, who is basically known as the face of feminism among her school mates. Empowering young women to not get married is one of the agendas she is constantly shown promoting to other students in most of the initial scenes of the movie. Raania’s father (Asif Raza Mir) and paternal aunt (Asma Abbas) are hell bent to look for a decent guy for her, but she refuses to marry, given the outcomes of marriage faced by her aunt.
After a while, we are introduced with Faris (Adeel Chaudhry), Raania’s good friend, and also, their fathers happen to be great friends too.
Eventually, Raania’s father, pressurised by his sister, forces his daughter to marry a family friend (Naeem Haque), but all in vain. On the night of wedding, Raania calls Faris and convinces him to help her with running away. That point onwards, the movie goes totally out of control and leaves you yawning with a strong urge to order some more popcorn and tea to keep you awake.
At times this ‘runaway bride with a guy that she is not into’ tale reminds one of Jab We Met, and at other times it just gives you a headache, because of the twisted plot, or no plot for that matter.
In terms of performances, Adeel Chaudhry was looking weird, sounding weird, and what not. I have seen his work on television, which is always satisfactory, if not outstanding, but after watching Maan Jao Naa, we are more than convinced that movies are actually very different than television shows, not only for us but also the actors. Elnaaz Norouzi had no problems with her performance in the movie, because she played her part very confidently, in a laid back fashion, but her screen presence was sure not that of a movie actress.
I don’t want to sound cliched or shallow when I say that, but unfortunately, an actress with a strong screen presence plays a part in making a commercial film bearable. Naeem Haque, who was last seen in Yalghaar, is a good looking guy, but again, he has serious issues with his dialogue delivery in most of the scenes. Television actress Ghana Ali was also seen playing a small part in the film. Asif Raza Mir and Asma Abbas were good in whatever little parts they had.
Music is again a very important ingredient in any commercial movie, especially the one that has been marketed as a comedy/romance film in general. The movie starts with a really peppy beach song, which looked heavily inspired by Tumhi Ho from Cocktail, and Balam Pichkari from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Leaving the video aside, the lyrics alone cracked me up, we wonder which lyricist suggested ‘Candy Crush Ka Rang Laga‘ to be used in a song that visually didn’t look that bad.
On the whole, audiences don’t pay for their cinema tickets to see beautifully edited scenes and clothes, there has to be content, supported by strong performances too. In all honesty, among all of the recent Pakistani releases, this one was the blandest cinematic experience, and unfortunately there was no strength to cancel out the weaknesses either.