Published in Daily Times / 6 Oct 2014
There are two Pakistani films geared to open on Eid, both with female producers at the helm - one of them recently held a premier show for the media. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ is a term synonymous with Karachi – a sly reference to the ‘persons unknown’ who terrorize the city already on knife’s edge, and vanish without a trace. It takes skill to conjure comedy from such a bleak premise. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ finds a way.
The three leads – film veteran Javed Sheikh, Fahad Mustafa, and up and coming stars like Mohsin Abbas Haider, are in perfect sync as the upright small business man, eager beaver / insurance sales agent, and down on his luck Moon making his debut as their rent buddy in Karachi while dreaming of living large in Dubai.
For the producer, the opening day would be like the ‘T20 of cinema’ and she hoped for a win since the movie will have stiff competition from a Shaan led spy-thriller – ‘O21’, and a couple of Indian flicks opening the same day. A film that pins gallows humour to the city’s distinctive skyline, and takes advantage of the anarchy ridden landscape to craft its punch line is a worthy adversary. It could, however do without the few instances of crudity possibly added to give it ‘street cred’.
Shanaz Ramzi referred to it as purely commercial venture, made for entertainment that is not aiming for the stars. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ is an irreverent take on life, which scans the chaos and infuses a typical looking screwball comedy with soul. It does so by blending the varying shades of grey that drive men with integrity to the edge of reason.
Fizza Ali Meerza produces, Nabeel Qureshi directs - it is their first production. Rana Kamran was hailed for his photography.
Javed Sheikh sees this as a lethal combo predicting a bright future for the trio. HUM TV partners with Eveready to distribute the film across Pakistan. ‘Na Maloom Afraad’ is in cinemas now.