Telefilm: Abhi To Mein Jawaan Hoon – A Review

Faraz July 29, 2013 Comments Off on Telefilm: Abhi To Mein Jawaan Hoon – A Review

I have been really sick for past few days and I received a call from one my best friends whose advise of getting over a fever is to make yourself feel better and smile all day. How do you do that? Well her theory goes that you watch a Bollywood movie, 3 hours, a happily ever after ending, and leave your brain somewhere else, since logic doesn’t applies and you are smiling from ear to ear. I have never believed her! Yesterday instead of applying this theory on Bollywood I decided to try our brand of telefilms that are being released on Geo and sponsored by Tarang. First one of those that were released was on Friday “Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon.” It is written by our very own Vasay Chaudhry and directed by Nadeem Baig, starting Mikaal Zulfiqar, Ayesha Khan, Usman Peerzada, Saba Hameed, Bushra Ansari and Atiqa Odho and many others.

One of the most charming things about “Abhi to Main Jawan Hoon,” is that Mikaal Zulfiqar is able to carry most of the scenes by himself even in presence of veteran and stellar cast –He steals the show. Like Roger Ebert’s infamous words about Tootsie, “Abhi to Main Jawan Hoon” is the kind of movie with a capital M that they used to make back then when they weren’t afraid to mix up absurdity with seriousness, social comment with farce, and a little heartfelt tenderness right in there with the laughs”. Most of all, the movies were still clean enough to be enjoyed with the entire family. Not only that but some of the underlying intelligent jokes poke fun at the actors, writers, our morning shows and question the state of our TV industry today.

In the very first action filled sequence, we meet our hero Faisal Qureshi (Mikaal Zulfiqar) who is assistant director to Anjum Shezad (if I am not mistaken) and saves a drowning actress after she accidently falls in deep waters while Humayun Saeed played by Humayun Saeed acts well like Humayun Saeed. Apparently though Faisal Qureshi is not hero enough when his super rich, charged and filled with emotions-girl friend Zara (Ayesha Khan) shows up in her red convertible and gives him a piece of her mind. He had promised to marry her around 10 years ago according to her estimate (he jokes that she should be facebook timeline) and ab time khatam ho gaya hai kay he stops to look for work on becoming a hero and convince her father (Shakeel Bandooqwala) to bless them in act of holy matrimony. We are introduced to Shakeel Bandooq-wala (Usman Peerzada) and the whole sequence is a satire and a shout out to Mola Jaat and Punjabi type movies so prevalent in 70 and 80s. Zara convinces her father to meet Faisal Qureshi once and he finally agrees. Zara also warns Faisal that like herself, her father despises LIES and he should steer clear of them and be honest with him. In a sudden turn of events when Shakeel Bandooqwala reveals that he hates actors and directors after that idiotic actor who acts like Sharukh Khan (fingers were pointed out to both Sahar Lodhi and Humayun Saeed) crashed his car in his. In this moment of desperation Faisal pulls a Mrs. DoubtFire on Uncle Shakeel and reveals to him that he is a GM at Ice Candy Hotel and his salary is 8 lac. The deal is done!  Only Faisal is not a GM at Ice Candy Hotel and his salary is certainly not 8 lac.

All in all, Faisal desperately in love makes a plan with his friend that he should apply to an open position for GM at Ice Candy Hotel. Only problem is that Hotel is run by Tanveer Zubair (Saba Hameed) under strict orders and rules along with her clumsy best friends Sadiqa Banoo (Bushra Ansari) and Tasneem Tariq urf TT (Atiqa Odho) and only persons of 55 years and above are applicable for GM position. A light bulb goes up in Faisal’s head and he hatches a clever plan to disguise his appearance to look older then the real story begins! The senior females  swoon around him, the whole comedy of error starts and it is a whole lot of fun to see his interactions with the women. The rest you have to watch yourself to see what happens. Who will eventually win and get Faisal Qureshi?

Two scenes in particular were my favorite throughout the movie. One was where Shakeel Bandooqwala and Faisal have dinner and they have interesting conversation about actors and some of the idiosyncrasies especially in our TV industry.  The other one was the call that was made to Umera Ahmad while Sadiqa Bano read Meri Zaat Zara-e-Baynayshan. Mikaal’s lines referencing the fact that un ki har script main us koo galiyaa parthi hain suddenly reminded me that ohhhh, he was Mansoor and Salman Ansar. Way to go Mikal! This is why throughout the movie, I kept on thinking, is this the “Mikaal” we are so use to seeing on our TV screens? Mikaal outshone himself playing a comedic role and he looked handsome even as 55 year old man. I think it was a nice break for him a well etched out comedic character instead of consistently playing roles of sullen dull and idiotic husband/boyfriend or nakaam ashiqs. It reminded me a little bit of his old days when he appeared in Abrar’s video “Sanu Tere Naal Pyar hogaya.” Mikal all I can say is you have proven yourself to be hero material right from the very first frame when Anjum shouts “Faisaaaal”! You totally carried the craziness of the movie on your shoulders and you interactions with all the senior actresses were spot on! I might sound biased praising Mikal over and over again but every other actor including some infamous cameos by other actors as well were really well placed. For me however the other show stealer was Bushra Ansari and how will i ever forget this line:

“Appp ki aur meri Jodi Fawad aur Mahira Khan kay baad saab say hit Jodi banay gi”

How does this women do it? I don’t know but she does it every time! The direction and the cinematography in my opinion were top notch and thank god the references to Tarang were very subtle.

I had once had a pleasure of listing to John Lasseter live in person and he said that some films we make for ourselves and some we make for audience, some to question social norms, some for sake of art and lastly some we just make to laugh out loud and make fun of our own self.  For some Abhi To Main Jawaan Hoon might not make sense, the ending might be a bit abrupt but I thoroughly enjoyed some satirical comments and strong acting and direction. Most of all, I think if it was subtitled, it would speak to so many because of its universal appeal and universally underlying emotions of love, need, trust and friendship.

Did I felt better after watching the movie? Of course I did, I say forget about logic, forget everything, watch it and relax! Its a funny light hearted movie with some great acting and commendable chemistry between all actors and actresses shines throughout the film. I don’t think we need to compete with any movie industry. I commend Tarang and Geo for making our own brand of movies yet making them universally appealing at the same time. I honestly feel this was not for television but could have been a great movie for theatres!

P.S. Please would someone be very kind enough and upload a clean print version of the film so everyone can enjoy since I was fortunate enough to catch it on TV

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