After the phenomenal success of Na Maloom Afraad, people were eagerly waiting for the Fahad Mustafa starrer Actor-in-Law. Although I was unable to watch Na Maloom Afraad (though my husband watched it twice and gave rave reviews). I had decided that I would go watch Actor-in-Law come what may. Partially for the reason that I had been unable to watch Na Maloom Afraad on the big screen and partly because, I was craving to watch a movie in cinema since my baby was born. It’s been over a year and we hadn’t been to the movies since children under three are not allowed in any cinema. This time we finally developed the courage to leave our baby with family and head out alone.
The movie is about, Shan Mirza, played by Fahad Mustafa, a college dropout, aspiring to be an actor who ends up in the courtroom and uses his acting skills to win cases. His cases involve suing electricity companies for damages sustained by household appliances due to load shedding, suing fake peers and politicians for dirtying the walls of Karachi and women harassment. The hilarious antics he uses to win the case drive the movie forward.
The court cases depict social evils that we face every day and to be able to mock at them comes as a relief as could be witnessed by the loud cheers and screams emanating from the crowd in Megaplex.
Meena Screwala (Mehwish Hayat) is the reporter who catapults Shan Mirza to fame by capturing the proceedings of a case and putting them on air. Her character bears a strong resemblance with Jaggu of Amir Khan’s PK. Although I am not a big fan of Hayat but in this movie she has seriously proved that she is a seasoned actor who can play the ubiquitous crying daughter-in-law of our local plays as well as the bold loud mouthed girl with equal ease.
The movie is interspersed with laughs throughout, and at no time, leaves the viewer bored. However, do not expect Anwar Maqsood’s type classical satire. The humor in Actor in Law is similar to going through your Facebook Feed filled with social jokes memes.
This is the best part of the movie. The characters are well thought out, well written and render the movie hilarious. The two protagonists, Fahad Mustafa and Mehwish Hayat are superb. No other actor could have done justice to the roles better. The way the script was written, the characters could have easily fallen into the trap of overacting. Yet in each scene, both the protagonists are original, fresh and entertaining. The other equally important characters are the subtly implied politicians and news journalists like Zardari, Shahbaz Sharif, Altaf Hussain, Mubashir Luqman etc. Every time they appeared on the screen, the cinema erupted into laughter.
The comic time is exceptionally apt and at no time does the movie drag. In fact, there is action in every scene and every situation takes the plot forward at some level. There is no glamour, no exotic locales (the movie is shot in Karachi), no item numbers yet the movie grips you throughout without having any typical desi masala. Some scenes and sets have directly been copy pasted from Amir Khan’s PK but then again is there any desi movie, Pakistani or Indian, that doesn’t take “inspiration” from another movie?
The songs in the movie are no doubt catchy. The choreography and cinematography gives a strong impression of being inspired from movies across the border especially the song “Dil Dancer Ho gya” takes the viewer through déjà vu of listening to PK’s “Love is a waste of time”. But the songs are interspersed in the fabric of the movie and don’t drag it.
It’s a totally family oriented movie. Take your dada, daaadi, maama.chaachi…everybody with you!
In short, Actor in Law is a breath of fresh air in Pakistani cinema and since this movie surpassed the box collection of “Baar Baar Dekho” in Pakistan we can safely say that our movie industry is ready to go to war with India any time.
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